How to present and protect your brand throughout the recruitment process
Safeguarding your employer brand throughout the recruitment process and clearly communicating your organisation's values to both existing and potential employees is key to shaping the overall perception of your company in the marketplace. This can have a huge impact on your ability to attract and retain the very best talent.
The experience of a candidate before, during and after the recruitment process can play a significant part in how your business is perceived externally.
The best talent is highly sought after, even if the employment market is flat, so it is vital that your organisation provides a positive experience for candidates applying for roles and throughout the entire recruitment process. This is the only way you will ensure that you secure the right people for your organisation.
Where you place your job ad and how it is presented plays a critical role in attracting the right talent. There is nothing worse than a vague job spec that is littered with typos. Indeed the description of the role is the biggest influencer on a candidate's decision as to whether to apply.
Many organisations use jobs boards, but experienced recruitment consultancies are still regarded as the most useful source of vacancies by professionals seeking new roles. It is important to choose your recruiter wisely - and preferably choose one that has genuine expertise in your sector, so they will be able to handpick the outstanding candidates and really test their knowledge in a preliminary interview.
Responding to applicants
With employers and candidates increasingly using LinkedIn, it's tempting to get your job on your company page as soon as your vacancy is live. However as with job boards, it is pointless advertising your position and encouraging applicants if you don't have the capacity to respond to applications. It doesn't look good if you don't get back to them at all.
Indeed responding quickly to job applications is incredibly important, because candidates can look upon tardy responses as an indication of a lack of interest or just general disorganisation. Worse still, you could miss out on the best candidates if other companies are moving more quickly.
Equally not letting unsuccessful candidates know that you'll not be taking things further is both impolite and detrimental to your reputation. And it's much better to send an automated rejection letter for unsuccessful applicants than no response at all.
The hiring process
We've all heard the horror stories of candidates being kept waiting for ages without explanation, interviewers being distracted by their phone or even leaving an interview for a length of time without any explanation or apology. What a company must realise is that a potential employee is interviewing them too - it's not a one-way street.
There's nothing worse than taking the time to go to an interview and finding that the interviewer is unprepared. Furthermore a lengthy process can be off-putting and a lack of feedback when a candidate has made the effort to come in for an interview (or several) and then hears nothing at all ever again will not put your company in a good light.
Do give feedback, do be prepared for the interview and do keep the process short, snappy and thorough. That way, you'll secure top-flight candidates and retain them. The interview process is often a very good indication of how a company views its staff.
And finally, it is essential to note that the majority of job seekers discuss their experiences during a hiring process - be it with their friends, colleagues and acquaintances or online. This clearly shows how employers' interactions with candidates - from communication, organisation and speed of the recruitment process to their experiences when being interviewed - can impact their brand, in both a positive or negative way. And remember, word of mouth still reigns supreme!