How to Protect your Employer Brand in a Social World

It can take years to build an employer brand and only 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 candidate. 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). If you want to avoid damaging your employer brand, consider following these five best practices. 

A clear, skills-based job posting 

A vague job description can pull in applicants who aren’t qualified for the job. That means you could be saying “no” to hundreds of applicants or even completely ignoring them. That’s a lot of people having a negative experience with your company. Instead, focus on specific skills and competencies, like “provide excellent customer service in a luxury retail environment” or “receive and stock merchandise according to procedure.” Avoid vague terms such as “being a team player” or “ability to think outside the box.” These are too subjective. Make a list of “must haves.” Describe daily tasks so that the applicant can get a picture of what it would be like to work for you. This will help some candidates self-select out and it can help ensure you are building a strong candidate experience. 

Concise application forms 

There’s nothing quite as soul-destroying as going through a long, complicated application process which requires listing every job you’ve ever had, with start and end dates, along with the names of supervisors long forgotten. The lesson here? If the application process is too complex, many will abandon the process midway, including good candidates. Take a new look at your application process by focusing on key skills and experience. What do you need to know up front, versus asking in a follow-up interview? 

Pay transparency 

It takes considerable time and effort to apply for a role. Discovering during the interview that the position is 20% below the going rate is likely to send the best candidates running for the hills – or Glassdoor. Competition is severe in today’s labor market. Do your research and learn what your competitors are offering, including benefits and perks. If you won’t name a number in your job advert, at least give a range.  

Respond to all applicants 

Anyone who has taken the time to apply to your organization expects a response, hopefully a prompt one. If candidates aren’t 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. 

Communicate promptly with unsuccessful interviewees 

Even worse than ignoring an application is failing to acknowledge an unsuccessful interview. In this time of instant social media “gratification,” the impact on your employer brand could be swift and ugly. 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. 

How to protect the brand and hire the best person 

Global retailer Walmart knows that every job applicant is also a customer. That’s why they’ve created a pre-hire assessment developed in partnership with Modern Hire that efficiently and accurately predicts candidate performance and retention. It is part of a hiring workflow that takes care of the applicant at every step of the process, from screening, to assessment, to interviewing, to selection, to onboarding. The goal is to create a hiring experience that upholds applicants’ customer loyalty regardless of whether they receive a job offer. By assessing candidates’ core competencies for retail roles such as reliability, manages priorities, and pursues excellence, Walmart’s recruiters can quickly advance candidates who will learn the job faster, be more productive, and are likely to stay on the job. 

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.