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Employer brand: How’s your hiring process?

Posted on 30th March 2022

Consider this obvious but hidden fact: everybody who interacts with your company forms an opinion of it. Depending on the business you're in, you're probably very aware of this when it comes to your clients and customers, but it's true of your current, former, and future employees too. They're the ones who know the brand most intimately, and for better or for worse, they're some of its most credible ambassadors.

One great opportunity to forge relationships is the hiring process. Initial impressions of the company and its values are created in every interaction between hiring managers and candidates. With a little intentionality, you can ensure these impressions are positive ones.

Most businesses have put time, money and expertise into crafting a brand that connects with consumers on multiple levels, from appeals to individual logic and emotion to external social and cultural clout. But there's a secondary brand, the employer brand, that businesses frequently neglect.

The main channel for employer branding is feedback from current and former employees--what they say on LinkedIn, in exit interviews, and among themselves on the job. Obviously, you don't have control over that. But you do control the tone and messaging of outreach to new candidates, whether company social media boosts positive employee feedback, and how the company describes itself to external recruitment partners.

All of these are important considerations when developing a brand--and a strong reputation--as an employer.

One way to focus your employer brand and get it out into the world is through recruitment marketing. Most people think of recruitment marketing as a tactic to get a choice of people in for interviews, but it can be much more holistic than that. After all, recruitment also covers training internal talent and maintaining a suite of benefits and a company culture that keeps your best people around for the long haul.

Right now, competition between companies for talent is especially fierce, especially at the managerial and executive level. Businesses need to be creative, both in terms of how they pitch and what they offer. Employer brand can make the difference for a candidate between two role possibilities that both offer great benefits and pay

Candidates know that companies will do everything they can to paint themselves in a good light in the interview process, just as they'll do for the companies. Strong employer branding operates with an understanding that they will use their own professional networks, and discussion on job board and social media sites, to research options ahead of time.

Just like a good product sells itself, a great workplace is its own best marketer.

As a hiring professional, you can boost your employer brand by doing a “candidate-centric” analysis of your hiring process, looking at each step candidates take and asking yourself whether each element sells the company effectively. Are you communicating in a timely fashion with candidates? Are you putting them through too many interviews or keeping them waiting? If you’re not sure, try conducting candidate surveys, asking those who weren’t hired as well as those who were.

Once you’ve found the weak points in the process, work with leadership to create standards or goals to overcome them. Fortunately, most hiccups in the hiring process come down to a simple lack of organisation or communication, and are quite easy to fix.