Talent Circles

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to Create a Convincing Brand (Part 2 of 3): Managing impressions

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

In part one of How to Create a Convincing Brand I talked about the importance of sharing your story as an employer across multiple platforms. The importance of having a consistent brand when it comes to your career site, corporate blogs, and any video used to convey your employer’s brand cannot be underestimated. Employment branding is showcasing what sets you apart from all the other brands out there. This week we will cover the importance of understanding the touch point intersections in relation to where candidates spend their time both online and offline and why these “channels” are the key to growing and establishing your employment brand.

In most organizations, brand ideology is embedded into some activities more than others. For instance, it is usually a standard practice of each new employee to learn the history of the company and its beliefs. It’s in these moments that employees learn this is how we do things here lessons about the brand. It’s easy to overlook day-to-day processes and the implications it has on your brand. With recruiters brushing off a phone call or ignoring someone at the monthly AMA luncheon affects your brand without even thinking.

The three major touch points in recruiting and human resources help define the type of experience each of your candidates have with your specific brand. In order to recruit more effectively and increase your overall employment brand it’s important to follow these simple employer touch points:

Pre-employment experience: One of the first and most important touch points is the pre-employment experience. We’ve heard candidates submitting their resume into the black hole, recruiters being unapproachable, and laborious processes that discourage candidates from applying for open job requisitions. Creating an atmosphere direct communication will enhance the candidate’s pre-employment experience and increase your employer’s brand image, in other words, create a mutual "first impression."

On-boarding experience: The on-boarding experience is a candidate’s first impression of a company as an employee. Company history and culture are at the forefront of your new employees' mind and how you handle their on-boarding will determine how long they stay. The on-boarding experience should be considered as a critical "second impression" because it’s how the employee will view everything about the company.

I remember when I started at my first job, the first week was amazing and learning new processes and how everything worked was a utopia. I instantly told all my friends how great this company was and that everything about it was perfect. This is a touch point that many people miss, but should be looked at as one of the most important.

Post-hire experience: The final touch point for recruiters and human resources should be the post-hire experience. Once a candidate has jumped into a specific routine it’s important to keep them engaged and feel like they’re apart of the company and have an impact in the workplace and provide a positive "third impression." Without this touch point candidates may lose interest and become disengaged. In a 2012 survey, over 18% of employees are disengaged which costs the United States alone, $450 – 550 billion dollars in lost productivity.

Although day-to-day operations vary from company to company, the overall root processes don’t change much at all. Each candidate has a pre, current, and post experience with a company and how you handle it will determine the success of each candidate turned employee. This will help you not only build a convincing employer brand, but will end up reducing turnover rates which could save your company millions each year.

On Thursday we will discuss how employers can take the candidate experience one step further by developing a platform that offers real transparency and works with candidates to recruit better within your organization.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

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