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Subtle Signs Your Employer Brand Might Need Some Work

David Law

Fri, 2 Feb, 2024

  • Reading Time:
    ~ 6 minutes

Employer branding is often an overlooked, but essential part of the recruitment process. Done well, it can not only enhance the candidate’s experience but also attract the best talent for your organisation. However, many companies fail to recognise the red flags that indicate their employer’s brand needs improvement. This article identifies five such signs and provides practical tips on how to address them to ensure a robust employer brand and an exceptional recruitment process.

Employer Branding Red Flags

Measuring certain aspects of employer branding, such as campaigns, is relatively straightforward. By investing in research and resources for a campaign, you can see the outcome – usually an influx of applications. However, employer branding encompasses much more than just campaigns and application volume. It involves establishing a positive atmosphere where potential employees feel appreciated and treated with dignity during the hiring process.

However, not all situations are as straightforward as campaigns, so it’s important to examine other data to evaluate the effectiveness of your employer’s branding. Here are 5 indicators that may indicate the need for further investment in your employer’s branding.

High Interview Dropout Rates

Data Point: Track the proportion of applicants who do not finish the interview process. Are they dropping out after the initial call or during the offer stage?

Interpretation: Constantly losing employees is a sign of disengagement. This may be caused by vague job expectations, unmemorable first impressions, or unfavourable reviews of the company. Your company’s reputation may not be producing the desired positive impact.

How to address it:

Enhancing the initial interactions between candidates and your organisation can greatly enhance your employer’s brand. This encompasses aspects such as the application process, timely responses to applications, and the effectiveness of communication from your recruiters and hiring managers.

To start, assess your current interview procedure and pinpoint any potential areas for improvement. Some simple solutions to common problems could involve streamlining communication, providing relevant information at each stage of the recruitment process, and ensuring candidates feel valued throughout their interactions.

Additionally, it is crucial to set realistic expectations regarding job requirements, work environment, compensation, and company culture by being open and transparent. It is reported that 70% of individuals leave their jobs because the hiring process required more effort than initially stated. Therefore, it is vital to clearly communicate the steps involved, the expected timeline, and what candidates can anticipate at each stage.

Limited Referrals from Current Employees

Data Point: Keep tabs on the quantity of applicants acquired through employee recommendations. If you are not currently monitoring the sources of applications, it is recommended to begin gathering this information promptly. Doing so will enable you to identify which channels, including employee referrals, yield the highest number of applicants.

Interpretation: The fact that employees refer others to job openings reflects the positive environment of the workplace. If employees are reluctant to make referrals, it indicates a lack of trust in the company’s reputation. In addition to fostering a positive work culture, employees also serve as advocates for the organisation, drawing in potential candidates who value the recommendations of current employees. Employees who are proud of their company are the most effective promoters of its brand.

How to address it:

Evaluating employee contentment through surveys, feedback sessions, or personal conversations is a crucial first step in addressing this problem. Determine areas for improvement to enhance the overall employee satisfaction and actively address them. By promoting a positive work atmosphere, you can ensure that employees feel involved, appreciated, and supported. A favourable workplace culture is more likely to motivate employees to actively refer candidates.

Make sure to keep employees updated about available job opportunities within the company. This will help them stay informed about potential referrals. Studies have shown that current employees who make successful referrals also tend to have longer tenures.

Providing incentives for successful referrals can further encourage employees to participate in the referral process. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the referral programme is well-structured and aligns with your overall employer branding strategy.

Remember, employee referrals are not just a numbers game; they reflect your company culture and reputation. By fostering a positive work environment and nurturing strong relationships with your employees, you can turn them into your best brand ambassadors.

Lack of Diversity in Applicant Pool

Data Point: Evaluate the variety among the candidates in your pool of applicants at every step of the hiring process, such as initial interviews, follow-up interviews, and so on.

Interpretation: Lack of diversity in the applicant pool is another red flag that your employer’s brand may not be as strong as you think. A diverse workforce can offer a range of perspectives and experiences, leading to better decision-making and innovation within the organisation. If you find that your applicant pool consistently lacks diversity, it’s time to take a closer look at your recruitment strategies and ensure they are inclusive.

How to address it:

Start by analysing your current recruitment strategy. Are you targeting a wide enough pool of candidates? Are your job ads and sourcing methods reaching a diverse audience? Review your job descriptions and ensure they are free from biassed language that may deter certain groups of candidates. Additionally, consider partnering with organisations that focus on promoting diversity and inclusion to expand your reach and attract a more diverse talent pool.

Another aspect to consider is your company’s culture. A lack of diversity in the applicant pool may also indicate that your company’s culture is not perceived as welcoming and inclusive. To address this, foster a culture that values and respects individual differences. Encourage open dialogue, provide opportunities for employees to share their experiences, and implement policies that promote equality and fairness.

By taking these steps, you can address the lack of diversity in your applicant pool and build a stronger employer brand that attracts a more diverse and talented workforce. Remember, diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords but essential elements of a successful and thriving organisation.

Difficulty in Attracting Passive Candidates

Data Point: Assess the effectiveness of recruiting individuals who are not actively seeking employment. A reliable method for gauging this is by analysing the percentage of responses to your outreach efforts, such as InMails, that result in job applications.

Interpretation: Passive candidates are those who are not actively looking for a new job but might be open to opportunities if presented. Attracting passive candidates is important because they often represent a pool of highly skilled and experienced professionals who can bring valuable expertise to your organisation. However, attracting passive candidates can be challenging if your employer’s brand is not strong.

How to address it:

Increase your chances of attracting passive candidates by proactively managing your online presence and utilising employee networks and referrals.

To attract passive candidates, it is crucial to actively manage your online presence, as more than 75% of applicants fall into this category. This can be achieved by regularly sharing company updates, achievements, and employee success stories to create a positive image. Additionally, encourage your current employees to advocate for your company by providing testimonials and endorsements on websites and social media platforms.

Instead of trying to appeal to everyone, employ recruitment marketing techniques and customise your job postings to target your desired audience.

Expand your network by attending industry-specific events and webinars to connect with professionals who are not actively seeking new job opportunities. Utilise your current employees’ connections through a robust employee referral programme, as they may know talented individuals who are not actively job searching but may be interested in your company.

Another thing you can do is build relationships with passive candidates. This can be done through networking, attending industry events, and participating in online forums and discussion groups. By building relationships with passive candidates, you can make them aware of your company and the opportunities you have to offer. You can also stay top-of-mind for them so that they think of your company when they are ready to make a job change.

Overall, proactively managing your online presence and leveraging employee networks and referrals can increase your chances of attracting passive candidates.

Frequent Negative Glassdoor Reviews

Data Point: It is quite clear that you should establish and frequently monitor reviews on websites such as Glassdoor or Seek Companies.

Interpretation: One of the most obvious signs that your employer brand isn’t as good as you think is if you have a lot of negative reviews on sites like Glassdoor. Candidates often use these sites to research companies and make decisions about where to apply, so if your reviews are overwhelmingly negative, it’s a sign that your employer’s brand needs some work.

How to address it:

Read and understand the patterns and trends in your reviews. What are people saying about your company culture, management, and growth opportunities? Once you have a better understanding of the issues, you can start to take steps to address them. You can also conduct anonymous feedback sessions with your employees to gather insights directly from your workforce. By creating a safe space for feedback and suggestions, you can start to build a more positive employer brand.

It’s important to respond to negative reviews in a professional and timely manner. Acknowledge the feedback and let the reviewer know that you’re taking steps to address the issues. This shows potential candidates that you’re serious about improving your employer’s brand and that you value employee feedback.

As stated by Glassdoor, 86 percent of individuals searching for employment consider a company’s reviews and ratings before choosing where to apply. Therefore, proactively managing your company’s reputation by responding to reviews and participating on social media can greatly enhance the chances of attracting potential employees.

Building a strong employer brand takes time and effort, but it’s essential for attracting and retaining top talent. By addressing the signs that your employer brand isn’t as good as you think, you can create a more positive and engaging experience for candidates and employees alike. This will ultimately lead to a stronger employer brand and improved business performance.

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