How to achieve a positive candidate experience for your company brand!
Before we start, let’s first explain what candidate experience is and the benefits you will see from getting it in line with your company brand. The recruiting landscape has changed dramatically and the impact this has on not only your success levels when attracting candidates, but also your bottom line and reputation is huge.
What is ‘Candidate Experience’
Candidate experience is the complete journey your audience has with your brand. From your website, social media presence, reviews and everything in between, the average candidate checks out 14.5 pieces of information before deciding on whether to apply to your company. The experience starts before you are even aware of it, so your online presence needs to be on point.
After the initial research stage, it’s the communication your candidates receive throughout the process, the way they are treated and the feeling of empathy they have with your values.
To put it another way – it’s the way you make them feel .
Job Seekers are Buyers – both your employer and company brand need to reflect this
We must start thinking of job seekers as buyers. They are no different from consumers and are looking for information to make an informed decision. Having a strong visible online presence and employer / company brand is essential to attract top talent. Just like a consumer buys from a brand they trust, a job seeker wants to work for a company they trust. And social media gives you the perfect platform to communicate key messages and build trust with your target market.
But beware – social media facilitates increased transparency. You need to ensure that you are true to your company brand, vision and values as a company pretending to be something they are not will quickly come unstuck.
Candidates can find out not only the basic details of what you do and how you do it, but also about your reputation, your values, how your staff (current and previous) rate your company and even you if you are a CEO, and what life is really like behind your office doors.
Have a look at your social presence from a job seekers view and be honest – does it make you want to work there, or does it send you off to look at the competition instead? And equally as important, is it a true reflection of what it is like to work there, if indeed there is any reflection at all!
Using your company brand to form an emotional connection
You may think that creating a strong employer brand will only impact on your recruiting, but this is something often overlooked by many companies. Creating an emotional connection with your brand, even when showcasing your employer brand will also increase your sales.
Remember – people buy from people. Whilst this is true, if you think about why, you may realise that people buy from people that they feel an emotional connection with.
Creating an emotional connection using your company brand can be simple to achieve, but you need to do some research first as getting it wrong is also simple to achieve! There are many examples of good and bad in the public domain and they are great resources for building your employer brand.
It’s all about the ‘why’ when it comes to communicating your company brand
Every company has a story to tell, but getting the story right for your target audience, whether a consumer or a candidate is key.
Just as inbound marketing is changing the way we as marketers work when it comes to increasing your customer base, the same is true of attracting candidates.
You will have no doubt read articles about the shift from salary and benefits being the most important thing when considering a new job to it becoming more about the desire to work for a company with a strong reputation, great employee reviews, proof of work/life balance and a true synergy with your values.
This means that simply writing a job advert that is all about the ‘What’ is no longer effective. There are lots of companies out there that have an amazing culture and the highest levels of employee satisfaction, but they are still churning out job adverts with a list of what they want with little or no mention of why you should apply. Don’t fall into the same trap.
What story your employer brand needs to tell
You will have a company full of stories. Stories that make a difference. Stories that evoke a warm, fuzzy feeling with your audience, whether that be the consumer or the candidate. Now all you must do is work out what people want to hear and what is most likely to create a reaction.
This is where it is an easier process when it comes to your employer brand as you are surrounded by your ideal target audience, those that have already decided to join you; those that have experienced your candidate journey too. Creating a survey that you can send to all your employees that helps you identify some key insights – their experience of the application process, the research they did before applying, what social platforms they use and when, how they interact online and most important, what they value when it comes to looking for a new role – ultimately, what attracted them to come and work for you.
No doubt, these insights will very quickly help you realise your key focus and messages that will resonate most with your target candidates.
Armed with all this information, creating content that really speaks to your audience by sharing real life stories about real people within your company is just one thing you can do that will dramatically increase the awareness of your employer and company brand. There may just be that golden ticket to increasing your candidate attraction hiding in your teams right now, but you’ll only find out by asking the right questions.
If you need help with getting your employer brand defined and communicated to the right people at the right time – give us a call and let us change the way you recruit. 01244 567 967.