When employer branding can be a waste of money

Companies currently spend a lot of time and money on employer branding. But if you neglect the experience a candidate has through your recruitment process your investments might be fruitless.

mployer branding is a hot item, you have to be present everywhere: both on- and offline. You have to be active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, conferences, campuses and more. Huge investments are made without a second thought because it’s key to success. Employees are urged to share and post on social media. Dedicated event officers and employer branding specialist are hired. But what’s often forgotten is the process after getting the attention of the highly desired candidate. More specifically, what’s the impression top talents get from your organisation once they hit the apply button?

The key argument I want to make here is that employers who pilot their applicants smoothly through the selection process are much more likely to get talent on board. Employer branding is not a single point in the candidate journey. It’s the whole journey.

What about your response to an application letter? Do you send an acknowledgment of receipt, and if yes what does it say? Is your response in line with your employer branding?

Wouldn’t it be much nicer to show top talent your appreciation and say you will respond within 48 hours instead of “we will contact you as soon as possible”?

And what if the candidate is not the top talent you’re desperately looking for? How do you go about in rejecting her?

After reading the CV and motivation you decide within 48 hours: fit or not fit for the job. You might think that the applicant is not fit for your vacancy. But do you consider whether she is definitely a fit with the company? If the latter is the case, do you then call on your corporate recruiter to find alternative options within the company? — or is your answer just “reject”? Do you give a clear reason why you reject this candidate? Remember, rejecting a applicant is also part of the candidate journey. Your approach should thus fit the image you want to leave behind, it should match your employer branding. And it’s possible when you communicate in a clear and pleasant to reject an application without leaving behind a nasty feeling.

Interview phase:

Did you reserve space in your schedule for interviews the instant you posted a vacancy? And what about the 2nd round? My suggestion is that if a top talent is introduced to you or applies to a vacancy, invite her within one week for an interview. In this way you will stay in charge and prevent them signing a contract elsewhere halfway your procedure.

This approach will enable you to complete the selection procedure within 10 days and outrun competitors hunting for the same scarce talent.

Do you recruit via an agency? The recruitment agency will be the showpiece of your company. The first people top talent will meet. Recruitment agencies are loyal to their clients but how can they promote your company if you let them wait for over 3 weeks before providing feedback? How can they in other words provide candidates a pleasant candidate journey on behalf of your company? Top talents that apply via a recruitment agency get a poor impression of an employer if the procedure drags on for weeks.

Advice: Before you publish a job add, reserve time for CV-selection, 1st and 2nd round interviews and follow up. Keep the recruitment agency in the loop when you’re working with one. Leverage their time and expertise to your own benefit. Remember that top talent is hard to find. So, if you really want to recruit top talent you really have to be fast. And don’t forget rejected candidates. They can be a positive reference for your company if you remain faithful to your brand as an employer.

Lisette Spoelder, Director People in Science

More advice on how to get Top Talent on board? Contact People in Science, we love to help!