Don't Let Recruitment Damage Your Brand

Is your Talent Acquisition function doing everything it can?

The reasons for someone joining your organisation are usually a combination of many factors including your brand and its reputation, job title & the role content, location & travel, the wider team & its culture, but all too often overlooked is the importance of the recruitment process itself.

Hopefully your organisation invests time, money and resources on the Employer Brand which tends to focus on what it is like to work within your four walls as an on-boarded member of the team. BUT! over the last 12 months, I am seeing more and more of this work being undone during the recruitment process. If your organisation is serious about recruiting the leading talent, you need to ensure the company ‘brand values’ are backed up by your own internal recruitment strategies, behaviours and actions.

Many organisations get this horribly wrong by not treating all candidates as carefully or considerately as they should. If their candidate experience is poor, they are very likely to form and even worse, share, a negative view with others.

Firstly, your initial approach must interest and excite a candidate. Often candidates start off neutral but will respond more positively to a clear consistent message about the content of the role, what the company has to offer and the financials including exciting and flexible benefits to suit different needs.

Are you looking after ALL applicants?

Applicants unsuccessful in securing an interview deserve a response for showing an interest in your organisation. An automated response with some kind words and ideally directions to monitor future opportunities with your organisation, is the least they deserve.

Hiring Managers, Human Resources & Talent Acquisition can significantly enhance or detract from a candidate’s interest and engagement by how positive you make the experience and the messages you convey. If candidates feel engaged and have been excited by your recruitment process, they are much more likely to accept a job offer.

So, what can you do to help create and maintain engagement through the recruitment process?

Choose a recruitment partner who is highly credible and well regarded

Candidates will be less likely to engage if the recruiter is not knowledgeable and professional. Candidates decide whether to engage based on who approaches them and how. Invest your time briefing your recruiter so they can represent your brand with the understanding and knowledge that ensures creating high candidate engagement.

Ensure there is a common message that sells the role and will excite and appeal to the level and experience of the candidates being targeted

Think about the terminology and the tone to the wording of your brief to ensure mirroring the seniority of the role and mirrors your companies' brand, ethos and values.

Use this message to ensure an exciting and thought-provoking brief agreed in partnership with your recruiter to support attracting the leading forward-thinking talent you seek

Candidates will be less likely to explore a role if the brief is poor or basic and some will not attend a first interview without seeing a formal Job Specification

Create a candidate information pack

An interesting variety of information including company benefits, events, news, staff activities, commercial wins, awards, values etc. all work well to strengthen your message. You may include pictures or even video links. This is a chance to open a window to see inside your amazing brand.

Diarise and stick to a dynamic interview process

Research suggests that as high as 70% of candidates will question your buy in to them if there are more than three interviews or if the timelines keep moving. Yes peoples diaries are busy, but if planned out in advance there is plenty of time to diarise a clear professional process that showcases how you operate internally.

Choose your internal interviewers wisely

Ensure the interviewers are at the appropriate level within your organisation and they know how to undertake an effective interview that ensures both sides get the most from the experience and time invested. Many candidates withdraw in the early stages of interviews especially after a one-sided interview that doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity to show how exciting the role is and the fantastic reasons to work for the company.

Feedback, Feedback Feedback! Communication, Communication Communication!

Guess where most peoples frustration lays! Feedback should be prompt and ideally within 48 hours. Most candidates will disengage if feedback is late in coming as it gives the message of uncertainty. If someone is a no, don't be afraid to share why. Feedback on why someone is unsuitable is much better than no feedback at all.

Communication is king. Someone would rather here ‘we like you but have more to see before committing to next stage’ than silence for a week. Open and honest dialogue is always well received and in my opinion creates a stronger desire to join.

Keep the conversations going

People buy in to people and introductions to team members start that formation of relationships and buy in. Even if only brief, a meeting or call with a senior manager or director will make them feel valued, wanted and engaged.

Ensure the role is fully signed off

Delays in officially offering roles are one of the greatest frustrations and turn offs for candidates and gives the impression that this is par for the course of how your organisation works. If you say you are a dynamic, fast moving company, make sure your Recruitment process matches.

Make the best salary offer first time

Your brand message shouts about high quality products, services and working with the top talent so value your hires.

If you have any doubts into the suitability of the candidate, don’t offer less, continue searching for the right person. If you genuinely feel that your chosen candidate is the right one, why start your first conversation by undervaluing them just to try and save a few pounds.

Over 30% of candidates make a decision based on the first offer and only one in 20 candidates will consider less than a 10% increase. Lower than expected initial offers pose a serious risk to hiring by giving a sense of disappointment and putting doubts in candidates' minds.

Get the offer out promptly

Good candidates will often receive other offers and this risk increases every day. ‘If they want to work here, they will wait’ is an egotistic sentence I hear too often. Great candidates are courted by great roles so if you want them, fight for them

On-boarding starts at offer stage

Keep in touch during the period of offer and start. A good external recruitment partner should of course be doing this but regular direct contact from the new team ensures candidates continue to feel engaged and excited about their new job

There is no one reason why people join an organisation but we do know that recruitment has a significant effect on the candidate experience and ultimately impacts whether they accept an offer or continue to hold the organisation with high regard. Protect your Employee Brand by treating all applicants as you would expect to be treated if you were applying and wonderful things will happen.

To discuss how we can support you with your Contract & Permanent Human Resources & Talent Acquisition hiring needs, call us 0208 1544532 or email

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