Recruit top talent by channeling your inner marketer

Posted by Amanda Augustine

June 10, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

Ask yourself these questions to improve your recruitment marketing strategy.

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Today’s job market requires recruiters to become marketers and brand ambassadors for their employers in order to successfully find and attract the right candidates to fill their positions. Here’s how to define and market your company’s employer brand.

What exactly is an employer brand?

In its simplest terms, an employer brand is the way an organization is perceived by its prospective applicants, candidates, and employees. While company culture plays a major role in defining an organization’s employer brand, it’s not the only contributing factor. Your company’s reputation on and off-line and the candidate experience also influence this perception.

As a recruiter, part of your job is to help establish and advertise this brand to prospective candidates. Use the checklist below to evaluate and improve your employer brand.

Is your message well-defined and consistent?

The goal of an employer brand is to explain why your organization is such a great place to work and shed some light on the company culture. If no clear brand exists today, do a little research. Survey your current employees to determine how they view the culture and identify which perks to highlight. I recommend joining forces with your marketing department to develop specific messaging that can be used on your site, via social media, and as talking points when you communicate with prospective candidates. If you’re working with outside recruiting agencies, it’s imperative to ensure your brand message remains consistent.  

Is the brand story genuine?

According to a Glassdoor survey, 61 percent of employees said they’ve found aspects of their new job to be different than those expectations set during the interview process. Among the reasons included were: employee morale, job responsibilities, hours expected to work, career advancement opportunities, and company culture. Don’t make this mistake!  

Be authentic when telling your employer brand’s story. Every job will have its perks and its trade-offs. Downplaying or failing to disclose the less desirable aspects of a role will only cause a candidate to join the group with unrealistic expectations, setting them up for failure.

Has the company’s reputation been damaged?

A Glassdoor study confirmed that a poor reputation adversely affects a company’s ability to hire quality talent. Of the job seekers polled, 83 percent were wary of working for a company with a negative reputation and 55 percent said they’d reconsider their job application if the company had negative press. Make sure you know what’s being said about your organization. Check out the online reviews and set up Google News Alerts for your company name and its leaders. If you can find it online, so will your prospective candidates.

If your search unearths some unflattering results, be prepared to address them during the interview process. While you can’t suppress bad reviews, you can contribute to the conversation by encouraging the cheerleaders amongst your employees to share their positive experiences with the company online. You can also work with your PR team to increase your company’s media coverage for the right reasons.

Can candidates learn about your company and its opportunities through mobile?

A poor mobile experience can cost you a great candidate. Google’s mobile playbook found that 57 percent of customers won’t recommend businesses with poorly designed mobile sites and 40 percent have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience. As the percentage of your career site’s traffic from mobile continues to grow, so does the need to provide a mobile-optimized company and career site for prospective job seekers.

If you can’t switch over to mobile-responsive website design immediately, post your jobs for free on sites like TheLadders where your listings will be displayed to job seekers in a mobile-friendly format.  

Is the interview process clearly outlined?

Candidates are increasingly turning to the web and their networks to learn more about a particular employer and its interview practices before they pursue a job lead. Help prepare your candidates and set realistic expectations by making the interview – and follow-up – process transparent. This is especially important if you’re planning to hire entry-level professionals who are very new to the job-search process.

I recommend adding FAQs to your career site that explain what to expect during the interview process and provide tips on how to properly prepare. If you can’t update your site right way, consider adding this information to the email you send candidates when you’re scheduling the first face-to-face interview.

Your goal should be to provide a positive candidate experience to all applicants, whether or not they end up working for your organization. Remember, each applicant is a potential customer and an ambassador of your employer brand.

Looking for great talent? Join TheLadders for free today to search for candidates and post jobs.

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Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Her keen understanding of job seekers’ habits also provides insight into how recruiters can best find and acquire top talent. Catch her moderating TheLadders’ talent acquisition event series, JobMobile, and follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

Topics: Recruiting & Sourcing