Many employers big and small have begun implementing their hiring plans this year, despite economic headwinds. But in a job market where open positions outnumber job seekers nearly two to one, connecting with candidates to find top talent isn’t easy. One major roadblock that deters qualified candidates from glancing at your organization’s career page and open roles is your company’s reputation. And you had better believe it precedes you.

Public forums such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and the like allow current employees, former employees, or even interviewees to post about their experience with your company, for better or worse. These reviews are a key part of your online presence and play an integral role in your recruiting effectiveness.

What Is Your Employer Brand?

An employer brand refers to the way organizations differentiate themselves from competitors in the market for candidates and employees. What is your company’s reputation among your workers? How is it as a place to work? Do your employees feel cared for? Taken care of? Would they recommend you to their friends? These are all important questions that contribute to your employer brand.

According to LinkedIn research, more than three-quarters of people seeking jobs look into the company’s employer brand before applying. This means that most of the candidates you interact with will already have an image of your company, especially those job seekers who have options when it comes to seeking new roles. They’re also likely to leave a review after interviewing or interacting with your company during the hiring process. How does your online presence impact business? Here are three ways:

  • It impacts the quality and quantity of applicants.
    Positive reviews will draw applicants to your business, simplifying your hiring efforts and helping to attract top talent and build a more robust talent pool. Negative reviews will do the opposite: drive away candidates who are seeking better job opportunities and work environments.
  • It influences customer perception.
    Prospective customers are also looking at your online presence to assess company values. So while a positive online brand will encourage customer loyalty, negative reviews will likely disrupt their trust in your company.
  • It affects current and future employee satisfaction.
    Even if a current employee has a mostly positive outlook on their experience, those negative reviews or discussions about them in the workplace can be detrimental to productivity, focus, and retention. Negative impressions of how you hire their coworkers (and how it impacts the quality of their coworkers) can decrease work performance by up to 30%. So the quicker they are addressed and remedied, the better.

The impact of your employer brand is significant. But the overall hurdle most leadership teams face is how to address and improve their candidate experience and, therefore, improve their reviews online. Here are two ways to approach your employer brand online to attract top talent.

#1: Recognize Your Employer Brand Is for More Than Just Hiring

A well-developed employer brand makes current employees proud of their positions and the company they work for. And it makes them more likely to refer others in their network towards open positions in your company. But did you know that your employer brand can also support your bottom line? It’s simple: devoting resources to the brand and its maintenance can reduce costs elsewhere.

Companies that have stellar employer brand images don’t have to spend as much on recruiting costs because they don’t have to recruit as hard. When your employees love their job, they’re telling people about it. Or, at the very least, not running your good name down in an after-work rant. This also means retention is improved because your strongest employees are more likely to stay for the long run.

Current employees act as ambassadors if they’re proud of where they work. The attitudes of current employees, positive or negative, further develop the company’s brand; strong branding creates a cycle where the brand gets stronger, which makes employees prouder and more content in their work, which makes the brand stronger, in turn.

#2: Make Sure to Optimize Job Seeker Experiences

Start laying the groundwork for positive candidate experiences now. When seeking to create positive candidate experiences, communication is key.

Keep Candidates Informed Every Step of the Way

Too many recruiters and employers treat the hiring process as a one-way street, requiring prompt answers and updates from candidates without offering the same thing in return.

Solutions like candidate texting and automated intelligent messaging make providing candidates with real-time, helpful feedback easier. Communicating details of the next steps job seekers need to take or just acknowledging when their application has been received and reviewed leaves fewer unanswered questions and room for competition to sneak in.

Let Your Candidates Know What to Expect

Hand-in-hand with keeping candidates in the loop during the hiring process, it’s equally important to let candidates know what to expect if they are hired. That means offering them a clear and detailed glimpse of their new role’s responsibilities and your company’s unique culture.

More than 88% of surveyed job seekers said they believe that good company culture is essential to business success. Demonstrate what makes your company culture stand out, and you will be ahead of the game.

Maintain Relationships with Candidates

When does your candidate experience end? After you decide not to hire them, right? Wrong. Just because a candidate isn’t right for the position you currently need to fill doesn’t mean they won’t be right for a different role in the future.

A good way to improve candidate experience is to keep in touch with all high-quality candidates, not just the ones you hire. Instead of starting over from scratch, you may already have dozens of prime candidates sitting in your recruitment pipeline.

Continue Into Onboarding

Communication shouldn’t stop once the candidate has accepted an offer. To ensure a smooth onboarding process, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your onboarding experience seamlessly connected to your hiring experience?
  • Are all of your new hire forms digital so that new hires don’t have to fill out forms by hand?
  • Do you have an onboarding portal that prioritizes all of a new hire’s tasks?
  • Does your onboarding portal work on mobile?
  • Do you offer pre-boarding? In other words, is your onboarding portal available to candidates before they start, so they can get a head start on the process?

Go Deeper on How to Attract Candidates with a Solid Employer Brand

Download our eBook and learn how you can build a better candidate experience with a step-by-step approach to enhancing your employer brand. Get valuable insights into auditing your employer brand and see how you can improve the quality of hire with a better candidate experience.