A candidate’s perception during the application and hiring processes remains and will stay a major topic of conversation in the field of HR and recruiting. As most perpetually popular discussions go, the ideas fluctuate, mature, and change with the demographic that populates the workforce. Unfortunately, we’ve been talking about it all wrong. The candidate experience focuses on the applicant. While that’s certainly not a bad thing to do, what’s wrong with relating it to the employer brand? You can’t devise an entire brand off of one candidate experience. Your employer brand is formulated by all of your candidates’ experiences.
There Is Something To Be Said…
There is something to be said for how candidates as a whole see your branding. Nike isn’t famous for selling shoes to one person – yes, Michael Jordan promotes Air Jordans, but that’s not what I mean. Just the same, Apple isn’t famous for selling a single all-in-one computer system. These two companies are so well known because millions of people know and love the brand. Their customers have a positive experience with their brand. The customers of your employer brand are your candidates. If candidates are displeased with the employer brand, they aren’t going to want to work for you – i.e., buy your product.
So, evaluate the employer brand as a whole. The candidate might have a wonderful time during the interview, but what about the application process? How did they finally find your career page? Out of the roughly 7 billion people on this planet, there are 1.75 billion smartphone users. You cannot afford a non-responsive website anymore; at least create a career page. In the long run, 65% of job seekers who apply for new employment from their phone leave if the site is not responsive. Forty percent leave with a negative opinion of the employer brand. Take a look at the traffic on the career page. How many visitors? How long do they stay? These questions can give insight to what needs to be changed.
Then The Question Is…
Who are the employers that are nailing their branding efforts? Those organizations that take the time to develop relationships with candidates and communicate. The businesses that don’t take candidate applications for granted and not respond. The companies that take the time and energy to develop a career site that represents what applicants want from the organization. And it’s not just the big companies. They may have the big-brand name, but smaller businesses often offer more flexibility in schedules and the work-life balance new talent desires. Sometimes it’s even the smaller details that attract coveted talent. Many employees would rather work at a company between six and 100 people, 46% to be exact.
It doesn’t take an expensive budget to create a strong employer brand, either. Most of the employer brand doesn’t cost a dime. These following suggestions from Monster.com give a good starting point to restructuring or developing your employer brand:
- Clarify what you’re all about – define company culture before you experiment with it in the recruiting department.
- Leverage employees – your employees are your best ambassadors. Treat them well, and they will spread the word.
- Perfect your hiring process – clear and concise communication will help keep your hiring process painless.
- Make the most of social media – most platforms are free, so with a little time and dedication, it is a way to not only promote the employer brand but also to encourage employees to do so as well.
- Aim small, spend small – there is nothing wrong with targeting your job openings to niche job boards; in fact, they are less expensive and the candidates will likely have more specialized training.
Employer branding is critical to attaining top talent. That candidate experience is what has the most say in developing the brand. Invest the time and energy into creating a social media profile (and keep it relevantly updated), communicate with candidates, and update your career site. The tech-savvy candidates sending in applications to dozens of businesses will exit your website as soon as they realize it isn’t responsive.
Your candidates’ experiences say a lot about you… do you know what they are saying?
About the Author: A 20-year veteran of the recruiting industry, Greg Rokos provides strategic direction for GreenJobInterview® and is responsible for marketing its virtual interviewing solutions through client meetings, conferences, speaking engagements, key channel partnerships and other activities. Alongside fellow co-founder, Theo Rokos, Greg is one of the pioneers of cloud-based virtual interviewing.