You’ve heard it a million times: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. In the employment world, this is true whether you’re a candidate or a recruiter – but also if you’re a company looking to attract talent. First impressions matter.

Your Employer Brand is Your Smile

Your marketing team spends every waking hour to ensure your prospects and customers get the best impression of your brand, and your recruiting team should follow suit. 78% of candidates made their decision to apply at a company based on their own searching, reading, watching, and interacting with content online. A smile is the same in every language, so make sure yours shines brightly when a candidate finds you! 

Is your careers page slamming? Are your job descriptions reflective of your culture? Are your social media accounts two-way channels? Are your Glassdoor reviews positive? If not, then you may only be getting 20% of the applications you could be – it’s time to get happy.

Show Them the Love

Communication is a key part of this first impression, and a true connection to a company is what candidates are looking for when making employment decisions. Meghan Biro calls this connection the missing link – the love that is often missing from the hiring process.

A Candidate Experience Awards study found that 65% of candidates felt connected to a company through careers websites, social media, and other digital content. But remember, these are people that were hired – the same study found that 75% of applicants receive NO communication! In today’s hyper-connected world that is insane. Everyone deserves a yes or no because either way it impacts how they, and everyone they talk to, feels about your employer brand. 

Make Your First Impression Impactful

There are a few things every company can do to make candidates feel that connection right away. They take thought, time, and in some cases a budget, but worth it if it helps your audience truly understand how it feels to work at your company. 

Overhaul Your Careers Website – To a candidate, your company’s careers page is your “Hello My Name Is ______” tag. Make sure it shows off not just your open positions, but your culture, employees, office, perks, benefits, customers, and all of the other things that represent who your company truly is. Spotify and HubSpot have great careers pages, as do Charleston natives PeopleMatter, BoomTown, and SPARC – be sure to check them out.

Step Up Your Social Media Engagement – Your company’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts aren’t just for the marketing team! Your employer brand can shine brightly here by featuring photos of your culture, calling out key job openings, and retweeting your brilliant employees! After the careers page, your social channels are going to leave a lasting impression on a candidate – so make sure customers aren’t the only audience targeted. 

Monitor Your Reputation – When was the last time you ordered something on Amazon without reading the reviews or checking the ratings? I never do either, and candidate behavior is no different – so assume they’ll be pouring over each and every Glassdoor review while researching your company. Keep an eye on those reviews, have a strategy, and get your employees involved in sharing their opinions. 

Develop a Communication Strategy – Who says what, when, and how often? The three items above only work when you take the time to develop a communication plan that is integrated with the rest of your organization. Saying the right thing at the right time will give every visitor the positive impression your employer brand needs. 

As with everything in life, building true connections is what really makes the difference between success and failure, and employer brand is no different. Take those steps today to make sure that your candidates’ first impressions are the start of a long lasting relationship!

If you have any questions about how your company’s employer brand is coming across to your candidates, give us a shout – we can help!

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