I recently had a conversation with a candidate that brought to mind the importance of employer brand when it comes to recruiting. As I usually do when I’m speaking with a candidate I asked him why he would entertain a new position. (Typically I deal with passive candidates so it is important to find their motivation). Of all the answers I receive to this question his really stuck out to me. He responded:
“I was recently at a conference where one of your engineers delivered a presentation. I was so impressed by it that I knew your company would be one I would want to work with.”
So because you went to a conference where one of my co-workers was presenting you are now open to taking my call? You can imagine my happiness when I heard this because this was a highly qualified candidate that my company would be lucky to employ. He could have easily shrugged away my attempt to reach out to him but he didn’t because he held my company (brand) in high regard.
This is just one example of how your employer brand has an impact on recruiting, but there are a million more. As a result everyone in the company has a hand in building the employer brand. Whether it is that engineer at the conference or a disgruntled employee on Glassdoor; it’s easy to perpetuate the brand either positively or negatively. And I believe that starts internally. If employees enjoy where they work they are more likely to project those positive feelings into the world. Along with this and the company having a positive impact on their industry your employer brand will no doubt be viewed positively.
Below I present 5 ways on how your employer brand can impact your recruiting efforts:
1) Attracting Candidates
Along with situations like the one above, I also notice that my company receives a higher level of applications to our postings. As a recruiter who grew up on the agency side I know the downfall of relying on applications for quality candidates. However on the corporate side that is not the same case. Well qualified candidates see my employee name (brand) and are much more inclined to apply.
2) Call Backs
In recruiting the hardest part isn’t finding the candidate, it’s getting the candidate to respond to your call. I can recall countless situations when I worked for a recruiting agency where I got someone on the phone and they immediately hung up on me or got disgruntled once I said where I was calling from. They would snap at me about a poor experience they had with another agency, or worse yet another person from my agency. I may have had the best job for them, but they’ll never know because of the preconceived notions they have of my brand. Like the situation I opened this article with, if your employer brand is a positive one it allows candidates to open up more freely.
3) Employee Referrals
Employee referrals are key in recruiting. At the first agency I worked with they called it “good people know good people”. And this is true. I have hired over 10 employee referrals in 2015 and all have worked out successfully and decreased recruiting times tremendously. Your employer brand includes how you treat your employees. When your employees are speaking highly about the company they work for in front of others it makes others intrigued to work for your company. Treat your employee’s poorly and your employer brand is viewed negatively.
4) Getting Those Passive Candidates
The Holy Grail in recruiting seems to be passive candidates. Debate that topic if you want but you’ll get more people to agree than not. Like the situation above I was able to get this candidate who wasn’t looking to speak with me because of the way he viewed my company. Even when you aren’t actively looking you will still respond to job inquiries if they are good enough. Like me for example, if a recruiting agency sends me an email about a sales or recruiting job it goes right to the trash. However if Google or Apple come calling I will listen. I’m not looking to make a career change, but I am so impressed by their employer brands that I would at least take the call. And if you are a good recruiter you believe that all you need to do is get the candidate listening and you’ve got them.
5) Industry Longevity
In our market places we probably all know those handful of companies that are just awful to work for. Whether it is their reviews on Glassdoor or the 5 people you know who worked there and all share the same poor experiences, we know those companies exist. If you become that company you will eventually start hiring from the bottom of the talent pool rather than getting those employees who will make a positive impact on the company. How long can companies like this exist? If you are constantly hiring the bottom of the talent pool it is only a matter of time until your company folds.
Increasing your employer brand is all about how it benefits your company. Coming from a global, forward thinking telecommunications company I can tell you that we are always looking for the best and the brightest talent. The next person who is going to revolutionize our industry. While I realize this is not going to be the case for all hires, it can have a huge impact if you make even 1 – 2 of these hires per year. And that starts with how your brand is perceived in the market. Have a poor brand and you can forget about attracting the candidates who will make a positive impact.