The importance of employer branding in the digital age

The world of Recruitment offers us a very unique vantage point into how companies are perceived by potential candidates. There are several websites that people search to gain insights into potential employers based on the views of employees, former employees, candidates, and former candidates.  Banister International consults with a number of our clients on the best approach to the selection of new employees to ensure that the process is run efficiently and expeditiously, with a focus on quality results.  Many interviewers solely focus on the evaluation of the candidate and lose the opportunity to gain insights into what the cultural differentiators are for people who join their company.

A process that focuses on being diligent in evaluating a candidate, along with providing the values, mission, and strategy of your organization will differentiate you in the eyes of candidates.  Training every interviewer on how to do this is critical to a successful process and more importantly, how people perceive you and talk about their experiences on social media.   Many organizations take this very seriously and are committed to providing a positive experience to all candidates. Yet, you would be surprised by how many companies don’t.  We hear from candidates post-interview about Hiring Managers being late, ill-prepared, and interrogative in style.  The candidates then tell us that they aren’t a cultural fit for the organization if the Hiring Manager is representative of its culture.

As a first step to mitigating this situation, Banister International provides our clients with an unedited review of social media platforms and websites, and an analysis of trends, themes, and comments that are directly impacting their Employment Brand.  We then facilitate a session with them to identify the gap between what they want their brand to be versus what the market is saying.   We follow up with a series of activities to address those gaps and move their brand back to where they want it to be.

Those activities can be a communications strategy out to the employment market on work the company is doing to advance social causes or charitable work that they do as a team.   It could be about planning activities in the local community to reinforce the commitment the company has to being a part of the community.   It is also about training everybody involved in the hiring process on the role they play in making it a positive experience for all stakeholders.   No matter the outcome, you want the candidate to walk away from the interaction feeling good about the company and themselves.    Even if that candidate isn’t hired, if their experience is positive, they will tell people about it.

The exact opposite is also true.   There was a study carried out years ago that said if a customer has a positive experience with you, they will tell 3 people about it; if the experience is negative, they will tell 10 people.   This study pre-dates the proliferation of social media.   So, in an age where information is quickly and easily shared, imagine how a candidate reacts when the Hiring Manager is 10 minutes late, ill-prepared, brusque, and doesn’t follow through on promises made at the end of the interview.  They are going to take to social media and share that experience and the impact on the Employment Brand can follow the company for years.

As we have all seen, brands that were once highly regarded can quickly lose their gold-star image, through social media campaigns by those who believe the brand is no longer a standard bearer.   This is not only true about corporate brands, but also incredibly relevant to a company’s employment brand.  A well-structured, timely, tightly managed selection process that is based on a clearly defined role profile and a well-prepared competency selection model will ensure that all who experience it will walk away believing that they have been properly considered, treated professionally, and no matter the outcome, become a positive ambassador for your employment brand.

Banister International is a global executive-retained search firm with 30 years of experience in partnering with clients to transform their businesses by identifying high-potential talent. If you would like to discuss how to implement the strategies shared in this article, get in touch today.

Author: Patrick Sylvester, CEO, Banister International