Shaping your Employer Brand through recruitment

Photo by Esther Tuttle

Think of each and every job applicant your organisation has had over the years and consider how you handled each and every one of them. Did you ensure that the job applicant’s first impression of the company was positive? Was the experience of those who were not employed positive too?

In today’s competitive job market, the role of HR in building an employer brand is becoming more important than ever. Apart from the obvious: a good employment reputation (starting from the offer, the onboarding process to managing employee relations), the recruitment process is one of the biggest influencers on your employer brand. The way you want to portray and promote your brand in the job market needs to be well appreciated and fully understood by the team, be it internal or external, that handles your recruitment process.

We are aware that there are many opportunities for job candidates to interact with the company: your website, your Facebook or LinkedIn page and via your current employees.  The fulcrum we need to consider is ‘how’ to handle the application.

First impressions have a strong impact on job candidates. The way you handle their application will subconsciously influence and determine whether they’re interested in continuing with their application. Once you have handled that experience positively, then the recruiter’s role to influence the job applicant to join your company, and not your competitors becomes far easier task to handle. The main concern we are addressing and avoiding here is not that of losing the candidate to your competitor, but the negative ‘review’ the candidate could give your company. The recruitment process may change the candidate’s mind about the way they view your company.

Going through the following check-list before meeting job applicants will ensure you have a positive communicative with the applicants:

  1. Which recruiting method/s you are using;
  2. How user-friendly the application process is;
  3. How and when you acknowledge applications received;
  4. The interview experience - how you conduct interviews by ensuring it is being done in a fair, unbiased, and professional manner;
  5. How and how often do you update and inform the applicants throughout the process, especially if the process takes longer than expected.

Always remember that your potential candidates are also other companies’ potential candidates.  A lengthy process that drags on for several weeks could possibly result in having valid applicants taken up by your direct competition. It is critical that you communicate with your job applicants throughout the recruitment process.  This in itself will show a professional approach and will indirectly also strengthen your employer brand. The same applies also when the selection process is over and the way you inform unsuccessful candidates.  The decline message will leave the last impression of the company in the candidate’s mind. It is therefore very important that this is done in a positive, encouraging manner and not through the standard ‘copy and paste’ rejection letters.  A personal touch will help promote your employer brand even in these circumstances.

To synthesize the above, the recruitment process is an important element that contributes to the enhancement of the employer brand. The main goal of an employer brand is to attract and select the best candidates for your company.

A personal touch with the candidates throughout the recruitment process makes a big difference. The candidate experience you create is your employer brand.