Recruiting new talents to your company can be both inspiring and challenging. But before you can think about the actual challenge and benefits of picking a candidate that seems to be a perfect match for your company, you need to have the ability to make people eager to be a part of your organization.
In other words, you need to build your employer brand. That is where it all starts, but how does the candidate experience impact your employer brand?
Everyone talks about employer branding, but what is it really?
What Is an Employer Brand?
In order for you to easily understand what an employer brand is, you need to know what a brand contains, I will explain it as a combination of two different parts: the brand identity and the brand image.
The identity of the brand refers to how you and your own organization’s picture of what your brand means and how your own employees perceive it.
The brand image, on the other hand, refers to the actual brand perception of how your potential employees and candidates perceive your brand.
In order to create and successfully manage your employer brand, these two parts need to integrate and work well with one another so you can understand the perception of your employer brand.
Perception of your Employer brand
When measuring employer brand equity, the experience with the employer is one dimension that impacts the perception of the employer brand (Alsharthry, Clarke & Goodman, 2017).
The dimension focuses on the actual interaction with a company that I, from an HR perspective, would consider to be involving 4 different actors:
- The employer
- The employees
- The customers
- And last but not least the candidates
Treat You Candidates as Your Customers
If we think about how much focus and resources we put into creating and remaining a good customer relationship and satisfied employees we cannot neglect the fact that our candidates potentially can be a part of both these groups.
Having that thought in mind makes it clear that there is a connection between the employer brand and the candidate experience.
In most cases, the recruitment process is the first step for a new a potential employee to develop a perception of the employer-based on experience. In this case, a positive candidate experience is of high importance in building the employer brand. If a the candidate experience results in a high Candidate Net Promoter Score (CNPS)
A high CNPS means that the candidates are having such a positive experience that they are willing to promote your brand. You may then say that a high Candidate Net Promoter Score is highly connected to a strong employer brand.
Factors Influencing Your Employer Brand
Furthermore, it is interesting to think about and try to understand what factors influenced the candidate to apply for a position in your organization. Usually, the candidate has developed some kind of perception about the employer brand even before he/she decided to apply for the position.
But what is that perception based on?
Of course, there is no answer to this question but there is definitely a possibility that the candidate experience has impacted the perception even before the candidate actually started their real-life experience with the employer. The reason for this is the huge impact of word of mouth communications about others perceptions and experiences.
Candidate Experience – A Key Part of the Employer Brand
Your Branding Need to Be Consistent
Most realistically, the employer brand image is a combination of the actual employer brand marketing and the candidate experience along with all other actions of an organization. According to Arpaia (2019), it is important to manage the employer brand both inside but also outside the company.
Therefore, it should be of importance to both manage the employer brand in terms of marketing activities but also prioritize to ‘live the brand’ and communicate the same brand identity through the candidate experience.
Furthermore, Arpaia (2019) highlights that employer branding both can help to recruit new candidates and to retain the current employees which are two crucial factors to successfully manage an organization.
Managing Your Employer Brand
As in management of the employer brand is important for an organization, the measurement, and management of the candidate experience becomes a building block for an organization to use.
Striving against communicating the employer brand through both marketing communications but also through other type interaction with employers and potential employers, for example by working towards a high Candidate Net Promoter Score, your company can manage to communicate a consistent message and attract the right talent to be a part of your organization.