What’s Next for Shaping Recruitment Impressions?
“But what if recruiting was like dating?”
It used to be called reputation. Now it is known as employer branding. Whatever the nomenclature, recruitment is a ripe venue for shaping and managing a company’s brand. Impression counts in every step in the recruitment process – be it appealing or repellent. Each touch point sets the tone for existing employees and prospective candidates.
Traditional recruitment methods combined with social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterist, et al) are recruitment dark hole magnets. Candidates, both internal and external, complain about bad experiences citing ATS complexity, recruiter non-response, inflated company marketing, impersonal automation, and the like.
How to mitigate a bad experience and turn alienation into an inviting and enthralling experience?
Supplementing formal ads with social media posts, marketing to different audiences, using a portfolio of approaches (corporate website, mobile apps, career pages, recruitment websites, social media pages, etc.), and ensuring courtesy in every step are key. It is also vital to build the employer’s brand into the recruitment strategy. By doing this, brand behaviors, not just promises, are created and, when well constructed, result in a positive candidate experience. The final product — employees who are company brand advocates.
Yes, impressions are made in every step along the way. Whilst automation enables volume, candidates plead for a personal touch. Whatever way the company’s reputation is managed, we at softfactors.com suggest that courtesy fused with a personal touch creates a markedly distinctive recruitment experience. How might this happen? Revisiting the company’s talent pool library for each new opening. Returning to the almost hired. Following-up with authenticated feedback. Using same level calls in the interview phase. Combining optimized recruitment technologies with personal touch points forms the perceptions of existing and prospective candidates. Change a bad experience into an exceptional one by continuously sculpting and managing recruitment processes into steps that are stimulating, differentiated, and appealing.
Join the discussion with our blog panel members
We’ve asked our blog panel members to comment about the realities of recruitment and how to shape a company’s brand in the talent marketplace. Our panel members are drawn from several geographies and multiple generations so you have a mix of comments to weigh up.
Marie Jo – Generation X (Born 1965-1979) – United States – firstname.lastname@example.org
Recruitment has become so automated for the sake of time. A program screens for key words to determine who will receive the auto generated email turndown or will be forwarded to the individual who is completing the phone screen process for the hiring manager. The investment in long term employment relationships have been reduced to a few key strokes and someone else’s parameters determining who is getting through. There isn’t any personal involvement anymore.
But what if recruiting was like dating. Various dating portals determined to find you the best match for forever happiness are using similar programming to create a list of potential matches. More time is spent on finding forever love than in the recruitment process. Hours are spent in extensive chat sessions used to determine favorite food, wine, and activities to determine whether or not the first date is even worth it! Yet, recruiting often does not engage the primary stakeholder until the interview takes place- the first date.
Time is the most important investment in a long-term employment relationship. The first screen, the phone calls, the first interview are all factors in the applicant’s brand impression and are investments into the employer-employee relationship. The personal contact provides data to both parties that will determine if the essential information of whether or not this position, candidate or company is a good fit. And if there’s going to be another date.
Franziska Liese – Millennial aka Generation Y (Born 1980-2000) – Switzerland – email@example.com
Nowadays professional and private lives of the individual are more and more blending into one. Companies are trying to use this as a chance for promoting themselves and jobs they have on offer.
Promoting a company via Social Media is absolutely necessary in today’s market place. No organization can afford to loose talent by not being present on the Internet or promoting himself in the wrong way. Interestingly I have never looked for a new position using Facebook, I also have never read on new employers following their tweets. I read job ads, and I talk to people who are already working in the company. LinkedIn is as far as I get when it comes to employer branding. For me Facebook, Instagram etc. are channels only used in my private life, something I wish to keep separated from my professional career. Or would you “like” the Facebook page of a Financial Services Organization?
The same applies on recruitment processes. I prefer sending in my CV by email to an actual person with a name attached to it. Somebody I can call when in want of feedback and to answer questions I might have. Online application forms that are sent into the nowhere are not appealing to me; in prospect of a future employer they turn me of, not on.
Considering my year of birth (1981) I am falling into the category of Millennials (at least an old one), a group people expect to be Social Media experts and to use their smart phones for work and free time. Interestingly I meet more and more young(er) people that keep those separate, who switch off their work phones after leaving the office and who enjoy their free time without PowerPoint and emails from work. I meet people that prefer the traditional ways, who follow their gut feeling when it comes to a future employer and who are not blinded by organizations’ online presences. Apart from all the technical benefits we are a skeptical generation. And maybe that’s what organizations and their HRs need to focus on: How do you create a presence that is appealing without loosing the professional touch? How do you recruit efficiently without being too efficient?
Written by: Lucy Dubin – Baby Boomer (Born 1943-1964) – USA and Switzerland – firstname.lastname@example.org
Moreland, T. (2015). Leveraging Employer Branding as a Key Business Strategy. In D. Ulrich, W.A. Schiemann & L. Sartain (Ed.), The Rise of HR (pp.493- 498). Virginia: HR Certification Institute.
Your ideas and comments are welcomed.
Reading the article I was asking myself: why does employer branding exist and what does it intend to serve? The fact that an organization has to manage its own impression they make does not come without a question mark to me. I am convinced that an organization that is authentic in everything it does has no need to correct its own image and consequently does not need employer branding to create a positive impression.
My observation is, that most large organizations have outsourced almost every aspect of their recruitment process to either an external or an internal service organization, that often is geographically and culturally distant from the core of the organization. This is emphasized by impersonal and standardized procedures and the shift of responsibility from the organization to the candidates: it is them who need to show their desire and commitment to work for the company, it is them who are tested against mechanical database criteria, it is them who have to be prepared meticulously for interviews and to prove they are worthy of the organization. But why is this often not reciprocal?
How can we expect sustainable results from a relationship that from the beginning has such a power imbalance? I think we need to start fully “owning” recruitment again in a humane way: we need to establish a personal and mutually respectful relationship from the first contact, we need to select candidates that will serve the organization best and that will become that important asset that they are promised to be.
If we expect candidates to come with excellent professional and interpersonal skills, with a high commitment, the unique personality that matches the organizations culture and that behave in accordance with the organizations value, then these need to be the traits that the organization and its members have to portray consequently and with sincerity. We need to start to show genuine interest in candidates and meet them at eye level. Only then can we invest in impactful interactions, provide helpful feedback and build trustful relationships that are empowering human beings independently of the outcome of the recruitment process. That I think is the best way to build the positive impression the organizations are striving for.