When a candidate is investigating your employer brand, perception is reality. They are intensely curious as to what it might be like to work for you, but it is a sad fact that too few employers place much importance on how they are perceived. Their recruitment process is a one-way street of information gathering about candidates.
This is not conducive to an effective matching process – especially when perceptions are far from reality. When employers are in control of how they package and sell their employer brand, the probability of attracting and retaining the right people increases greatly. Here are seven ideas to let candidates peer behind the façade that little bit more:
Ensure everyone knows how to communicate your culture. When you have a number of employees involved in the recruitment process, it is not only important that they are comfortable spreading your employer brand, it is important that they are all saying more or less the same thing. This obviously comes from a strong company culture in the first place, but they also need to be instructed in the sorts of messages that an employer might want to share with prospective employees.
Ensure your culture is reflected in the recruitment process. One great way of selling your employer brand is ensuring that it is reflected at every stage of the recruitment process. Saying that you adopt a flexible attitude with employees and then being rigid with your organisation of interviews might set alarm bells ringing (for example). If you are transparent and authentic about your brand values, it should not be hard to demonstrate them at every opportunity through the process. If you have a fast and dynamic environment but a short disjointed process, this won’t align the best talent.
Set up a referral programme with a punch. Every employer needs employee advocates, and while your people might be happy to share your messages on social media out of goodwill, a generous referral programme lies at the heart of every great employer.
Create job descriptions that sell. The days of functional and dry job descriptions are over. In the social world of the job search, how you present opportunities has to stand out, and the language that you use has to draw people in. If you have lovingly crafted an individual job description (in text or on video) for each position, it is obvious that you care about getting the recruitment process right. If it is a “canned” version that could apply to any company, what extra reason are you giving someone to apply?
Be transparent. No one can be all things to all people, and if you are specific about the sort of employee that you want to attract it also means that you need to be specific about the types of people who might not fit. It is great to be an inclusive and equal-opportunities employer, as long as they fit with the team’s existing culture. Will they enjoy reporting into that manager? Be transparent – it will pay off.
Build your online presence. Along with a website, there are career page building apps that can be installed to your page at a nominal fee. These will allow you to advertise roles that are available to potential employees with all of the relevant information they seek such as benefits, company mission, vision, values and videos from existing staff on what it’s like to work there. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram also allow you to build your culture perception attracting potential candidates who want to be part of the community work your involved with, what social activities you do as a team and team outings. It all comes down to one simple question – “will I be happier if a move here?”
Make your employer brand message compelling and memorable. When someone is looking at a certain type of job with multiple employers, it is important that you give candidates as many reasons as possible to remember you (for the right reasons). Most people will make final decisions based on emotion rather than logic, so if your brand messaging has not made them “feel” that you are the one for them, they will be unlikely to join you. Job searches can take time – you need to be at the front of their mind.
Measure and refine your employer brand values. Company cultures are never set in stone. They flex and adapt depending on various factors and can often change from team to team. It is important for a HR department to keep their finger on the pulse of how it feels to work there, not only in regards to the overall company – but also specifically within each department, team and under each line manager. Ask your people about how it feels rather than telling them how they should be feeling. There is nothing worse than joining an employer and finding out that their external image does not measure up to how it was described. Awareness and authenticity is key.
Exit & Feedback from Interview process. Communicating efficiently and effectively with people who are both successful and unsuccessful is key. Many recruiters (both internal & external) simply “set and forget” employees who are rejected, making them wait 2-4 weeks for feedback or not giving them feedback at all. This is an infuriating and frustrating experience for candidates actively looking. By simply closing off this process in the right way, you are already differentiating your brand in the market.
If a candidate has a deep understanding of what an employer is about, they will be able to make their decision about whether it is a good idea for them to join. This will lead to longevity and reduce turnover.
Are you conveying everything that you could about your employer brand?