An organization’s reputation is much harder to control than it used to be. Previously, building and maintaining an employer brand was handled through press releases and public communications. Organizations could pick and choose what information they wanted released, and what information they wanted to keep quiet.
However, recent advances in technology have made protecting an employer brand much more complicated, giving power and voices to anyone at any time. Websites like Glassdoor and Indeed have provided a space for everyone from disgruntled former employees to failed interview candidates to share their experiences with a certain organization. The rise of social media has also opened the door for people to interact publicly with organizations in both positive and negative ways.
Similar to restaurants, one bad review or comment could tarnish an organization’s public perception, regardless of how accurate or factual it is. According to a report by Software Advice, a recruiting software review consultancy, Glassdoor has a huge impact on an organization’s public perception. The report stated that 42% of respondents said that a poor rating of the organization’s CEO had a moderate to significant impact on their decision to apply for a job. A further 72% of Glassdoor users reported that they read organization reviews before even filling out an application.
This shift in employer brand control has taken the power from the organizations themselves, forcing executives to rethink how their strategy. Below are some tips on how to protect your employer brand in the digital age:
Treat interview candidates like clients
Every interview process should have two primary objectives. The first goal is to find the perfect candidate that fits the position being hired for. However, the second goal should be to give every candidate a positive impression of your organization. In today’s digital age, the candidates you don’t hire are just as important as the ones you do. Poor experiences can be shared online and read by potential candidates, making well-qualified candidates reconsider their interest in the organization.
This can be avoided by treating candidates with the care, attention, and hospitality of clients. Come to the interview prepared and organized, take each interaction seriously, and personalize the experience with custom welcome messages on internal boards or pre-printed badges. Just as a negative interview experience could tarnish an employer brand, a positive interview experience could create buzz and excitement for others.
Create a culture people won’t stop talking about
Zappos has one of the most famous company cultures in the world, being featured in magazines, websites, and even textbooks. Want to know why it’s so famous? Because their employees can’t stop talking about it.
Creating a culture that your employees want to share online and with close friends and family is a great way to improve your employer brand without spending a dime on press releases or public outreach. This is especially important as the recent 2016 State of Workforce Management Survey reported that three of the top 5 recruiting channels were Employee Referrals, Word of Mouth, and Social Media, which all originate from positive employee experiences. Organizations can achieve this by making the workplace an inviting environment that employees are excited to be a part of. Simple acts like hosting employee events and recognizing top performers can go a long way.
Control your social media
The last piece of advice for protecting your employer brand in the new digital age is to control your social media accounts. Your social media accounts are a reflection of your organization and are some of the only real-time, public-facing platforms that you have. Having grammar and spelling errors in your posts is an easy way to show the public that you’re not concerned about your public image.
There have been countless social media blunders made by large, international corporations, letting inappropriate messages be posted on their accounts with thousands of followers. While these posts were likely sent from low-level employees without much to lose, they end up costing their organization thousands, if not millions, of dollars in damage control. Making sure that every post gets a second (or third) set of eyes is a great way to make sure that your organization is upholding a positive image in the public eye.
Press releases have lost importance in recent years. As organizations continue to lose control over the perception of their employer brand, it’s important that executives do all they can to promote their company in a positive light in today’s digital world. This can be accomplished by treating candidates like clients, creating a company culture employees rave about, and by keeping a close eye on posts to social media accounts.