Aligning employer branding and a positive candidate experience isÂ critical to attracting the best talent.
By The Editors
âYou only get one chance to make a first impression.âÂ That advice is often given to candidates who are lookingÂ for new jobs and engulfed in the interview process.Â But nowadays, that philosophy is equally important forÂ organizations seeking the best talent. First impressionsÂ are often driven by both a positive candidate experienceÂ and employer brand communication strategies. AndÂ when done right, these approaches create interest andÂ excitement for candidates while employers reap theÂ rewards of a broad, engaged talent pool.
âAs the talent landscape continues to tighten, aÂ competitive candidate experience is essential to attractÂ and engage the best talent,â says Allison Bridgen, globalÂ leader of innovation and support for PeopleScout.
For BMO Financial Group, a good candidate experienceÂ begins at the first touch point. âIn some cases, theÂ recruitment experience is the first interaction candidatesÂ have with BMO and thatâs why we need to get itÂ right!â says Cathy Scarlett, vice president of globalÂ talent acquisition for the organization. âWe view everyÂ candidate as either a current or future BMO customerÂ and weâre committed to providing them with anÂ experience that is exemplary.â
BMOâs employer brand plays a large role in creatingÂ a positive experience. And itâs a smart approach.Â Elizabeth Black, marketing manager for Personify, saysÂ that employer brand can demonstrate to candidatesÂ an authentic view of the organization. âThe goal ofÂ employment branding is to create an image in theÂ minds of potential employees that your organization,Â above others, is a great place to work,â she says. âByÂ developing a strategy that combines your employeeÂ value proposition (EVP) and employment brand, yourÂ organization can highlight the unique experiences andÂ opportunities your company culture provides employees,Â turning a cultural advantage into a competitiveÂ advantage.â
John Wilson, CEO and founder of WilsonHCG, agreesÂ that a well-executed employer brand holds much valueÂ to todayâs organizations. âThere is a direct correlationÂ between the candidate/employee experience and yourÂ consumer brand,â he says. âAligning brand strategyÂ with the greater business not only results in empoweredÂ workforces but greater revenue across the board.â
Scarlett says BMOâs employee promiseââWhy work atÂ BMOââis aligned to its brand. This is executed throughÂ a variety of channels, including a candidateâs startingÂ point: the careers site.
âWe recently renewed our careers site,â Scarlett explains. âNow the site is easier toÂ use, more engaging, and mobile-friendly. It helpsÂ candidates learn who we are as a company and whatÂ itâs like to work here. We worked with teams across theÂ organization to create employee testimonials, careerÂ stories, and videos that tell the BMO story through theÂ eyes of our very own employees.â
Jeff Bettinger, vice president and global head of talentÂ management and organizational development forÂ Alcon, agrees that conveying the companyâs story isÂ critical to piquing the interest of candidates who oftenÂ seek out work based on organizational purpose andÂ values.
âFigure out your companyâs âwhyâ and thenÂ personalize that âwhyâ in a way that hits your target,âÂ he recommends. For Alcon, the team worked withÂ professional writers to hone in on authentic messagesâlike how the company helps millions of people seeÂ better each yearâand integrated them into jobÂ descriptions and communications. âThat helped us toÂ really tell the story to our prospective audience andÂ helped our recruiters to learn how to personalize theÂ message for each candidate,â he notes.
Social media continues to be an easy-to-access toolÂ to showcase and communicate employer brand, withÂ 76 percent of organizations leveraging the channelsÂ in their strategy, according to LinkedIn. âSocial mediaÂ offers smaller organizations cost-efficient, yet effective,Â channels to communicate their brand and connect withÂ the right talent,â says Black. âPromoting social mediaÂ campaigns, having employees be brand ambassadors,Â and using hashtags creates positive associationsÂ between your business, your brand, and your team,Â while providing prospective candidates an âunfilteredâÂ look into a day in the life of an employee at yourÂ organization.â
Social media is an integral part of BMOâs employerÂ brand and candidate experience strategies, and theÂ company makes sure it connects the messaging to theÂ audience. âWe leverage different platforms and socialÂ channels based on the type or purpose of the message,âÂ Scarlett explains. âWe find that Twitter and InstagramÂ are our best social tools in Canada and the U.S. to raiseÂ our brand awareness with candidates. For specific roles,Â weâre more targeted with our approach on LinkedIn andÂ Facebook.
Todayâs technology is aiding organizations to customizeÂ and get the most from their outreach approaches.Â âInvest in software to enhance your specific process toÂ become seamless and entirely brand led,â recommendsÂ Curtis Grajeda, founder and managing partner ofÂ LevelUP. âUser experience is a huge factor in successfulÂ brands and there are many tech solutions to simplifyÂ and streamline your specific process. Find out whereÂ your target market exists online, perhaps a social mediaÂ platform, and command their attention with a strongÂ brand-led presence.â
Millennials and Generation Z workers have high expectations of their future employers. They care about a companyâs reputation and they want to research its culture before they even apply for a role. Companies have to focus on building an employer brand that authentically shows what makes them special. Here, Kathryn Minshew of The Muse speaks at the 2019 HRO Today Forum and shares strategies for attracting these workers to your company.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJR-LOlFb-c[/embedyt]