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What Most Hiring Managers Forget About Employer Branding During Their Recruitment Processes

A company’s brand is perhaps its most powerful tool in attracting future talent. And yet many companies fail to realise that it is not just newspaper or internet advertising that makes a brand. It is word of mouth. The things people hear in the market or the experiences they have with your company will create a long-lasting impression. The higher the profile of your company-brand, the bigger the danger that your brand can be portrayed to the market in the wrong way.

This article looks at ten effective ways that hiring decision makers can maintain a positive impression with their brand when hiring talent in the Asia Pacific Japan market, particularly when relying on an external recruiter to help with the hiring process. As an HR Practitioner, this ball lands in your court!

1) Ensure that there is a Common Understanding of How Your Brand Should be Portrayed to the Market by all Stakeholders Involved in the Hiring Process

You want stakeholders to say the same core things about the company during a hiring process. Give them briefing notes and articulate the key points they should get across about the company to the prospective candidate.

2) If Using Recruiters, Ensure that They Also Clearly Understand How Your Employer Brand Should be Portrayed to the Market

Give external recruiters a summary of the key points to market the company’s brand. Ensure this includes data on market share, key products, geographical regions, revenue, current challenges and unique selling points.

3) Avoid Ambiguous Job Briefs

Give external recruiters clear details on what the job entails. Try to provide a job description if possible, or collaborate with an external recruiter to get a job description written. Cutting to the chase on exactly what candidate is needed will ensure that fewer candidates are contacted in the market and that referrals are more exact.

4) Involve High Calibre People in Your Recruitment Process

Ensure that your company puts its best foot forward in terms of the quality of stakeholders involved in the hiring process. Should there be a weak link for whatever reason, pre-warn the candidate or have a higher calibre stakeholder join a mediocre performer in the interview.

5) Avoid Relying on Multiple Recruiters, and be Explicit About Whom You Have Contacted Yourself

The danger of multiple recruiters working on the same brief is that too many candidates are often contacted in the market, as multiple recruiters can sometimes ‘race’ each other. It can cheapen your brand if candidates hear about the same role from two sources. Try to give one recruiter the brief exclusively for a set period of time (perhaps two weeks or one month) and then review their performance. If you have approached any candidates yourself, be sure that the external recruiter doesn’t approach the same candidate.

6) Ensure the Recruitment Process Doesn’t Become Too Complicated

Many large multinationals can have overly long and complicated recruitment processes, due to the number of stakeholders involved or their geographical locations. Ensure that potential candidates are aware of the number of steps and possible length of the process. Ensure that candidates don’t get lost in the middle and forgotten about, as all too often happens. Keep high potential candidates engaged.

7) Provide Timely Feedback to Candidates or Headhunters

Fast and honest feedback to candidates is always impressive for the simple reason that so many companies are slow at doing this. It is an easy area to stand-out. If relying on an external recruiter, be sure they pass your feedback on quickly and don’t hold things up.

8) Get Involved in the Recruitment Process

Smart hiring decision-makers will remain hands-on with the process. Where appropriate, touch base with potential candidates during a multi-step or protracted interview process, to offer tips or to help keep them engaged. At the end, ‘final-action’ critical candidates yourself (even if relying on an external recruiter) via a phone call or a friendly email.

9) Keep the Door Open for the Future

Build relationships with high potential candidates who you can’t use now but may wish to tap on in the future. Ensure that you have their contact details. On a regular cycle, perhaps once every six months or a year, contact them yourself or have your external recruiter touch base with them.

10) Leverage Alumni Networks

Past employees or people who have interviewed with your company can be powerful brand ambassadors and can be excellent conduits for disseminating useful information about the company to their networks. Organise an alumni newsletter and ensure that these networks are amongst the first to hear important information about the company.

In Summary

Portraying a strong brand to the market via the experiences that potential candidates have with your company is the missing link in many companies’ branding strategy. Newspaper or internet advertising certainly helps to raise awareness of your brand, as do presentations to target groups such as industry associates or university students. But the true analysis of what your brand really stands for and how it is applied in practice, is when people have a touch-point with your organisation as a potential employee. Follow some of the simple steps above to significantly elevate the impact and effectiveness of your brand, and be sure to influence your team and other business stakeholders to be aware of this too.


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