Employer brand is now at the center of any great recruitment strategy and savvy employers are capitalizing on the effectiveness of their brand to attract top candidates. Understanding the perception of your organization can impact both the recruiting and the retention process. Effective branding in recruitment is not about gimmicks, but rather it’s a complete strategic approach.
More than ever, we are faced with a workforce that want to work with organizations who fit their personal values. Millennials in specific seem to be more likely to seek other options, such as starting their own companies, if they can’t find workplaces that accommodate their personal preferences. They can also be very loyal and dedicated to companies that are a good fit.
As such, it is increasingly important to present an all-around brand experience while you hire to attract and engage the right candidates. Before you interview, candidates should already have a clear picture of your company culture and employer brand.
Company brand ideas to consider:
- Your brand should be reflected in your recruitment choices:
- Where are you advertising?
- How does your ad build expectations about your culture?
- How simple and accessible is your application process?
- What is your response and interview process?
- What impressions will your candidates experience in the what, where, and how of your recruitment process? What will they learn?
- Your website:
- Make sure it us updated and easy to navigate for all users (inclusive of ADA accommodation requirements!)
- Is your brand and culture communicated in a manner that targets the appropriate audience?
- Will candidates be able to identify with the company’s reputation and vision?
- Do you have a social media presence?
- There is a difference between your presence and your online brand. Brand can be seen as what your company’s marketing department sends out. Presence also incorporates how others such as employees and customers support your brand online. They can be your strongest ambassadors. Your employees need to understand what your brand stands for and what you are trying to achieve to feel comfortable expressing it – you need their buy in. Attempting to suppress their input and output is a recipe for disaster. Don’t forget this critical aspect of your online and social media activity.
- Build company branded profile pages online. More organizations are turning to Facebook and similar sites to engage with their networks. This reinforces your corporate message and culture along with adding exposure to job opportunities.
- Are you maximizing your employee and customer ambassadors offline?
- Many companies capitalize on employee referral programs and reputation with customers to advocate their brand and attract candidates who fit the culture. If they understand the brand and opportunities, employees and partners can help draw in engaged candidates from their networks!
- Know your audience.
- Think about the sort of person that you’re trying to attract. What will their career goals be? How can your company’s vision align with their short term and long term needs? Being able to speak their language through your recruiting process is key.
- Be consistent.
- Every interaction with candidates should reflect a consistent brand. The visual identity and tone needs to project a clear message. This is why it is imperative to incorporate internal employee discussions and their projections of your company in its entirety when building brand. Does your employer brand state that employees are your most important asset? Having unprepared interviewers who are easily distracted or run late to interviews will tell the candidate otherwise. Does your brand advocate customer service and care for customers? Having a candidate overhear employees complain about customers during a realistic job preview will disprove that.
- Use of video and Youtube.
- This is a fantastic way to engage, relate, and tell stories that go beyond your job ad while staying on brand. Let your employees tell the story with personal insights that resonate with candidates. Link the video to your website, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages. It’s like a prequel to a Realistic Job Preview.
- Is philanthropy or community an important aspect of your culture? Don’t just say it, show it. Showcasing employees in your chosen charities and what it means to them reinforces the culture and appeals to a large segment of current job seekers.
What has become increasingly clear is that assimilating into a company’s culture is no longer just a reactive, post-hire experience for employees. It starts proactively for candidates in the recruitment and hiring process. Having your brand reflected throughout your recruiting not only attracts candidates who can engage with and support the brand, it helps with retention by setting clear expectations early in the employment relationship.