5 Special Ways to Stand Out to Candidates

Have you ever applied to a company only to find a communication barrier on the recruiting end? Or, in the very least, tried to look at a company career page and find it hard to navigate? That would be an example of poor employer branding. A company who is candid with candidates about their company and the application process is more likely to have happy employees. Truth is, people are 50% more likely to post to social media about a negative experience than they are a positive one. So, in an increasingly web-based world, ignoring candidates after a convoluted application process will only lead to a negative employer brand.

So you think you’re special? Communicate why you are to candidates.

Potential candidates aren’t going to know what makes you stand out above the rest if you don’t tell them why. But here’s the trick: don’t exaggerate. As tempting as it may be to lure coveted talent, don’t fall into lies as a practice for recruiting. Even exaggerating will lead candidates to believe you lied to them during the recruitment and hiring processes. When they discover their impression doesn’t match with the reality of their new job, new hires quickly become disengaged. And at the end of the day, a disengaged employee can cost the company time, money, and energy. Here are some of the lies recruiters tell candidates to keep their interest peaked:

  • “We don’t have any openings, but send us your resume anyway. We will take a look at it and keep it for future positions.”
  • “The hiring manager hasn’t gotten back to me yet.”
  • “You didn’t score high enough on the assessment.”
  • “We really liked you, but we’ve decided to go another direction.”

Biggest problem with all of these? It can get you into legal trouble as a recruiter and as a company. If the candidate finds out the truth, the EEOC and other legal bodies can get involved which can prove to be a very pricy litigation for the company.

Choose your employer branding champions wisely.

The best ambassadors are the ones who know your company inside and out. Who better to do that than your most engaged employees?  Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media CMO, says, “Any successful employer brand campaign will focus on its current employees. Why? Because research shows that candidates (especially entry level ones) want to hear them… they want to see the people who work in positions similar to theirs.”

Make the most of your employer brand socially.

Social media is a great avenue to take when you’re trying to reach a large group of people with an employer brand campaign. The best part: it’s not just youth who are active on social media sites anymore. You can access a multitude of skills and experience levels through social media, as even the older Baby Boomers are active on social media.

  • Young Millennials (18-29) – 89%
  • Older Millennials (30-49) – 72%
  • Young Boomers (50-60) – 60%
  • Older Boomers (65+) – 43%

It gives companies the opportunities to build communities around their brand, including their employer brand. Ann Taylor Loft, for example, has a unique Twitter handle for their employer brand. @AnnLoftCareers is their employer brand handle; rather than using a combined account, they separate them. This in turn, makes for a very delineated employer brand and company culture.

Take your hiring process from discombobulated to simple.

Candidates hate your scrambled hiring process just as much as you do. Sixty percent of candidates were frustrated with a recruiter’s lack of communication and 51% percent of candidates simply didn’t get updates on their application status after they were rejected. Even if a candidate isn’t actively looking for a job, establishing a communication process is vital in developing relationships with candidates.

You can only follow the leader when there is a leader to follow.

Your company’s employer brand isn’t going to just “happen.” The seemingly effortless culture in a company is a strategic web of communication, determination, and planning. All of this branding is intentionally set in motion by a branding team. And in any team, there is always a leader. Some organizations appoint a specific employer brand manager. Unfortunately, not all companies have caught on to this idea. A strong employer brand is key to keeping talent around. With that said, organizations save as much as 50% in cost per hire with an employer brand that not only entices talent, but maintains interest in the company post-hire as well.

An employer brand centers on recruiter to candidate communication. Keeping talent in the loop, staying honest, and communicating in a time-efficient manner will not only maintain their interest during the candidate stages but after they are new hires as well. Happy candidates can be happy new hires if hiring managers and employer brand managers don’t exaggerate the good stuff and down play the bad.

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Photo Credit: Bob.Fornal via Compfight cc

Views: 396

Comment by Anna Brekka on July 9, 2014 at 6:08pm

Great advice 

Comment by Derdiver on July 11, 2014 at 2:59pm

Good advice for life IMO

Comment by Keith Halperin on July 14, 2014 at 7:23pm

Thanks, Julie.You have some valuable points.


1) Companies are interested in hiring people young, naïve, ignorant and./or foolish enough to actually believe the "corpaganda" that goes up on company websites,  and

2) It's often much more affordable to fool others into thinking you're a god place to work than to actually BE a good place to work,

spending money on a good EB program can be quite cost effective, and it can more than make up for a horribly dysfunctional hiring process, as one major employer of choice (EOC) has shown us.




Comment by Tim Spagnola on July 16, 2014 at 7:56am

I agree w/. @Derdiver on this one. Advice that goes beyond running a successful desk. 


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