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How is Your Company’s First Impression? Employer Branding

rw-admin | 03/08/2016

Series: Talent Retention in 2016, Article 1

Gone are the days of walking into an unknown office building and asking to fill out an employment application.  These days, you can pretty much guarantee that candidates applying have already done their homework and have formed a first impression of your company.  Spending some time on the internet will lead candidates not only to job openings, but also company websites, social media/ networking sites as well as  company reputation review sites, such as Glassdoor or Indeed.

What are these potential, future employees hoping to learn from this research? The simple answer is that they want to know what they are getting into before they bother taking the time to apply.  Given the current environment of the candidate-driven market, and the shortage of highly skilled job seekers, candidates are aware that they have choices.  Generally, candidates are hoping to find answers to the following:

  • What does the company do – products, services etc.?
  • What are the mission, objectives and views?
  • Who are their customers, clients, competitors?
  • What is the size of the company – number of employees, large corporation or small “mom & pop” establishment?
  • What is the history of the company – established or start-up?
  • What is the company culture?
  • What do others have to say about the company?
  • Is the company relevant and dynamic?

A 2015 study by CAREEREALISM found that if an internet search about your company can’t provide a significant employer branding footprint, candidates will not bother to apply to your jobs. Many job seekers today say they will follow (on social media) the company for a while before applying; just to be sure you’re the kind of employer they want to partner with.

Often times, a job seeker will determine their interest based on a “can I see myself working here” mentality and a lot of this is based on online reputation and the quality of the company’s self-induced branding.  For example, if a tech-savvy millennial looks at a website that is “basic” aka outdated and clunky, it only takes a moment to form the opinion that the company must be outdated and clunky as well, therefore… moving on. Another example is simple human errors that occur over and over again. Take an employee that is notorious for sending out emails riddled with misspelled words and grammatical errors.  This leads to a poor image of the individual, which is an overall reflection on the company (Employer Brand).  A negative impression can be formed when employees neglect some of the most basic professional etiquette, such as implementing a spell-check on all communications including; memos, email, social media posting, documents etc.

One other thing to note that can be overlooked regarding employer branding is making sure what you are “putting out there” is factual and accurate.  During the interview process, it is important to remain consistent to your company’s brand.  If discrepancies are revealed, this sends a red flag to the candidate causing concern and calling your company’s trustworthiness into question.

If you are trying to fill a job vacancy, take a moment to think about the company you are representing. If you were a highly skilled, highly desirable job seeker, would you be attracted to your company? Imagine visiting your website for the first time or perusing your social media sites.  What first impressions would you form?  If you are unsure how you feel about what you see, hear or read about your company, chances are job candidates will feel the same way.

Please check out our next article in the series Tips to Improve Your Company’s Image.

Written by: Angie Barnes, Marketing Coordinator Q Works Group