4 things candidates look for in your employer brand
3 minutes | Posted 14 November, 2019

Do you know what candidates are looking for in your employer brand? By understanding what candidates are looking for, you can identify how to tailor your messaging and content strategy, and the best areas to focus your efforts and attention.

Whether or not your organisation has done anything to actively manage your employer brand, you already have one! And potential candidates are examining it before deciding if your organisation is right for them. According to LinkedIn, 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a role.

There are a number of components that go into an employer brand, and all of these things work together to shape your overall employer brand. Here are the ten components that comprise your employer brand:

Things you can control:

  • Careers site
  • Recruitment advertisements
  • Website and blog
  • Culture and organisational values
  • Candidate communication

Things you can influence:

  • Employee stories and advocacy
  • Social media channels
  • Organisation reviews

Things you can indirectly influence:

  • Public perception
  • Accolades and awards.

So what are candidates looking for? And how can you attract the right people to help your organisation?

Your mission

Candidates are looking for more than a paycheck. They’re looking for an opportunity to contribute towards a valuable mission. For millennials, this is particularly important, as according to the latest statistics, 78% saying they want their employer’s values to match their own.

To capture the attention of potential candidates, create a cohesive narrative about why you’re here and what’s important to you as an organisation. Your commitment to this mission should be the thread that connects all of your print and online materials, from your careers page and corporate philanthropy, to social media and employee testimonials. Give people a flavour of what drives the work you do.

Real information about employee experience

When investigating an organisation’s employer brand, candidates aren’t interested in corporate jargon about your products and services. They want to know what it’s like to work for you, from those who know you best and are doing the work themselves.

The best way to do this is by filling your careers site and social channels with real employee profile stories, whether they be video or written, or both. This makes your brand more relatable and personal. People respond well and are most engaged with compelling visual imagery, a “day in the life” photos and videos. These make a far greater impact than essays of text.

An active, engaging social media presence

We live in a digital world, so social media is therefore crucial in your employer brand strategy.

We cannot overstate the importance of social media in your employer brand, considering this digital world we live in now. Up to 57% of job seekers use social media in their hiring search. How much time can you invest in this channel, and what is your strategy?

Tailor your content to style of each social media account. For example, Twitter is perfect for concise summaries of key industry news (such as industry blog posts and recent awards or milestones for your organisation). Compelling visuals work well on Instagram. Facebook and LinkedIn allows you to create longer posts. Ensure your social media manager keeps all of your content on-brand as well, to give viewers a sense of unique company identity.”

Positive candidate experience

The experience you create for candidates can seem intangible and difficult to communicate and represent. But it’s a hugely important part of your employer brand because it’s so personal and candidates are paying such close attention.

78% of candidates say the overall candidate experience at a company is an indicator of how well the organisation values its employees. That means that job seekers look at your candidate experience as “proof” that you do, in fact, live up to your company values.

Create a positive candidate experience by making sure your processes are short, efficient, fair, and involve good communication.

Keep your application process is brief, intuitive to use, and relatively easy. Many candidates will simply give up if you ask for pages of information. Also, remember to communicate with prospective talent throughout the recruitment process and respect their time and effort. An automated email or text message confirming submission of the application should be a given, but adding a personalised touch from a recruiter within a few days (even a simple “we are still processing your application and will be in touch soon”) is even better.

And remember, the candidate experience doesn’t stop when you’ve made your hiring decision. Notifying individuals who didn’t get the job is particularly important, as 80% of people say they wouldn’t apply for another job at a company if they fail to hear back about a position. Leaving candidates with a positive impression of your company ensures that you have prospective talent waiting in the pipeline the next time you’re ready to hire.

By understanding what candidates are looking for in your employer brand, you can review and fortify your strategies to strengthen and promote your employer brand.