Trashing Your Employment Brand

by Mike Mayeux

employment brandWe have all seen how the media can take a 3 second sound bite and eviscerate a political candidate in the span of a single evening news cycle. I’m sure if you could visit with one of those poor victims they would tell you things like: “I was misquoted” - “That’s not what I meant to say” - “I honestly made a mistake or had a weak moment”. Some of the funniest (being fair to all sides):

  • Rick Perry - Stated that the Revolutionary War was fought in the 16th century (vs 18th)
  • Sarah Palin - Regarding Paul Revere’s use of bells to warn that the British were coming Nancy Pelosi - Regarding Obama Care stated “We have to pass it to know what’s in it.”
  • Joe Biden - "A man I'm proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States undefined Barack America!"

The big idea here is that it does not take much to destroy a good brand while it takes years of successful, purposeful execution to build a good brand. But, unlike my examples above, when it comes to your employment brand, you won’t have the luxury of seeing it fall apart on television. It very much happens out of site, can spiral out of control and all too often is totally out of mind.So - Here are the questions all business leaders need to be asking themselves.

  • What is killing my employment brand?
  • What helps my employment brand?

In my experience, no two things are more destructive to your employment brand than a bad candidate experience and headhunters representing your firm in the market.CX. Our COO here at Novotus, Cory Kruse, is a recruiting genius. He invented the term CX and it simply means Candidate Experience. He and his teams brilliantly organize their RPO programs to focus on the overall experience of the candidate to insure two key elements. 1. Process transparency and efficiency (Keeping the candidate informed on the process and their status) 2. Flow (keeping things moving so as not to exasperate the candidate). Our Chief Strategy Officer, Hank Stringer, in his book TalentForce (co-authored by Rusty Reuff) made the most articulate defense I have ever heard on CX and he calls it “Gracious Recruiting”.

That just leaves the headhunters. It seems like a harmless plan. Say you plan to hire 20 people over a quarter. On average you can fill about 15-16 of these yourself, but for those other 4 or 5 you rely on the headhunters to fill the gap. The problem is you don’t know which 4-5 you will need them to fill so you let them work all 20. Let’s say you issue those 20 searches to 3 recruiters. What has just happened is that 3 recruiters will take the same 20 searches to market in 3 different ways - not to mention you’re out in the market representing these 20 jobs your way. So your 20 jobs are hitting the market with different messaging as if they are 80 jobs. The good news is that you have lots of activity out there. The really bad news is that you have lots of activity out there. Candidates often see your company as desperate, especially when the people calling are bounty hunters saying whatever they need to say to get them interested in the job. And that’s about the time the VIRUS starts. Suddenly the emails start, text messages, social networks, etc., all cranking out information on your jobs. All of this is out of your line of sight and none of it is any longer within your control. Worst of all, your editors are entirely self motivated by huge fees if they fill the jobs - or no fee if they fail.

There is a way to take your brand and your open positions to market. A consolidated, single message thread about the virtues of your company and the jobs you are looking to fill. There is a way to activate a market and get the same VIRAL engine working for you. These best practices start with knowing and controlling that process.

What you stand to gain is simple. Hire better people, faster and for less money.

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