Those candidates you most want to recruit? They’re also in demand by your competitors. And recruiting them doesn’t start with the first time you meet them at a career fair, through an independent recruiter or on their college campus. It starts long before that — because everything a candidate has ever heard, read or witnessed about your company will go into his or her decision to work with you. Before a job candidate ever knows you, he or she will know about your company.
In short, that’s why employer branding makes a difference in your recruiting efforts. But your employer brand is more than just a first impression. It will play an important role throughout the recruitment process. Three of the important stages of recruiting that are influenced by the employer brand include:
The information that job candidates hear about or read about your company will leave them with a basic impression of what it’s like to work there. If social media postings about working for your company are overwhelmingly negative, or if employee reviews of your company on Glassdoor repeatedly point out an important weakness, some candidates may choose not to interview with you. That’s why it’s important to monitor the online conversations about your company and respond to reviews online. Adding your voice to the conversation can give you some control over your company’s reputation as an employer.
In addition, if a job candidate has never heard of your company and has no frame of reference for what it’s like to work there, he or she may be wary of interviewing with you. No reputation at all may be better than a negative one, but the best scenario is to ensure that plenty of positive information is circulating about your company so that potential employees become familiar with your company, at least in name, and consider it a good place to work. To populate the Web with that positive information, as well as lead to positive word-of-mouth communication, take control of your employer brand and rely on employee ambassadors to help communicate your messages.
The type of offer you extend to a potential employee also represents your employer brand and is, of course, vital to successful recruitment. Does the offer constitute a competitive salary? Are the benefits generous, even unique? If not, you’re unlikely to recruit the most valued candidates and your employer brand will suffer.
If, on the other hand your offers of employment are generous and promise challenging jobs with opportunities for career development, personal development, and other features that are important to your audience (such as international work or work-life balance), your brand will shine and your recruiting efforts will succeed more often.
Savvy recruiters know that the corporate culture witnessed by job candidates plays an important role in their decision to accept a job offer or not. Your company’s culture is also a vital component of your employer brand. If your company is known for flexible work arrangements or strong employee camaraderie, those cultural benefits can help solidify your recruiting efforts.