Your marketing team has worked hard to ensure that marketing campaigns communicate exactly what your company promises to be–your company brand. So hard in fact, that people are listening and business is growing! Now your company needs to be on top of their game as they seek to attract and hire the right people–your employer brand.
When hiring–especially when hiring aggressively–the perception of your employer brand can start to go one of two ways: your employer brand is knocked as contrived marketing fluff; or embraced as an authentic representation of what your company is, who your people are, and how you seek to do business.
Frequently, the people applying for jobs at your organization are also the people most familiar with your company’s brand–and many times they are direct or indirect customers. They’ve received your marketing. Now, through the hiring process, they get to pull the curtain back and really see what’s going on. It’s important that you meet their expectations.
Delivering On Your Employer Brand Promise
Let us pretend that your company brand stands for integrity, prompt communication, truthfulness, and transparency. You’re on the hunt to hire people who exemplify those characteristics. As you begin the hiring process, you portray these characteristics yourself by outlining the stages of the hiring process and roughly how long each stage will take. Even if you were to reject an applicant at this stage, your employer brand has been upheld by communicating and being truthful. On target so far–your marketing department is loving this!
But the next thing you know, massive chaos has broken out across your organization. Maybe someone quit unexpectedly, or you’ve had a benefit provider change rates on you, or…chaos of whatever type. It’s all you can do to keep yourself from drowning, let alone notify individual applicants that the next stage in the hiring process has been delayed!
But you stay cool, and you find the few minutes it takes to update your applicants. Maybe it’s just a generic, automated email that’s sent out to all applicants remaining in the hiring process, but this simple effort supports your employer brand image. The applicants thank you, and the marketing team does too.
Breaking Your Brand Promise
But let us examine what might happen if you did not take those few minutes to send an update to the applicants.
Scenario 1: Your potential new hire may not trust you to be timely, transparent, or communicative– and that mistrust could remain once they’ve been hired as part of your organization.
Scenario 2: The applicant could assume that they weren’t selected, and that you–uncomfortable with confrontation–just didn’t want to break the news to them. This might lead them to take a position elsewhere.
Scenario 3 In the worst possible scenario, the applicant tells everyone they know about their negative experience thus far with your company, severely damaging your brand image. If you think this is hyperbole, think about a company that is hiring aggressively:
20 positions X 50 applicants = 1,000 brand promises broken
1,000 miffed people X 300 followers of miffed people = 300,000 people who now have a bad perception of not only your employer brand, but perhaps your overall company brand as well. Ouch.
What’s the Good Word?
Word-of-mouth is the oldest and still the hottest marketing tactic–good, bad, or otherwise. Your hiring process will likely touch a lot of people and generate conversations about your company. These conversations can either tarnish or reinforce your brand. Ensure a positive experience for your applicants–don’t keep them in limbo. By staying true to your employer brand, you will strengthen your company brand.
Looking for hiring software tools to improve and maintain your organization’s employer brand? Visit our resources page for more information about our applicant tracking system and pre-employment screening software, or contact us today.