Most businesses pour significant time, money, and resources into ensuring their images are polished properly in the eyes of their customers and target consumers. They spend millions on advertising, focus groups, marketing and analysis to try and glean how their operations are perceived in the market and how perception among the target market positively or negatively effects their bottom line. Any public-facing activity on the part of a business that drives customers away is quickly remediated. But, did you ever wonder how many companies regard their hiring processes as a marketing opportunity or as having the potential to damage their brand?
The answer sadly, is “not too many.” In fact, many organizations are blissfully unaware of the damage they could be doing to their business by not regarding hiring processes as equally important to other marketing and PR activities. As J.T. O’Donnell quipped in an article in Fast Company magazine, “forward-thinking companies are adding marketing budgets for boosting their brands as employers. Employer branding stems from a simple idea: your company’s reputation among consumers intersects with its reputation as an employer. If customers like your products and services and also see you as a great place to work, you’ll stand a better chance at attracting committed, high-caliber talent.”
There is empirical evidence to support this claim. Some years back, Virgin Media performed what they called a “Rejected Candidate Survey” of all those who had been turned down for jobs by their hiring department. The survey revealed that of all those turned down for employment by Virgin, 18% were customers of Virgin Media and worse, 6% of those rejected switched to Virgin’s competition as a consequence of their dissatisfaction with the recruitment experience. This cost the company more than $5 million for the year which was roughly equal to the budget for hiring for the entire year!
It is a simple axiom that many organizations do not seem to understand: customers who are excited about your product and brand will be excited by the opportunity to work for your organization given the opportunity to do so. Conversely, negative brand perception about your products, service or overall image can make it much more difficult to source and engage top talent when you need to.
The takeaway is that there is a strong correlation between candidate experience and revenue. So it makes perfect sense that every organization should have a strategy in place for marketing their workforce management activities and processes so that candidates, even if they’re not chosen for the roles to which they’ve applied, still retain the respect and admiration for the brand which you’ve worked so hard to polish and burnish outside of workforce management activities.
In a post published several years ago here at the nextSource blog, we examined some strategies for actively marketing your workforce management program to the public. The section on marketing to candidates offers the following relevant assessment: “It is too easy for a company to develop a reputation for mistreating or ignoring its non-employee labor force. Conversely, it is not difficult for a company to spend a little time and effort focusing on taking a noted interest in the needs and expectations of its contract/contingent workforce. A little effort goes a long way and can help your organization become known as “a good place to be a contractor.” This reputation can help source top talent among the growing pool of the “permanent contractor” set.
The benefits of pursuing this strategy far outweigh the liabilities of failing to do so. For more information on how to burnish your reputation via your hiring process, talk to your nextSource representative today.
This post was provided by contributing writer, Ronnie Kihlstadius, director of marketing at nextSource.