How to create a candidate experience that mirrors company values.
By Lauren Winklepleck
In todayâs candidate-driven job market, more and moreÂ employers are recognizing the importance of creatingÂ a candidate experience that mirrors their companyâsÂ values. According to LinkedInâs 2018 Workplace CultureÂ Trends study, communicating mission and brand duringÂ the recruitment process can give employers a significantÂ competitive advantage: 71 percent of job seekers wouldÂ be willing to take a pay cut to work for a companyÂ that shares their values. In contrast, employers with aÂ weak brand often fail to attract the right mix of talent,Â significantly impacting their ability to grow.
The role of HR and TA professionals in communicatingÂ brand throughout the hiring process is integral. From theÂ very first interaction to the follow-up, every candidateÂ touchpoint should reflect the companyâs values. InÂ order to form a base from which the brand image canÂ grow, organizations must establish their values, ensureÂ those values are learned, amplified, and embodied byÂ the workforce, and then determine how that should beÂ reflected in the candidate experience.
Establish Brand Values
The importance of building the right employer brandÂ grows by the day. At a time when top talent is highlyÂ mobile, employers canât afford to separate corporateÂ and employer brand. Harvard Business Review and ICMÂ Unlimited found that companies could be spending up toÂ $7.6 million in additional wages to compensate for a poorÂ employer reputation.
Understanding what inspires the workforce to do theirÂ jobs day after day is a key insight in establishing anÂ attractive employer value proposition (EVP). In 2015,Â India-based InMobiâs HR team conducted an employeeÂ survey to find out what employees enjoyed most aboutÂ working there. Results showed that employees valuedÂ the freedom to take on new challenges, so the businessÂ worked to create an EVP that highlighted flexibilityÂ and reduced bureaucracy. By incorporating the surveyâsÂ results into its brand strategy and broadcasting its brandÂ in videos, blogs, and social media posts, the organizationÂ reduced its reliance on recruitment agencies by 95Â percent, resulting in a projected $1.7 million savings inÂ talent acquisition costs year-over-year.
When a company is able to identify what aspects ofÂ its culture make it stand out, it can work to clearlyÂ communicate those values during the hiring process,Â saving time, energy, and money in the long run.
Clear communication with employees alongsideÂ educational programming about core values isÂ paramount to brand success. Itâs one thing to talkÂ the talk, but if employees arenât walking the walkÂ and representing established values in their everydayÂ roles, they will negatively affect the overall brand. TheÂ employer brand an organization shares with the worldÂ should be an accurate reflection of what itâs really like toÂ work at the company.
Once an organization has established what it wants toÂ communicate, it must ensure that its brand values areÂ learned and understood by its most important assetâthe employees. This is especially pertinent to employeesÂ involved in the recruiting and hiring process. They are theÂ first line of communication to candidates researching andÂ applying for jobs, and as brand ambassadors, they are keyÂ to providing a positive candidate experience and sendingÂ the right message about company values.
Support the Employer Brand
Aligning an organizationâs operations to its employerÂ brand to deliver a positive candidate experience can alsoÂ require support from automated solutions. One commonÂ organizational value is transparency, carried out in partÂ by open communication. If applicants are left in theÂ dark or âghostedâ on their hiring status, it goes againstÂ the companyâs core value of transparency through openÂ communication.
Often, recruiting and hiring teams find their plates soÂ full that âghostingâ a candidate is inevitable. To counterÂ this, companies can use existing tools in the market toÂ automate as many repetitive tasks as possible and findÂ tools to help with engagement and communication,Â freeing up time for recruiters to focus on the humanÂ element of recruiting, building relationships, andÂ finding the correct position for interested and qualifiedÂ applicants.
But beyond hiring, companies must never forget thatÂ employee quality of life matters. While an employerÂ canât always control what happens outside of the office,Â it must ensure its employees feel supported and areÂ equipped to handle whatever comes at them day-to-day.
There are many factors that go into determining anÂ employerâs brand value, and the prospect of overhaulingÂ that strategy can seem daunting. However, focusing onÂ building a strong foundation of established values andÂ empowered employees is the most important step toÂ refining the candidate experience for long-term success.
Lauren Winklepleck is the director of recruiting at Mya Systems.