Employment Brand and The Emperor's New Clothes

There is a great post on the LinkedIn Blog about some research they did on employer brand. You can read whole post, but here are the key findings:

  • The cost per hire is over 2 times lower for companies with strong employer brands
  • Companies with stronger employer brands have 28% lower turnover rates than companies with weaker employer brands.
  • Almost none of the recruiters claimed that their company would score less than a 7 (out of 10).
  • Passive candidates are more attracted by opportunities that offer challenges and the ability to make an impact.
  • Passive candidates place a higher value on company culture and may even put culture fit above compensation and benefits.
  • Active candidates are more drawn to companies that offer strong growth prospects and opportunities to develop their skills.

Two things stood out for me with these findings.  

First, anything you can do to improve your employer brand and how it is perceived by outside candidates is going to serve you well.  If it costs you less to hire, and you are more successful with passive candidates (who will be more productive), then you are getting much more ROI than even the 2X reduction suggests.

Second, I am not surprised that no recruiters believe that their company would score less than 7/10 for employment brand affinity.  After all, recruiters spend all their time talking to ACTIVE candidates who NEED a job.  They get no objective information, so they truck along thinking their company is the best thing since sliced bread.  Yes King! Your new clothes are the envy of all the land!

In our work at Survale, we show employers what ALL their candidates think about them: Active, passive and, many times, passive aggressive.  

In my world, recruiting organizations think they are doing fine. Sure their career sites repel passive candidates with bad navigation, hidden jobs and lengthy employment applications. And of course, ninety percent of traffic to their career site traffic never fills out an application, and they have no way of engaging traffic outside the employment application.  All of this erodes any good brand affinity they may have (employment or otherwise) and hinders their ability to attract and hire passive talent.

Yet they spend all day talking with some subset of the 10% of candidates that make it across the virtual moat that is their career site, who will tell them their company is awesome.

Companies that use Survale don't have to guess about what all candidates think their brand because they get the candidate survey feedback everyday when they login.  They get candidate satisfactionscores, brand affinity scores and comments from all of their career site visitors, not just the ones who apply.  They also see where they lose traffic and they get a running ticker of potential candidates' comments telling them what's good and what needs to change.

So you can REALLY understand your employment brand, or you can continue to walk around naked while everyone speaks freely about you behind your back.  I recommend the former for obvious reasons.  But one reason is not so obvious and perhaps most powerful of all.  In all that feedback you get when you ask for it, one comment keeps coming up:  "Thank you for asking."

Talk about improving employer brand...

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