It looks like the economy is starting to get a pulse again, making employer branding a top priority. Whether the marketplace is raging hot (think 2007) or on life support (think the last 2 years), employer branding is extremely important. How people are treated in the recruitment process should never be underestimated.
First impressions are lasting and word travels fast when the candidate experience is negative, disorganized or disrespectful. Communicating information about your company’s recruitment process, and what is happening with a specific position and why is the first step toward minimizing misperceptions and potential problems. Granted, internal information is often confidential. However, if you are involved in recruiting, the best course of action is to keep the conversation going and real, and not to hide from having a dialogue. Letting prospective candidates know there may be changes that could impact the role they are applying for is good business sense. They don’t need explicit details; broad brush strokes can suffice. Believe me it is a lot better than no communication at all or misleading signals. In the end, you will earn the candidate’s and the recruiter’s respect.
Any time you work with external business partners, such as executive recruiters, you need to establish how you will collaborate and how information will be communicated (phone vs. email, frequency). Keeping the conversation alive and people content with the best information that you can supply is critical. It’s all part of building your employer brand. The market is bouncing back, things are changing, and candidates are receiving multiple offers. Clients will lose their best candidates when they continue to shop or are not willing to actively engage a strong prospect. After a while, you tarnish your employer brand and make your company less attractive to top-tier talent.
Perception is key. Do you as a client present an image of “paralysis of analysis”? Don’t give the candidate marketplace the impression you can’t make a decision or aren’t willing to be upfront. I really want to hear from clients-- -- how are you representing your employer brand - How would you describe your candidates’ experience — is it working for you or does it need work?