Employer Branding is About Auditing the Candidate Journey

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Just because your career site and application process are mobile optimized doesn’t mean you have an employer branding strategy in place. Don’t get me wrong, that is a huge accomplishment and your potential candidates will be thanking you, it just isn’t the end all be all. In reality, it’s just a piece of a much bigger puzzle.

Talent Attraction is a Journey

Employer branding and candidate experience isn’t about doing one thing or another. Rather, it’s about looking at your talent acquisition process from beginning to end and all the touch-points in between. It’s a journey and it is your job to hold their hand along the way.

Auditing Isn’t Just for the IRS

Often times, solutions and strategies are designed and then we go on about our business. We move to the next challenge and forget to revisit. This becomes a major opportunity missed as innovation changes the way we work and operate.

We need to stop. Slow down. Audit our processes and so called best practices. HR is notorious for staying the course but we don’t have to be. In fact, we need to be masters of change, pushing to be better, steering the ship of transformation.

Employer branding is no different. The strategies that worked last year will barely stay in the game this year. By spending just a few hours you can uncover areas for improvement, refinement and possibly even a few to highlight.

8 Things to Consider When Dissecting Your Employer Branding Strategy

Your employees are your brand

Does your messaging sound like HR or Marketing? It shouldn’t. It should sound like your employees’ voice, their story, why they love working for you. The same goes for those horrible stock images of fake models laughing or thinking deeply around a conference room table. Lose that crap and get real. Better yet, show your employees love and watch them amplify your message.

Know your audience

For the love of all things chocolate segment your messaging. You would never be looking for the same traits from a recent college grad as you would a senior executive. Section off your career site and start enjoying quality applicant flow. Think seniority, function, geography, etc.

ROI of job advertisement spend?

Integrate when you can, makes tracking that much easier. You should be able to answer what channel delivers the best quality of applicant by function, seniority and geography. In doing so you’ll be able to save money and use your recruitment budget in more creative ways.

Think like a candidate

First impressions count, but if you can’t be found or don’t give enough information you never really get the opportunity. SEO matters, so work on it. Social is an extension of your employee’s voice, get them involved. Follow up is key, go past the automation of ATS emails. Simplify the application process down to the bare minimum and by all means offer LinkedIn Apply.

Recruiting is more than attracting and interviewing

HR is marketing these days (this won’t be the last time you hear me say this) and smart marketers know that part of a customers journey is engaging and nurturing folks in your pipeline. Sadly, candidates are surprised with any communication outside of jobs being pushed their way. So shock them and send meaningful communication that keeps your organization top of mind and out of the junk folder.

Avoid outsourcing frustrations

At some point in time you may need to outsource your recruiting or recruitment marketing efforts. Create a partnership and avoid the “you vs. me” game by managing expectations upfront and train them, train them often, on your culture and company. After all, it’s your brand not theirs.

Adapt with time

Beepers and fax machines are a thing of the past when it comes to talent acquisition. Social, mobile, video recruiting have all made their mark and proven to be successful and welcomed by candidates and recruiters alike. Devote a little of your time investigating new tools that save your company time, money and resources. Your CFO will thank you!

Measure everything, again and again and again

Recruiting isn’t just a HR function anymore. It is a business function. With this, change comes and the responsibility shifts from just reporting the numbers to driving process enhancements which improve the numbers and the organizations’ bottom-line. An increase in employer branding spend should correlate with an increase in website traffic and quality applicant submissions. In the end, not all data matters so determine what does and watch it, measure it and improve your process over and over again.

There maybe no secret recipe in creating a perfect candidate journey but by auditing your process, tools and yes, even your team you can stay ahead of the curve and edge out even the biggest of talent brands.

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