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5 Ways to Destroy Your Employer Brand (Hint: Don’t Do These)

by | Nov 3, 2020 | Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing

Picture this: you’ve spent thousands of hours (and dollars) building your employer brand and gaining traction with amazing candidates. Your company is interviewing hundreds of candidates for all sorts of roles across the organization. Hiring managers are overwhelmed and the candidate experience is starting to fall through the cracks. This doesn’t seem like the end of the world because you’re finding great candidates and making offers. Next thing you know, a LinkedIn post from a candidate pops up on your feed. They’re trashing your company because one of your interviewers ghosted them during the hiring process. The post ends up getting more than 5,000 likes and now half of the candidates you made an offer to have turned you down.

Your employer brand, just like a consumer brand, is a very fragile asset that can take a hit at any time. Stories like this are why you invest in building a strong brand and that doesn’t just mean the content you put out. Your employer brand starts from the people inside your organization, the processes in place and the culture you’ve built. 

Check out the five worst things you could do when building an employer brand and make sure to avoid them at all costs!

Build an amazing employer brand by avoiding these five crucial mistakes

One of the best ways to build any brand is to create word of mouth but how do you do that? Treating people the right way and being honest and transparent is a great place to start. People don’t expect to get a job offer from everywhere they apply but they do deserve to be treated well by your company either way. Below are five mistakes to avoid to keep your employer brand in good standing.

1. Having unauthentic hiring practices

The interview and job search process is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. So, how you treat someone throughout your hiring process is incredibly important. It is easy to get wrapped up in the business side of things when you’re trying to be efficient and hire the best person. However, everyone you don’t hire is just as important to your company and your employer brand as the people that you do.

The candidates who don’t make the cut hold an incredible amount of power over your brand and how they respond to not getting the job all comes back to how they were treated during and after the interview process. You don’t need to send every candidate a gift basket and a handwritten note to be seen as a good employer. But, you do need to at least keep people in the loop and be honest with them. At a minimum you can set up an automatic email to be sent from your ATS whenever you don’t hire a candidate so that they don’t feel like you ghosted them. Doing little things like this can be the difference between getting trashed by a candidate online and creating a good reputation for your brand.

2. Not practicing what you preach

This is one of the worst things you can do and one of the fastest ways to lose respect from the candidates in your pipeline. Don’t publish your company values and talk about the things that you stand for and then not follow through on them. Job seekers, especially young ones, care so deeply about the values and mission that a company was built on and if they read one thing and see another they will lose interest in working for you. 

For example, a lot of companies talk about giving back to the community where they live and work. There should be photos and videos of your employees actually doing this on your website and social media. It may seem obvious but a lot of companies make promises like this and then don’t prove that they hold themselves to it. 73% of job seekers are looking on social media when trying to learn more about a company and all of those people want to see the authentic side of your organization. Show them!

3. Not promoting your own employee stories

Employees are one of the biggest assets you can have as you’re building an employer brand. They hold the stories and information that all candidates want because they are sitting in the chairs that interviewees hope to be sitting in. These stories will explain the path that was taken to land the job at your company. From what your employees studied in school to internships they had and other life experiences that took place this is the content that future candidates and current interviewees want to engage with.

When you do share employee stories you also have to trust your employees enough to not limit what they say. The only thing worse than not sharing these stories is sharing them with an obvious filter to the point where it is clear to anyone consuming the content that the person is not telling the full story. You hired this person because you trust them to do great work and shed a good light on your company. So, trust them to tell their true story and help future candidates understand who they may be sitting next to if they get hired by your company.

4. Only publishing content about your open jobs

If you keep up with our content you’ve probably heard us say before, “Gen Z job seekers care about more than just a job description.” It’s true. They care about the whole organization, what it stands for and the values that it was built on. Sure, a good salary is always going to be attractive but it isn’t going to keep a young person interested in working for you for a long time. So, why are companies only sharing information about open jobs? This could be one of the biggest mistakes in building an employer brand.

This is the equivalent of a consumer brand only posting about how awesome their product is and the deals they are running. It gives you no insight into what this company is actually doing on a daily basis. Candidates need to know what it’s truly like to work at your company in order to make an informed decision and you need them to know everything about your company to make your hiring process more efficient.

5. Mimicking other companies

One of the most common mistakes that companies make when thinking about their employer brand is copying moves that other organizations are making. It is 100% okay to look at other companies for ideas and motivation but you have to make them your own! People are interested in learning more about your brand, not another company disguised as your brand. Be true to yourself and your company, share real stories about what’s going on, and highlight why it’s exciting to potentially work for you.

This can be a challenge especially for companies who are just starting to invest in their employer brand but being authentic is even more important for those companies. As long as the content you are putting out is representative of your company, the right candidates will love it and appreciate the opportunities that your company has to offer.

Get started (or continue) building your employer brand

Instead of only telling you the mistakes not to make, we wanted to also share some action items that you can use to get started (or continue) building your employer brand. These will help make sure you’re authentic and communicate the information that job seekers want to have.

  • Find three employees from different departments at your company and record them talking about their career journey and why they work at your company.
  • Post at least 3 times per week on your company social media pages.
  • Be a guest on podcasts like The Internship Show and talk about your company in a casual and inviting way
  • Create short-form videos of your employees answering questions about your company. Videos have a 1200% higher engagement rate than images or written content.
  • Keep your talent network up to date with consistent communication via email. Use email to promote the other content you are already creating.

If you’re looking for further guidance or want help putting these ideas into action feel free to contact us! We’re always happy to help.

About Scholars

Scholars helps companies build engaging candidate experiences at scale. Create personalized journeys for all of your candidates from application through onboarding.

About Scholars

Internships and early-career jobs are unlike any others. They are often accepted months, if not years, in advance of the start date leaving plenty of time for candidates to change their minds and decide to work elsewhere, costing your team time and money.

There are two ways that have been proven to decrease renege rates for any company: keeping candidates engaged by sharing personalized information and helping them make connections with their future teammates. Companies use Scholars to accomplish both of these at scale.