Whether during a robust or down-trending economy, the hiring experience is important in order to appeal to the best-of-the-best talent. In this post, we explore methods to tie employer branding into the hiring experience; e.g., sourcing, recruiting, interviewing and onboarding top talent. Doing so will help ensure your company is marketplace competitive.
After all, without good people at the heart of your company who are focusing on your mission, values and goals, the pulse of your company will begin to retreat - organizational value will wane. Identifying and then attracting talent through experiential processes will nurture the candidate while also pumping lifeblood into your employer brand, and vice versa.
Sourcing and Recruiting
1. Tailor Communications
While wringing value from an employee is one key method to ensure the vitality of a company's bottom line, focusing on that as primary messaging is not advisable. Meaningful sourcing engagement versus transactional interaction will impress upon candidates that you care about them as people versus simply using them as resources.
Therefore, at the sourcing and courting stage of recruitment, companies must vigilantly tailor their employer communication strategies.
Hitching your recruiting wagon to modern recruiting technology can help ease the stress of creating these customized communications. For example, recruiting software company, Lever enables a nurturing, custom and cadenced approach to candidate reach-out that includes easily-adaptable templates and an ability to send messages on behalf of an executive.
[Read more: 10 Ways to Get Started with Employer Branding]
2. Be Transparent
"Thanks to social media and review sites, companies are now under pressure to pay more attention to how they treat candidates throughout the entire lifecycle of the recruitment process and beyond," says Jan Tegze, senior recruiting manager, in The Importance of Transparency in Employer Branding.
"A large percentage of job seekers, for instance, use Glassdoor to check out potential employers and find out more about the true nature of the company. Take advantage of this opportunity to lift the veil a bit. By allowing potential candidates to see that you value transparency within the workplace, your chances of recruiting success increases," continues Tegze.
In addition to recruiting top talent, quality-driven transparency cultivates innovation across the enterprise. And, without innovation, companies stagnate, which is a death knell to competitive marketplace positioning.
Moreover, "Creating a memorable and transparent employer brand keeps candidates-passive and active-informed and excited about what your company stands for and what your company delivers to its employees and community," says Sheridan Gaenger in Mastering Your Employer Brand to Fuel Talent Acquisition.
Intentionally pour your transparency-laced, branded content into the pool of social networking, content marketing, career websites, et. al, spotlighting and advocating employees and programs, "events as well as traditional mediums such as press, logos and events, showcasing your brand at every moment possible," continues Gaenger.
3. Be Unique
"Standing out from the crowd is much better than doing what everyone else is doing. Offering unique perks or benefits to your potential candidates or creating an off-centre image online are great ways to attract the best of the best," according to Employer Branding in the Recruitment Process.
4. Be Prepared
Breezing into the interview without a clue as to the candidate's background or resume content exudes lackadaisical whimsy, and it's never clever nor cute. Instead, take 15 minutes to delve into the candidate's story to ensure your questions are focused, personalized and meaningful. Only then, will the candidate believe your brand messages around a listening, caring organization, and will exit the interview with a sense of interest versus disappointment.
Ensure that your interviewers (recruiters, hiring managers and executives) are trained to "tell a consistent story about your organization and why it's a great place to work," advises Marielle Leon in 10 Ways to Get Started With Employer Branding. This will help avoid missteps between those in the hiring seat as well as seeds of doubt about the validity of the company's brand that may take full root once a candidate leaves the interview-meeting doors.
5. Up the Ante
And, as virtual interviews continue to be the norm, consider methods to up the ante.
Deploy virtual interviewing techniques that improve the candidate's perception of your brand, suggests Gaelle Blake, director of permanent appointments, Hays UK&I, in the article, Interviewing Remotely? Eight Ways to Bring Your Employer Brand to Life. This may include "short introductory videos" recorded by hiring managers and interviewers prior to the remote interview. It may also include providing virtual access to senior leadership, an opportunity that may have more naturally happened in a face-to-face interview, among other techniques.
Moreover, identify themes that recur from interview to interview, which will better help you build a more constructive strategy for sourcing and attracting the right candidates and create a more meaningful, win-win hiring process, which reflects on your long-term employer brand.
[Read more: How to Conduct Better Virtual Interviews]
6. Keep Communication Seamless & Transparent
Virtual interviewing and modern onboarding processes must keep pace with a new future, and it is important to advertise that your company is staying current in order to attract forward-thinking candidates. This includes accelerating onboarding in concert with the hiring journey.
Technology is changing the way the entire process unfolds. Recruitment specialists are having to embrace technology where they can to ensure a streamlined process so that by the end of the hiring journey, onboarding steps have already begun.
"Your recruiters can augment virtually as well," says Karen Power, senior VP of talent at Novant Health in the HR Exchange Network article on healthcare recruiting. "After all, they really should be relationship managers to the new hires already. I wouldn't recommend skipping any critical steps such as background checks, but you really can design to do many steps in a parallel versus traditional linear approach."
"Transparency should be a continuous thing, even from when the onboarding of fresh hires begins," asserts Tegze, noting the importance of company goals being articulated to your new hire in a way that aligns with their aspired-to workplace culture.
[Read more: 3 Strategies for Acing Remote Workforce Onboarding]
Closing the Loop
Be intentional, focused and responsive throughout the recruitment process, from initial sourcing exchanges through to the interview and all the way to the offer and onboarding. If the conversation concludes without a job offer, don't leave the candidate wallowing in a sea of uncertainty because the response times are long, which, according to Mindscope, accounts for greater than 50 percent of candidates surveyed rate as the most frustrating aspect of the hiring process.
Take charge of your employee brand today or others will control it for you. Savvy organizations are shaping their value-add stories on Glassdoor. Be the author of your own story! Sign up today for a Free Employer Account >