Will AI redefine authenticity in employer branding?

In the process of researching this blog post, I received a notification from a mailing list I’d forgotten I’d signed up for. The subject line read:

This Employee is not Real (+ How to Copy it!) 👀
AI Influencers and AI Employees

Perfect, I thought. This should spark some inspiration.

I opened it to read the following section:

AI Employee Influencers

Building a personal brand on LinkedIn can really improve your business’s visibility - but not every company can convince employees to post.

What if you could have AI employees that represent your business.

Or even better - a hundred employees.

All sharing educational content, engaging, and posting company friendly content all day long.

Yeeeeesh. Well, I was inspired to write about it. I’m not sure if the authors would appreciate what I have to say, though.

This time last year, everyone was predicting whether “this ChatGPT thing” would be a passing fad or a cultural shift. Now, it’s safe to say that AI will have a lasting impact on how we live and work.

In their 2024 Social Trends report, Hootsuite's first prediction is that AI will force brands to redefine authenticity. AI use is already on the rise, but it’s predicted to skyrocket in 2024 as more and more organisations use it to refine, rewrite or even produce content.

On the flip side, audiences aren’t nearly as excited about the rise of the robot assistant. In the Hootsuite survey, over 20% of millennials and a third of baby boomers said they were less likely to engage with content created by AI.

So, here’s the big question: what does all this mean for employer branding?

EBA has always been big on authenticity - it’s one of the values that unites us and shapes the way we work (we don’t call each other EBAuthentics for nothing!). When we partner with clients to develop their EVP or tell their people’s stories, we have a few mottos.

  1. Ditch the gloss and hype.
  2. Talk about the journey and the work in progress.
  3. No scripts. Real people, real stories.

After all, employer branding is all about people and connection - connecting hopeful talent with their future employer, connecting teams to drive pride and strengthen relationships, and connecting employees to the purpose and mission of their organisation.

Authenticity is key. If you felt an employer was lying about their talent offer, would you still apply? If you thought the story you were watching was delivered by an actor, would you trust the message?

There’s a lot that AI can help us with. But there’s also a lot it can’t do.

An EVP needs heart - otherwise, it’s just words on a page.

Storytelling needs humanity - otherwise, we don’t believe it.

Your employer brand needs you - you and your people are what make up your organisation. It’s your story to tell, and no AI program can do it better.

And above all else - nobody needs AI employees.

You don’t need to “convince employees” to post “company friendly content all day long.” I don’t think there’s anything that would turn me off a company faster than realising that their real people don’t have anything good to say about them, so they’ve had to resort to a computer-generated script spewing out a sickeningly positive pre-approved message.

Instead, focus your time, energy and budget on shaping a positive workplace culture, providing opportunities for your teams to share moments that matter, and empowering your people to share their stories (the good stuff, the challenges, and why they keep coming back on the hard days). Authenticity, transparency and honesty will win against inflated claims and bogus stories any day.

Tahlia Robinson

About the Author

As Employer Branding Australia’s Commercial Marketing Storyteller, Tahlia Robinson communicates our fantastic, imperfect organisation’s story to the world. With a background in PR for non-profits, she specialises in connecting organisations with their audiences in positive, meaningful ways. Tahlia is keenly interested in accessibility, activism, and keeping up with current trends on social media (while constantly wondering if she’s too old to be on TikTok).

About Employer Branding Australia

We exist to help you attract the best talent and keep them engaged. Together, we’ll create and promote your 'Why work for us?' and turn your authentic people stories into your most powerful marketing tool.

Contact us today for a free, honest assessment of your employer branding opportunity.

e: hello@employerbrandingaustralia.com

t: +61 (0)7 3709 1003