Employer Brand: Gaining a Rep as a Best Place to Work

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Most people understand that brand recognition is paramount in sales. Similarly, a positive employer brand is critical when it comes to attracting top talent. It pays to be known as the organization to work for—and that’s not going to happen when an applicant is treated poorly or unfairly.

The first step organizations should take to foster a positive employer brand is to manage their online presence. More and more candidates are using the internet as their primary job search tool. In a 2015 Pew Research study asking about top job searching resources, the most common answer was online information, topping close family and friends, professional or work connections, and job fairs or events (Pew Research).

And candidates aren’t just going online to find job ads, they are using the internet to research employers. A whopping 83% of job seekers are likely to research company reviews and rating when deciding where to apply for a job (Glassdoor). This means that organizations that take the time to monitor their online reputation have a critical advantage in today’s tough hiring market.

When an organization gets a bad review from an upset employee or candidate, it pays to reply. Nearly two-thirds of Glassdoor users have said that their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review. Even if there is little the hiring manager can do to right the situation, acknowledging the problem and offering a brief apology goes a long way in appeasing reviewers.

Companies can also counteract a negative review with positive ones. Glassdoor data shows that users read about seven reviews before forming an opinion on a company. This means outliers and one-off negative experiences are unlikely to have detrimental effects, as long as the majority of reviews are positive.

While no reputable platform allows companies to pay or reward employees for positive reviews, companies can ask current employees if they would be willing to leave a review. For example, Glassdoor allows registered users to leave one review, per employer, per year. If a company has a pool of happy employees with long tenures, these employees can annually leave new reviews that attest to the company’s culture and environment.

However, the most effective way of improving employer brand is to provide a good experience for both employees and job candidates. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is through periodic internal surveys gathering honest feedback from current employees. This provides invaluable insight on how to continually enhance the work experience at an organization. Additionally, companies should use the feedback provided through review sites to identify problem areas—then hiring managers and company leaders can work together to design and implement solutions.

For more information about how to create a positive candidate experience, check out our complimentary eBook, Creating the Candidate Experience: Better Practices for Attracting Quality Hires.

How You Treat Candidates Matters

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The candidate experience is a trending topic among many HR networks, but what exactly does the candidate experience entail?

The candidate experience includes everything a job seeker encounters throughout the application process:

  • Job post
  • Employer reviews and ratings (e.g., Glassdoor, Indeed, Kununu, etc. and even customer review sites such as Yelp and Google)
  • Application form
  • Interview process
  • Communication with hiring managers
  • Offer letter or rejection notice

A company with a compelling job post, positive reviews, a convenient application process, and hiring managers who follow up in a timely and friendly manner will make a good impression.

On the other hand, imagine a candidate who has the online portal crash while filling out an application. When the candidate tries to schedule an interview, there are few time slots from which to choose. The interviewer is late, and the hiring manager doesn’t call or email for weeks afterwards. By the end of the process, the candidate is probably left wondering whether they want to work for such a company after all.

Providing a positive experience gives companies a great hiring advantage—especially considering that the average job seeker has a negative view of the application process.

Jibe, a recruitment and candidate experience software, surveyed more than 1,000 job seekers in 2014 and found that most of them dislike the search process. More than three quarters (78%) said it was stressful and 71% said it was discouraging. Responses to the survey were overwhelmingly negative, with only 35% of respondents saying the job search was satisfying.

The second part of the survey asked respondents to choose the three applications they found most challenging. Job applications were the most common choice, selected as more challenging than mortgage applications, health insurance applications, and college applications (Jibe). Yikes!

Many job seekers are having a terrible experience—and when an applicant has a bad experience, they will let others know.

  • 65% will share a negative experience with their friends, colleagues, and peers
  • 35% will share it publicly (e.g., social media, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, etc.)(Talent Board)

A poor reputation can have much wider repercussions. Eighty-four percent of job seekers say a company’s reputation is important when deciding where to apply for a job (Glassdoor), which means bad reviews further limit the already limited candidate pool.

Additionally, almost half of applicants (42%) say they would not buy the company’s products or services after a poor candidate experience (Software Advice). According to calculations made by The Talent Board, for a B2C company hiring around 1,000 people annually, bad publicity from poor candidate experiences translates to a revenue loss of about $2,376,000.

For more information about how to create a positive candidate experience, check out our complimentary eBook, Creating the Candidate Experience: Better Practices for Attracting Quality Hires.

The Hidden Cost of Bad Meetings

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Next time you’re in a meeting, try to calculate the cost. A one-hour meeting between 10 employees earning an average of $30/hour adds up to $300 in salaries alone. Inviting one or two managers quickly escalates the cost. Meetings between several managers or executives may cost upward of $1,000 in salary (TED). This doesn’t even take into account the time spent preparing for the meeting! Continue reading