As an HR/recruitment professional, you spend a lot of time, energy, and money trying to attract the right talent to your organization. But are you paying enough attention to what, in my opinion, is the most powerful attraction tool in your kit; your organization’s employment brand? A recent study from Glassdoor found that a strong employer brand not only attracted more applicants but those applicants would consider a job offer with a lower salary.
In the past, companies were able to craft their own employer brand messaging and present it behind closed doors during the interview process. The Internet has given job seekers access to an unprecedented amount of information. This means that often times job seekers have already made up their mind about a company before speaking to a Recruiter/HR or Hiring Manager.
How does this affect HR/recruitment teams? What can they do to turn this risk into a benefit?
Transparency is Key
People want to know the truth about a company. Job seekers are approaching the job search the same way they make a major consumer purchase. I can only think of three things more stressful (getting married, buying a house, starting a family) than switching jobs. Potential applicants no longer want to rely on the company’s career site. They want to learn about your company’s culture on platforms (e.g. social media, review sites, etc.) that they are comfortable with, and trust as a credible source of information. If they can’t find out about you, they will wonder, “what are they hiding?”
As a result of this shift, more HR professionals will be pulled into the realm of marketing. They will be forced into not just promoting jobs and talking about fair compensation (that’s table stakes) but also why those jobs matter at the company, how they lead to career growth, and what working at the company is really like.
HR professionals will need to showcase their organization’s corporate culture across a variety of channels (mainly social). This will need to be a multi-channel approach, possibly consisting of:
- Promoting jobs on Twitter and LinkedIn
- Highlighting Fun at Work or Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives on Facebook
- Sharing work culture on Instagram
For the employment brand-focused HR professional, here are some tips to help you review your company messaging and best mediums to communicate it:
- Google your company. What do you see? What can you find? What’s missing?
- Ask people who work at your company where they spend their time on social media (this will help determine which social media properties are most relevant for your organization).
- Do all the above on your mobile device because 45% of job seekers use their smartphones or mobile devices to search for jobs at least once a day.
- Measure your social media efforts to see what is working and adjust accordingly. You can leverage analytic tools within social media platforms or partner with marketing colleagues to get access to data on HR social campaigns.
- Remember that people love stories so work with your employees (your best advocates) to share their stories as to why they love working at your company.
Tied closely to transparency is the way a company treats applicants during each phase of the application process and into the onboarding stage. Understandably, not everyone is a fit, but all job applicants need to be treated with respect. Remember – if not a fit for the organization today, they could become a good fit a year or two down the road or perhaps they may know someone who is an excellent fit. If you treat your job applicants poorly they may not consider your company again (and will definitely not refer anyone to your organization).
Here are some tips for HR professionals and others who are evaluating their candidate experience:
- Apply to the organization’s jobs yourself, to test if the application process is easy and seamless. (Also apply on a mobile device!)
- Review communication to candidates who have applied and use recruitment tools like an applicant tracking system to personalize your automated responses.
- Survey candidates (not just the ones that were hired) who got through various stages of the interview process and ask them what they liked and what the organization can improve on.
- Work with the Hiring Managers (and anyone who interacts with applicants) to ensure they are providing timely feedback and acting as ambassadors for the company.
As HR/recruitment professionals we can either choose to ignore or embrace this trend towards more transparent and authentic conversations about your employment brand with potential job seekers. It is my belief that organizations who embrace these trends will thrive in the competition to engage and attract top talent.