In this guest post, International employer brand strategist and author Brett Minchington shares his views on channels candidates should access to research a company’s employer brand before applying. Brett also provides guidance for companies on creating an employee ambassador program to drive unsolicited applications to grow talent pipelines.
Researching the employment offering.
Today’s candidates have access to numerous online and offline communication channels to research the employment experience on offer at a company they are interested in joining. Companies need to ensure the communication of their employer value propositions through offline and online channels cuts through the clutter of increasingly fragmented media and messages. They can no longer rely on traditional media such as press advertising to influence candidates in applying to work for them. So where should a candidate focus their efforts to gain an insight into their future employment experience?
Due to the proliferation of media channels pushing out job vacancies and promoting the employment experience, candidates are in a much more fortunate position in their job search efforts than previous generations.
I encourage candidates to research via the diversity of online and offline communication channels to gain a deeper insight into the employment experience they can expect at the company before they apply. Companies should embrace candidates who do their research as it pays to recruit new employees who are more likely to be productive team members rather than employing staff who find out they would rather be somewhere else.
Below is a list of some of the channels candidates can access to gain an informed view of what the company has to offer and how it differs from their competitors offering:
- Career websites
- Job e-newsletters
- Facebook brand pages
- Job boards
- SMS job alerts
- Webcasts & podcasts
- Company twitter and hastags
- Google alerts
- Employee video testimonials
- Company videos on YouTube or career sites
- LinkedIn groups
- Google company key word searches e.g. “XYZ company and reputation, scandals – use a mix of positive and negative keywords, etc”
- Press advertising
- Career fairs
- Billboard posters
- Best employer rankings
- On-campus marketing
- Community events
- Company events e.g. AGM
- Mystery calls to recruiters
- Conference presentations
Let your employees do the talking!
On a tour of the Google offices in Zurich, famous for their quirky and colourful workspaces, I was reminded of the value employees’ play in delivering the employer brand promise. These company ambassadors are a powerful front line tool to communicate to potential hires what they can expect from joining the company and an endorsement to current employees that they have made the right choice. It also results in stakeholders speaking positively about the organization.
Like millions of others around the world I had seen the photos of inside the new Google offices in Zurich and wondered the impact such an environment has on employees. Whilst their work environment may not be attractive to everyone, it’s important for companies to understand the needs of their employees and meet these needs to the best of their ability and resources. Every employee in the offices I toured took the time to stop and say hello or smiled in a manner to project, “Welcome to Google – I love working here!” Google does this perfectly!
I suggest the following steps to start building your employee ambassador program:
- 1. Define your company’s values,
- 2. Research with current employees their perception of the employment, experience. Assess any gaps and take action,
- 3. Conduct research to determine client and customer satisfaction levels,
- 4. Define the employer brand promise and demonstrate what it looks like to deliver the promise,
- 5. Conduct training with leaders to deliver the brand promise (often they are the most visible and exposed!),
- 6. Appoint brand champions throughout the business (from all levels) and encourage these champions to form networks inside and outside the company,
- 7. Provide training to ambassadors in presenting skills and working with the media,
- 8. Reward behaviors that deliver the employer brand promise,
- 9. Provide ambassadors with the correct tools to promote the company – this may include company brochures, vouchers, gifts, DVD’s, etc…
- 10. Monitor, measure, and report on results. Adjust your program based on your findings.
Brett Minchington is Chairman and CEO of Employer Brand International. Connect with Brett on Twitter (@brettminch) or LinkedIn.
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