There’s been a lot of talk in the media about brand image marketing for your company. For most companies, this can be an abstract concept, or at best, an idea for a logo to include in your ads. Corporate branding is more about communication. What do you want to portray to the outside world?
For this article, we’ll focus on how you communicate with potential employees and how that represents your brand. Are your job descriptions an accurate list of duties and responsibilities? How does a candidate know what’s expected when they see your postings? Keeping your business a mystery will not encourage more and better candidates to apply to your company.
The more you communicate, the higher quality of candidates you’ll attract. Do your ads portray a sense of your culture and what it’s like to work at your company? Do they feature a particular technology or a unique selling proposition that makes your firm the best place to work?
We aren’t saying every company needs foosball, ping pong tables, and one day a week for creative projects. We do suggest you learn how to portray your company culture, its environment, and the type of work you offer so the “right” candidate has an emotional response when they see your vacancy announcement. You want the right candidate to say, “Hey, that sounds like the perfect job/career for me.”
Once you have their attention, how will you reel them in? Do you expect everyone to fill out a tiresome application online? Candidates are bouncing from ATS (applicant tracking system) to ATS seeking a more personalized approach more than ever before, and those with high-demand skill sets feel it’s time to push back. They may not be willing to submit resumes into a black hole and wait for an unknown amount of time for a response, especially if they’ve previously dealt with companies who don’t even bother to respond to candidates at all. (What goodwill does that gain for anyone’s brand?) Companies like Facebook use internal competitions to attract and evaluate the best talent, which is a creative, engaging way to attract candidates to your business.
We suggest you make it as quick as possible for suitable candidates to submit a resume; by “suitable,” we mean those who have the minimum qualifications you need to move forward. Try creating three to five qualifying questions to weed out those who aren’t really interested. If those qualifying questions are well-written, then your applications will come from relevant, serious parties.
Once you filter the resumes and identify potential candidates, what will you do? Will you wait until all the applications are in – possibly in one or two weeks from now? Or will you create a sense of urgency and reach out to the right people? After all, this is the “courtship” phase of the recruitment process. You want to wow people and make them feel wanted, so reach out quickly and set up initial calls. Keep your messaging formal and friendly at all times while communicating your intent to move forward.
Now that you have your three to five candidates screened, you’ll need to move forward to the in-person phase. How will you communicate your intentions?
Will it be, “Hello Mr. Jones, your interview is arranged for blah, blah, blah?”
Or will you keep it going by being formally friendly? “Hi Jim, I really enjoyed our conversation and can’t wait for you to meet our team next Tuesday. You can dress casually. Be prepared to meet several people.”
Keep the candidate interested, excited, and ready to meet you, which will hopefully keep them from taking calls from pesky recruiters or taking offers from your competitors.
When those selected candidates arrive to interview, they should have a positive perception of your company. Don’t take your foot off the gas now, maintain the tempo and get your team involved. That means making sure the receptionist knows who’s coming in and when. Imagine if the candidate is greeted by name, or you have their name up on the welcome board. Your aim is to make them feel wanted so they already feel like they’re part of the team.
Communication is not just the words that come out of your mouth. The content on your webpages, your workplace atmosphere, the timeliness of your discourse, even your customer reviews all communicate your brand. Your potential employees will be interacting with all these aspects before deciding if your job is right for them. When looking for high-quality talent, step back and look at your messaging.
Is it shouting, “We are a boring place with no interest in who we hire and no upward movement or impact?” Or do you want to tell them how awesome it is to work at your company? These touchpoints are where you attract or discourage candidates from applying. It is the difference between high-quality candidates sticking through the application process or moving on to another opportunity.