If you are not getting High Quality Applicants for your open jobs, the root cause may be your
A Candidate’s initial exposure to your Employer Brand reputation and the subsequent Candidate Experience (CaX) ultimately determines if they will be in the applicant pool. If your Employer Brand, in combination with your Candidate Experience, is not appealing, engaging, authentic and professional, High Performers will not apply and remain absent from the applicant pool. The same way a recruiter is looking for reasons to disqualify an applicant, the candidate is looking for any reason to disqualify the employer early in the process.
Symptoms might include:
Recruiting struggles to “find” (attract) great candidates
Employer information missing online, e.g. Rewards, Culture, etc.
Job Descriptions are posted as open jobs instead of compelling messaging
Poor CaX (Candidate Experience), e.g. inadequate communication
Social comments from former and current employees are unsupportive
A Candidate’s Decision to Apply is Determined by the Results of Their Discovery
In the early stage of the Candidate Experience, a Highly Qualified candidate is looking for multiple points of validation to reinforce their final decision whether to apply. The information they find and their experiences either reinforce or conflict with each other. For example, a company may state that “Respect for People” is a core value, but Glassdoor comments posted by current and former employees may reveal a very different perception of the internal culture. This conflict quickly compromises the integrity of the Employer Brand. The candidate predictably will disengage.
The most common impact of an inconsistent Candidate Experience or poor Employer Brand is that high performing Candidates/High Performers do not find the organization, position or opportunity appealing. As a result, they do not apply. When they are completely absent from the applicant pool, the highest rated applicants may look good relative to other available applicants even though they are only Minimally Qualified.
A Weak Employer Brand and the Internal Culture
A Systems Thinking view reveals how the Internal Work Environment impacts the Internal Culture, then the External Perception and ultimately influences who can be attracted to the Team – which then reinforces the whole cycle. If the Internal Employer Culture is healthy but there is an absence of public information or worse, negative information, recruiting High Performers will be difficult at best. This is because external messages - which are inconsistent with actual experience - create conflict and quickly compromise the integrity of the Employer Brand.
And There is the Problem
Your Brand is not a marketing strategy. It is not a perception. It is not what is communicated. Your Employer Brand should be BOTH the perception and the reality of who you are as an organization to BOTH your internal and external stakeholders. There should not be a difference between the Inside View and the External View. There should not be a difference between the perception and the reality. The Employer Brand is the overall composite of all the information and real experiences collected during the Candidate and Employee Experience.
A Strong Employer Brand Attracts High Performers
High Performers create disruption, new products, new revenue centers, improved client
satisfaction, a culture of innovation, a great place to work and the list goes on. High Performing Leaders are innovators, influencers, game changers, entrepreneurs and act like owners. They surround themselves with high performing managers and supervisors who have high expectations of production team members. The immediate and long-term contributions of High Performers to the business are orders of magnitude greater than the cost to acquire and retain them.
A Strong Employer Brand
The fix is not a Marketing Strategy. It is not an Employer Branding exercise. It is not a
Communication campaign. The path to a great Employer Brand is a commitment to creating a great External Perception and being committed to creating an Internal Culture that is consistent with that External Perception. The goal is to be really as great as people think you are.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Galvan is the Managing Partner of ProForce, which helps companies build an online reputation that makes them look attractive as an employer. The goal is to help small to mid-sized businesses find and choose the best applicants for a desired job. They are passionate about accelerating the growth of your organization by empowering your team to Attract the Right High-Performing Talent in your industry - Anytime, Anywhere! Learn more here: https://proforceco.com/employer-branding-thought-leadership/