HR has not typically been responsible for a sellable “brand” for applicants. In many respects, creating the company brand is something that largely falls on the marketing or public relations department. We have all heard of a video going “viral” and an average person shooting to instant Internet stardom. However, actions of the HR department going “viral” can have negative effects.
Social media has now turned the tables on employers. Millennials (who tend to be stereotyped as demanding in nature) grew up with the Internet in ways Baby Boomers and Generation X did not. They expect to have a lot of information available on the Career’s page, and they prefer updates throughout the recruitment process.
So with the stage set, and the stakes high, HR needs to create their own brand that offers value to potential applicants. The question is: How do you build a solid talent brand?
When a company starts recruiting for a position, a lot of the applications go unopened, or once they are opened, the applicant does not know where he or she stands in the hiring process. Patrick Clark, Director of Business Development at Hyrell, calls this “the black hole of hiring.” It may not be feasible to reply to every applicant with a personal email, but applicant tracking systems (ATS) will allow you to send applicants customized emails throughout the hiring process. That way you can keep applicants in the loop without wasting time sending individual emails.
Forbes contributor Shama Hyder noted, “Social Media and how we use it as an organization can have a great impact in creating experiences that impact the culture.” Employers should ask themselves questions that examine the organizational culture.
Imagine how much damage control would be done if a company had a security breach where credit cards were hacked. This would be shared thousands of times over on the Internet. Negative publicity for your talent brand can be spread in the same way by unhappy employees. If an employee Tweets he or she hates his or her job, the person’s work history is only a few clicks away. Then everyone in his or her network is aware the work environment is less than desirable. However, the same effect can be used in a positive way. If employees share what a great experience it is to work for your company that will be positive branding. Employees sharing positive experiences will be much more sincere since it is not part of a marketing campaign.
Customized Career Page
Applicants will often do research to see if your company is a good cultural fit for them. An ATS can be customized so when the applicant clicks on the “Careers” link, it does not even appear he or she left the page. Customizing your career's page can help integrate your talent brand with the overall company brand. This will bring the “team” element to the forefront.
As mentioned previously, social media can be used to connect with employees. Advertising job postings has expanded into the social media arena. Share pictures on social media with company pictures; maybe start an employee appreciation week; or ask current employees for testimonials of what it is like to work your company. Ultimately, leveraging your employee’s perspective and personal touch will be a great selling point on your talent brand.
The company brand is not just the responsibility of marketing anymore. HR needs to support this effort by building a strong talent brand for their recruiting process. In the end, a strong talent brand is what will prevent qualified applicants from going to your competitor because it seems like a better place to work there. Which ultimately allows you to build the strongest team from the best candidates.
To learn more about how new HR technology can help to streamline your hiring process, download our eBook Stop Wasting Time and Money—Explore the Benefits of Recruiting Automation.