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How Your Recruitment Process Can Damage Your Brand

If you work in recruitment or have any interest in your company's employer brand, you're probably familiar with GlassDoor. It's a review site for employees and job applicants to rate their experience of employers anonymously.

In the same way that a series of poor TripAdvisor scores can scupper a hotel's chance of attracting visitors, so consistently poor feedback from candidates will have an impact on your ability to attract talent.
 
It doesn't stop with GlassDoor. Google Reviews, LinkedIn, and all manner of other social media are being used by your employees and applicants to share their experiences of you. And while most companies can expect one or two bad reviews from disgruntled individuals without too much impact, consistently negative feedback will damage your employer brand.  And put off good talent.

Will Potential Employers Check My Social Media Profiles?

And yet it can easily be avoided. Many of the mistakes employers make stem from thinking about recruitment in the wrong way, or not thinking about the process enough - how important it is and what it says about the way you do business.

Recruitment as a two-way process

Some inexperienced recruiters - and some who should know better! - see the recruitment process as one in which they hold all the power.

In an environment where there are many potential applicants, all of whom have the right skills, that may well be the case. But examples of this are few and far between, particularly when you are looking for the more experienced level of candidate and wanting to attract the best in a competitive market.

For professional positions such as marketing and events jobs, you're looking for the best possible candidate to fill your role. The best candidates, of course, will have their choice of roles and companies, and one of your objectives should be to prevent your competitors from securing superior talent.

So, while applicants have to show you why they are the ideal candidate for your role, it's equally important that you demonstrate why you're the best company.

Yes, it's obvious. But too many organisations get it wrong.

Help candidates give their best

In our experience, interviews that aim to trip candidates up rarely bring out the best in people. We're not suggesting that interviews should not be challenging, and clearly, you should pick up any inconsistencies or possible competence gaps.  But we recommend you brief your candidates in advance about your expectations and the general format of the interview to avoid any nasty surprises.

How to deal with a nervous interviewee
 
We've rarely seen an adversarial interview attract the best candidate and it is likely to put many good people off your organisation for good. Also, playing out 'good cop, bad cop' scenarios for example in a panel interview can give an off-putting and confusing view of the company culture.

Get back to applicants

A quick straw poll of candidates reveals that employers not getting back to them is the number one irritant. Most job hunters realise these days that some roles get dozens or hundreds of applications and so they might not hear anything back. We'd always recommend, at the very least, that an automated system acknowledging receipt of their application and clarifying timescales and process should always be in place.

And if a candidate has made an effort to attend an interview, and probably gone to some expense to do so, it's not unreasonable of them to expect a personal yes or no answer.

You might want to manage their expectations of when they might hear from you during the interview, but they do deserve a response even if it is just an update on the current timeline if that changes, and an appropriate 'thank you for your time' should be a minimum expectation for unsuccessful candidates

Give feedback

Lack of feedback came through as number two in the list of candidate frustrations.
 
Feedback has reduced in the last few years, and one of the key drivers is that employers are becoming more fearful of their feedback being used as evidence of discrimination.

The fact is, you should always be able to demonstrate your recruitment decisions are always made on an objective basis. And if you can do that you should be able to provide objective feedback too.

Why do I never get feedback from job interviews?
 
Treat successful candidates well and unsuccessful candidates even better!
Some employers express surprise that having offered a candidate position, they don't hear back, or their new signing does not arrive on the day. While we would not condone this behaviour, it does emphasise the importance of keeping in touch with candidates in between offer and their first day.
 
This onboarding communication helps to address that post-decision dissonance that can lead people to change their minds after accepting your offer, as for many good candidates a counter offer may well occur.
 
If anyone is going to post negative reviews, however, it is most likely to be unsuccessful candidates. So it's important to treat them with respect too, not only to avoid negative publicity but because it's the kind thing to do.
 
And remember, one day you may find them on the other side of the desk, either as a prospect or even your interviewer!

There is an easier way

A reputable recruitment consultancy like Regan & Dean will take on much of this work for you, briefing candidates in advance of your interviews, and sharing feedback both ways to ensure all parties are fully informed and engaged. We communicate with successful and unsuccessful candidates for you, making sure they stay engaged with the process even if it is lengthy, and remain positive about the organisation if it is a 'no'.  And we keep in contact with the person you appoint until they start with you - and onward during those critical settling in first months.  

It is often purely a lack of time that means you can't completely protect the image of your brand during the recruitment process - working with a quality recruitment consultancy to manage communications over this busy time can give your brand the added protection it can need throughout this critical, and image defining, process.
 
To discuss how we can work with you to help you fill your next marketing or events vacancy and manage all aspects of the recruitment process well and positively on your behalf, please call 020 7409 3244 or email communicate@regananddean.co.uk and talk to one of our team.