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How to Protect your Employer Brand in a Social World

Marie O'Sullivan

It can take years to build an employer brand and only a few seconds to destroy it. Social media has thrust its way into the recruitment industry and has revolutionized how we source, attract, and recruit candidates. When used correctly, social media forms part of your overall employer brand and helps you attract a better caliber of candidates. One mistake, however, and you could send your reputation into free-fall.

From the candidate who painstakingly completed an application form, only to never hear from you to the unsuccessful interviewee who was never notified, a would-be employee can quickly tarnish your reputation (sometimes in 140 characters or less). We’ve listed the top five mistakes to watch out for if you want to avoid destroying your employer brand:

An unclear job advert

A vague job description is likely to gather interest from applicants who are not necessarily qualified for the job. Meaning you could be saying no to hundreds of applicants or even completely ignoring them. That’s many people coming away with a negative experience. Explain what the job is with specific requirements, avoiding vague terms, such as ‘being a team player’ or ‘ability to think outside the box.’ Use bullet points and have an exact list of ‘must-have’ attributes.

Long-winded application forms

There’s nothing quite as soul-destroying as filling in a 12-page application form, requiring candidates to list every exam from 1992 painstakingly. If the application process is too complicated, many won’t bother to apply, and that could include the most talented candidates who are in no hurry to change jobs.

No salary details

It takes considerable time and effort to apply for a role. Discovering that a dream role is £5k less than the industry average, it’s likely to send the best candidates running for the hills. At the very least, the salary range is better than nothing.

Ignoring applicants

Anyone who has taken the trouble to apply expects a prompt response. If candidates are not suitable for an interview, tell them so in a polite way. Ignoring applicants is a sure-fire way to create bad feelings. Responses can even be automated using your applicant tracking system.

Failing to communicate with unsuccessful interviewees

Even worse than ignoring an application is an abject failure to acknowledge an unsuccessful interview. This is the ultimate form of bad practice and is likely to send your employer brand plummeting to a new low. A phone call is best, but an email will suffice if you don’t have time. Do be sure to personalize it and to offer feedback if requested.

It can take just one disgruntled job seeker to damage your reputation, and with social media at our fingertips, everyone has a voice, and that voice can make or break your employer brand.

Hopefully, our list will give some useful insight into how your recruitment process can be more candidate-friendly. While most of it boils down to good manners and treating others with courtesy, you’d be surprised at the number of guilty employers with at least one of the above infractions. Ultimately, candidates should be treated in the same way in which you would treat a client or sales lead. And remember, that person you reject after fluffing every interview question, might just end up as the CEO of a major player in your industry in a few years.

This article was created by Sonru Video Interviewing and includes contributions and research gathered from Sonru clients and candidates between 2011 to 2020.