In the building products industry, finding and keeping top talent is still very competitive. In a tough hiring market, employer branding can set your company apart as an employer of choice.
Employer branding is a buzzword that has been used for a long time, but some companies still don't buy into why it matters. Your employer brand goes beyond glossy marketing materials, freebies and a great cafeteria. Focusing on setting a positive tone to your hiring process is one way you can demonstrate the strength and depth of your employer brand.
In today's era of instant communication, a negative experience with your company will go viral before you blink. Once you have a negative perception hiring gets a lot harder. Luckily, there are easy steps your business can take to demonstrate a positive employer brand throughout your hiring process. You don't need gimmicks and stunts but just thoughtful planning, caring, and respect.
Employer Branding 101
Thoughtful planning is an easy way to demonstrate you care about more than just your needs. A candidate that sees you want them to feel welcome and cared for will know you put forth as much effort with current employees.
Start with the right attitude. Hiring isn't something negative you have to do, it is a chance for you to find a superstar to take your business to the next level. Start looking at interviews as an opportunity rather than an obligation.
In advance, plan out every aspect of the hiring process:
- How will you handle responding to e-mails and resumes?
- What message do you want your responses to convey to candidates?
- How will you set up and schedule interviews?
- What is your time frame for the entire process?
- How will you demonstrate excitement and enthusiasm to candidates?
- How will you extend offers and send regrets?
Once you have a solid idea of how you want to present your company, you can move forward with a plan. Keep candidate's needs in mind throughout.
How you communicate with prospective employees is key. You should remember they are potentially making a life altering decision. You are dealing with humans with feelings. Make sure your language is friendly, open and positive. Even if you are declining a candidate, you never know when they might come back into your life. Take time to formulate caring communications.
Demonstrate enthusiasm for the opportunities to connect with candidates. Make sure they know you are interested in them, not just looking to fill a slot with any old person that comes along.
Even if you use canned responses, take a little time to show you view them as an individual. Call out something in their resume that sparked your interest or give them other ways to remain as an industry connection even if you aren't hiring them.
Be respectful of their time and don't leave candidates hanging. If you are regretting them, do it promptly. If you have a delay in the process, make sure the candidates in play know.
Interviews are a chance for you to find out more about a candidate, but they are also a chance for someone to learn about how your company runs. And that includes how you treat co-workers and employees.
If candidates are traveling, handle the arrangements or share how they get reimbursed. Allow down time between when they arrive and the interview. A refreshed, relaxed candidate at their best is worth the price of a hotel room in the long run.
A packet at their hotel with company and community information and a map will be welcomed. If a spouse is coming with, include them in the process. Information about relocation, real estate, and schools will make a great impression. You can work with your Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center to build a packet for candidates.
Schedule for a relaxed, unhurried interview. Leave time between meetings to clear your mind and get ready for the next person.
Pay attention to first impressions. Your front desk person should know candidates' names and schedule and do their best to make the person feel welcome. Give the candidates a quiet place where they can wait.
Do not be late, it reflects poorly on you and the company.
I talk about branding in interviews here, but how you wrap up meetings also demonstrates employer branding. Truly thank the person for coming in and talking with you. Share the next steps that will occur and walk the candidate all the way to the door. Sending a quick thank you email calling out specific items discussed sends a positive impression.
There are many ways you can demonstrate your employer brand when you look to hire for your next role. Keep the candidates' needs and desires always in mind. Demonstrating respect and caring through careful planning and communication will position your company as an employer of choice.