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Employer brand

The Difference Between Employer Brand and Candidate Experience

Clare Hopping

The Difference Between Employer Brand and Candidate Experience

The difference between candidate experience and employer brandAs you embark on your latest hiring search, bridge the gap between your company’s image and the candidates you want to hire.

Today’s applicant pool is both more qualified and more indecisive than ever before, a fact that makes the stomachs of HR teams everywhere turn in knots. The Talent Board's latest Candidate Experience report indicated that 78.6% of applicants made the decision to apply to any given company or organisation based on their own research and findings.

While employers should never rail against the autonomy of their workers, some recruiters might find this burst of independence alarming. Apparently, according to the same report, only 7.8% of applicants said their decision was changed by their interactions with a recruiting team.

Accordingly, one might assume that in order to land the top candidates, employers have to rely on luck. But this is largely untrue: while our era’s professionals are already notorious for their indecision and their constant movement from post to post, things aren’t as bleak for recruiters as these statistics might have you think.

Building an Identity

While they may initially seem like two entirely different operations, creating a memorable experience for a job candidate is directly related to the possession of a strong employer brand. One of the most important elements of staying lodged in people’s minds is maintaining a consistently positive image over the years.
Over half (52.3%) of current applicants say they’ve had previous interactions with the company that they applied to, according to Forbes. Whether this means having been a customer in the past, a friend or relative of an employee, or a consumer of the company’s content or product, any interaction of this nature will work in your favour. Once you have entered a potential applicant’s mind, your organisation will be all the more likely to hire them in the future.

Expanding Your Employer Brand

As for those applicants that have not had any prior experience with your company – you can easily take care of that.

Capturing the imagination of this demographic has everything to do with a strong employer brand. Your applicants will do their research online before they even consider applying for a position, so you want to ensure that what they find is memorable. And don’t underestimate the importance of this point, as 67.8% of applicants said they spent over two hours conducting online searches about the companies they apply to.

If you have confidence in your overall brand, your company can move towards creating a recruiting process that candidates will remember more positively than the others. And that starts with ensuring that the process is as streamlined as possible, as applicants will be easily discouraged by maze-like websites or unanswered emails.

Instead, the hiring process must stem directly from your overarching brand. If you reflect pre-eminence, customer care, and relevance, then these qualities must be clearly demonstrated. If they aren’t, then your well-researched candidates will notice the discrepancy.

The necessary steps are actually quite simple and shouldn’t be hard to carry out if your company is true to its overall brand. Along with treating applicants with respect and setting realistic expectations in advance, it is imperative that you communicate effectively throughout the process. Candidates will notice if your end goes silent – and they’ll take their talents elsewhere.

(Mian image credit: Texas A&M University/flickr)

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.