Organizations can build their brand by focusing on the hiring experience – which has positive or negative ripple effects.
The experience of hiring an employee is just the start of a journey. Even if a job candidate isn’t hired, the process starts to create a perception of your company in other people’s minds.
More than half of potential employees say that a negative hiring experience makes them less likely to buy a company’s products or services in the future, according to findings published in Add to Cart: Candidates are Consumers, Too.
There’s a ripple effect too: 61% would tell others about a negative hiring experience, while 50% say the negative experience of a friend would make them less likely to buy a product or service from that company. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the impact that hiring experiences can have on future purchase decisions.
But the hiring process can be used positively, too. Here are five ways organizations can strengthen their employer brand, along with examples of how ManpowerGroup has helped organizations implement these recommendations.
Make a case for investment
It’s important that HR teams quantify the impact that employer brand has on sales, and vice versa. This can demonstrate that HR teams help solve broad business problems, not just talent problems.
Example: A fashion retailer who planned on entering a new market required significant investment in order to fill a large number of job openings, while simultaneously establishing its brand in the region. We worked with them to develop effective and consistent messaging, and implemented a comprehensive marketing plan to introduce the retailer to the public – encompassing broadcast media, organic social messaging, advertising and more. The outreach reached more than 200,000 people across the duration of the campaign. In total, 100% of vacancies filled, and the communication push impacted a far greater population.
Help overwhelmed recruiters
Many HR teams are overwhelmed by requisition loads and administrative burden. This takes their focus away from brand building. Expanding headcount in HR functions or providing support through outsourcing can ensure their employer brand gets the focus it deserves.
Example: A large financial services and retail banking company turned to ManpowerGroup Solutions when they had a backlog of hundreds of priority requisitions that needed to be addressed immediately. They decided to outsource this to our team, and we designed a solution for these hard-to-fill, specialist roles, with a significant emphasis on innovation. We used cutting-edge CRM technology, social media, events and name generation research to clear the backlog of 100+ priority requisitions within six months of program launch.
One of the key things that job seekers look for from a potential employer is transparency in salary, job description, opportunities for advancement and culture. In fact, 42% of candidates say that a lack of employer-employee trust has a negative impact on their purchase behavior. There are plenty of low-cost, practical tactics to ensure ongoing transparency in the recruitment process, such as responding to job applications with feedback and surveying existing employees to find out what they really think about your organization.
Example: A global renewable energy company was hiring across 46 countries, and had inconsistent processes and candidate communications, which led potential candidates to feel that they lacked transparency. By conducting a thorough region-by-region review of their entire recruitment process, we were able to address the challenges that had emerged from their decentralized recruiting processes. Internal HR experts were transitioned to focus on operational efficiency and employee relations, to ensure that the internal employer brand is consistently advanced. Employer branding initiatives were redesigned and relaunched, working with local stakeholders and in local languages. By improving its transparency, the company now enjoys a stable global recruitment strategy, which has enabled 6,300 hires in two years.
Cultivate the Consumer Talent Pool
Lots of companies are investing in talent communities, which look to engage rejected applicants for future job vacancies and build relationships with passive candidates. Your customers already understand and interact your products and services. In many cases, they will share your core values too, and could make ideal new recruits. With this in mind, it’s important that marketing, sales and HR teams come together, to incorporate HR messages into broader brand communications, to entice these individuals into your talent pipeline.
Example: A telecommunications giant faced a number of recruitment and retention challenges, and needed to find a more sustainable source of talent. By making their marketing and talent acquisition efforts more integrated, they were able to target existing customers with recruitment marketing messages. They were able to use their marketing spend for the dual purposes of cultivating customers and candidates, and they have been able to grow both their talent pool and their potential customer base as a result.
Pose as a Secret Shopper
Secret shoppers have been used in the retail industry for decades. The same tactic can easily be applied to the hiring process, to help HR executives understand first-hand what the hiring experience is like. From glitches in your online application process, to insensitive automated replies, much can be learned by walking in the shoes of the people you wish to attract.
Example: An institute of higher education was experiencing low job applications, even though they had invested in a number of targeted marketing activities to promote their job opportunities. By auditing their approach through secret shopping, we found that there were a number of technical issues with their application process, such as broken links and page timing. On top of this, their systems were unable to parse data from uploaded CVs, and there were an exhaustive number of application pages. The secret shopping system can weed out these seemingly hidden problems from the organization, which are readily apparent to those in the system.
Want to learn more about the impact of positive or negative hiring experiences on buying behavior? Download the whitepaper Add to Cart: Candidates are Consumers, Too.