What Candidates Look for in A Company’s Employer Brand
Whether your company has done anything to actively manage it, your organization already has an employer brand that candidates are looking at (and dissecting) when they’re considering working at your company. 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job.
What what might be helpful to clarify then, is…what goes into an employer brand anyways?
Without getting too far into detail, everything from your job listings, career page, company reviews, online reputation, social media presence, and publicly stated corporate values and mission, among other things, all work together to shape your company’s employer brand.
Here’s a quick employer branding framework for reference:
Employer branding framework and definition aside, knowing what today’s job candidates really care about in an employer brand is what’s going to help your company attract the qualified job candidates that you’re really looking for. And that’s a crucial goal for any growing company, right?
Here’s what today’s job candidates look for in a company’s employer brand:
Commitment to a mission
Candidates aren’t just looking for a paycheck — they’re looking for an opportunity to work for a company with a defined mission. This is particularly true for Millennials, with 78% saying they want their employer’s values to match their own.
To captivate potential hires, you must craft a coherent narrative about why you’re here and what’s important to you as an organization. Your commitment to this mission should be the thread that connects all of your print and online materials, from your careers page to corporate activism to social media to employee testimonials. Give prospective talent a flavor of what drives the work you do.
Credible information about the employee experience
When scoping out a new company, prospective talent isn’t interested in reading a bunch of corporate jargon about your products, services, and mission. Rather, they want to know what it’s actually like to work for your organization from those who know best. That’s why it’s crucial to populate your career page with credible information about the employee experience from a human, relatable perspective.
To accomplish this, consider taking an active role in getting testimonials from current employees about things like why they joined your company, what they like about it, and other interesting things about your company and the people in it. Keep in mind that people respond best to compelling visuals, and “day in the life” photos and video can do more in two minutes than pages upon pages of text.
An active and engaging social media presence
We cannot overstate the importance of social media in your employer brand, considering this digital world we live in now. Up to 57% of job seekers use social media in their hiring search, so it’s really not even a question of whether you should be on social media, rather it’s more a question is how much are you doing with it?
For example, check out @marriottcareers, @microsoftlife, and @insidezappos on Instagram to see some truly creative ways to engage prospective talent on social media. These pages offer compelling brand visuals, authentic images of current employees, and a light-hearted style that shows off each company’s personality.
Remember to tailor your content to the unique style of each social media account: Twitter is perfect for concise summaries of key industry news (such as industry blog posts and recent awards or milestones for your organization), compelling visuals trump all else on Instagram, and Facebook gives you space to post longer content that connects with a varied demographic. Ensure that your social media manager keeps all of your social media content on-brand as well, to give viewers a sense of unique company identity.
A positive candidate experience
While it’s intangible and isn’t as easy to conceptualize as other parts of your employer brand, your candidate experience is a make-or-break aspect of your employer brand that candidates pay very close attention to. And for a clear reason: 78% of candidates say the overall candidate experience at a company is an indicator of how well the organization values its employees. That means that job seekers look at your candidate experience as “proof” that you do, in fact, live up to your company values.
So what makes for a positive candidate experience? In short, efficiency, fairness and good communication.
Make sure your application process is brief, intuitive to use, and relatively easy. Many candidates will simply give up if employers ask for page after page of information. Also remember to communicate with prospective talent throughout the recruitment process and respect their time and effort. An automated email or text message confirming submission of the application should be a given, but adding a personalized touch from an recruiter within a few days (even a simple “we are still processing your application and will be in touch soon”) is even better.
Also remember that the candidate experience doesn’t stop when you’ve made your hiring decision. Notifying individuals who didn’t get the job is particularly important, as 80% of people say they wouldn’t apply for another job at a company if they fail to hear back about a position. Leaving candidates with a positive impression of your company ensures that you have prospective talent waiting in the pipeline the next time you’re ready to hire.