How is your branding in the eyes of potential employees?
Employer branding has become an important part of a company’s strategies, whether they’re a multi-national or a small 50-people business. It is key to their success. Companies are spending a vast amount of time in the board-room, figuring out retention strategies based on what their employees feel and think about the employers that they are dependent on for a livelihood.
Many articles have been published globally about the image that employers portray to their employees. This is done to the extent that studies and surveys have been conducted globally at enormous cost to determine who the Best Employer is.
Here is the “but” you have accurately predicted: what do potential employees think about those companies?
This is a fairly complex subject as external advertising, brand image and product all play a part in attracting good talent. All of which is expensive and seen as a crucial element of a company’s strategy to get their brand and product to market.
If, however, you treat a potential employee poorly in the employment process, you can kiss good-bye to all of that money your company has spent.
Social media in this case could be the enemy of the state. One opinion could become a thousand opinions within an hour.
I was fairly recently in a recruitment supplier meeting at a large multi-national insurance firm at which they launched their new brand strategy. This was presented so we as recruiters could understand where the company was headed and be able to sell the opportunities to potential candidates. Too few companies do this, so hats off to them! In the briefing, the Head of HR stated, “If we treat candidates badly, they may not only refuse to work for us now and in the future, but we may also lose a potential client.”
Wow! What a statement –
So what is it that companies could do better to hold the attention of great talent? What is it that companies do to retain good clients? In my opinion, it is the same thing – the question answers itself.
If you treat a client badly they will not come back. If you treat a candidate badly, by delaying the process, they will not come back. Hiding behind policy or recruitment portals and not giving constructive feedback, you may as well tell your marketing department that they have wasted their budget.
In the recent 2015 LinkedIn 2nd annual survey on Talent trends, a section talks about exceeding talent’s expectations and goes on to say:
“The organisations that win top talent today are the ones that know how to surprise and delight their candidates throughout the job search journey.
Offering interview feedback to talent is one way to show you care about a professional’s success, whether or not they end up working with you.
94% of talent wants to receive feedback but only 41% actually has received feedback.
Tip: Look out for even more opportunities to give talent a valuable experience with your organisation. The people you do not hire have just as much influence on your company’s reputation and talent brand as those who do join your team.”
It is easy to blame a skills shortage or poor recruitment suppliers but is that really what is wrong? It is easy to hide behind short emails, automated responses from a recruitment portal or expecting recruitment partners to elaborate on stunted feedback. The fact is that the company is who the talent is looking at. The policy is not to blame and the strategy is not to blame. It is the execution of the process that is the problem.
So, the next time your company sets off on an exercise to retain their employees using employer brand as the key driver, ask them what their strategy on potential employee branding is.
Alan Russell is the Managing Director of Antal South Africa, www.antal.com.
This article appeared in the November 2015 issue of HR Future magazine.