Employer brand
By Gemma Morris
24th May 2014

No doubt your company has worked hard to develop its customer-facing brand. But equally important to the ongoing success, growth and prosperity of any business is a clear and well managed employment brand. If the top talent doesn’t want to work for you, your enterprise can’t reach its full potential.

Even the most successful businesses can find themselves spending inordinate amounts of time and effort repairing the cycle of damage caused by sloppy in-house hiring practices and those inadvertent actions that can make a promising recruit say ‘No thanks.’

In a recent poll on our website, three out of four jobseekers answered ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Have poor recruiting practices ever made you pull out of the hiring process?’ If you’re finding it difficult to attract and keep the best talent, it may be time to take a look at your hiring methods, retention rates, and the finer points of employment culture – and what impact they have on your employment brand.

Take note of this list of our top five employment branding danger areas.

  1. Don’t use empty-headed job specifications

Job specifications and job descriptions are vital tools for really selling a job opportunity and garnering interest among qualified candidates. Yet far too many job descriptions are written like hopeful shopping lists by people with no real interest or insight into the role. Don’t get caught in the trap of imagining that the supporting documentation for a role is secondary to the interview process in terms of refining the quality of your candidates. Sell the role from the outset and make it specific, relevant and dynamic.

  1. Don’t move the goalposts

All too often, new recruits report that roles are subject to significant change soon after, or even at, the point of employment. This is a direct symptom of the issues mentioned above regarding woolly or inaccurate job descriptions – the role being somehow allowed to transform organically, rather than being clearly indentified and quantified prior to the recruitment phase. Whilst new recruits are almost always willing to make reasonable adjustments, this kind of middle-ground fudging does nothing at all for reputation or retention.

  1. Don’t delay the inevitable

Heel dragging is never appreciated in the world of business – especially for job seekers. You wouldn’t keep an important client waiting on tenterhooks, for obvious reasons, and it’s important to realise it can be just as detrimental to your employer brand to do the same to a prospective employee. Simply put – don’t keep someone waiting for feedback after an interview, or take too long between phases of the hiring process. Not sticking to the programme once it’s been created can create the impression that your business is disorganised or uninterested. Don’t forget the power of word-of-mouth and social media to spread a negative experience about your company!

  1. Make your first impressions count

The old adage that you only ever get one chance at a first impression is particularly true when creating and maintaining a positive employer brand. You need to ensure that the real-life experience a prospective employee undertakes when they come for interview is every bit as well polished and professional as the impression given on your website. People need to feel welcome, expected and well looked after. The interest a top candidate has in working for you can be lost or diminished in moments by an unwelcoming or ill-informed colleague on reception, scruffy offices or poor signage. Don’t keep candidates waiting if they’ve arrived on time and remember to be interested and engaged yourself.

  1. Always be consistent

Inconsistency and inequality effortlessly drive wedges into even the most closely bonded professional relationships. Expect potential candidates to have made serious efforts to research your company and its roles, salaries and employment perks, as well as any other relevant or useful information. Make sure your policies are unilateral and, above all, transparently fair. Otherwise you run the risk of losing trust from new recruits and established colleagues alike.

Your business has a vested interest in attracting and retaining top talent. Limit the damage to your vital employer brand by sticking to the principles above, and gain ground on other employers that just go through the motions and expect the pieces of the metaphorical puzzle to fall into place. 

We’d love to hear from you on this. Have you ever withdrawn your name from consideration after witnessing a company’s recruiting or hiring practices? Why? And what are some of the characteristics of companies that have really impressed you?

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