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The power of an employer brand

Amid the battle for top talent, a strong Employer Value Proposition (EVP) can be the difference between attracting the skills and expertise your business needs to flourish – or losing them to the competition.

While many stakeholders play a part in shaping an organisation’s overall employer brand - including marketing, communications, executives and HR functions – those responsible for promoting a company to the employees of tomorrow arguably have the greatest influence over the EVP attractiveness.

External brand perception is a delicate commodity which can be built or destroyed throughout the recruitment process: LinkedIn has found that 83% of jobseekers say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or a company they once liked. A positive interview experience, however, can make 87% of candidates reconsider a position or business they once doubted.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) defines employer brand as ‘a set of attributes and qualities, often intangible, that makes an organisation distinctive, promises a particular kind of employment experience, and appeals to those people who will thrive and perform best in its culture'. With or without intention, every company has established an employer brand, but it is only through taking control of the narrative that businesses can harness it to their advantage.

The value of a strong employer brand

The value of a great employer brand is undisputable: according to research from Glassdoor, 11% of candidates would decline a job offer from a business with a bad reputation - even if they were unemployed.

Separate research from CareerBuilder, meanwhile, found that 69% of candidates are less likely to buy from companies which provided a negative candidate experience – and 9% said they will tell others not to purchase from businesses they have had a bad experience with during the hiring process. What’s more, research from CareerArc has found that 72% of jobseekers that had a bad interview experience have told others about it, either online or in-person. Clearly, a respectable reputation as an employer will provide a clear competitive edge in today’s fierce market for talent.

Handle with care

While the threat of losing out in the ‘war for talent’ may be enough to encourage many business leaders to explore how their employer brand is perceived on the ground, the wider risks associated with not monitoring and nurturing a strong EVP should not be underestimated.

A firm’s employer brand and consumer brands are intrinsically linked, and the way that candidates and employees are sourced, recruited and managed will inevitably have a knock-on effect not only on wider brand value, but also a business’s bottom line.

The reality is that the consequences of poor recruitment processes can ripple throughout a business – and the results can be shocking. For example, when Virgin Media discovered that 18% of rejected candidates were also Virgin Media customers, the firm dug a little deeper and found 6% of these disgruntled jobseekers cancelled their monthly subscriptions: a poor recruitment experience was costing the company £4.4 million per year.

Retaining autonomy over the recruitment process key to authentic messaging

In-house talent acquisition teams are not only fully invested in communicating a brand’s ethos to potential recruits, they are also better equipped to share strong, accurate messaging.

While an external recruiter may be comprehensively briefed on a brand’s values and policies – and what the role they are recruiting for is likely to entail – only those who have lived and breathed the corporate culture can communicate the reality of the position passionately and authentically.

This is particularly apparent when warm candidates begin to truly engage with hiring managers. While an agency recruiter may flounder when forced to go ‘off script’, their internal contemporaries have a wealth of genuine, first-hand experience to call on – regardless of whether they are sharing examples of individuals who have climbed rapidly within the business to demonstrate opportunities for progression, or the best train to catch to an interview.

Managing recruitment in-house ensures that your business retains complete control of candidate experience which, as the Virgin Media example highlighted above illustrates, is vital. Internal recruitment teams are also best-positioned to collect candidate feedback, which can then be fed back into the assessment process to improve experiences in real time.

A strong employer brand also has the added benefit of making long-term recruitment strategies move efficient: companies with a great EVP are actively sought-out by potential recruits, which saves resources on sourcing and attracting talent.

Finally, internal recruiters are perfectly placed to work in collaboration with wider HR and leadership teams to ensure that candidate and employee experience is consistent across every touchpoint, throughout the on-boarding process and beyond.

For more help with developing your employer brand through a great recruitment experience, get in touch today.