Our brains are designed to compute split-second impressions of people and things. We then drop those impressions into one of many preset categories as a way to shortcut decision-making.
In the wild, for example, bright colors usually mean poison. We could take the time to work out the logic every time we come across a bright color in nature. (What do those bright red berries, poison dart frogs, and vibrant snakes have in common? Poison and bright colors!) But instead, our brains make the leap: Bright colors? Stay away!
These snap judgments are how we discern what to trust and what not to trust quickly enough to avoid danger.
The interesting thing is, we think this way even when our survival does not hang in the balance. When we come across brands, the same almost subconscious process unfolds. Indicators of culture — both subtle and obvious — stir certain instinctive responses in us.
Long before you’re even aware of their existence, a job seeker either accepts or rejects your company based entirely on your brand and reputation.
A job seeker’s first impressions of your company will make or break their decision to accept a job offer — or to even apply to an opening at your company.
The results from our recent Brightwing Talent Insights Survey confirm this. 62% of professionals rank brand and reputation as the most important factor while they decide whether to apply to a job or accept an offer.
And the internet has multiplied the number of opportunities everyone has to make judgments about your brand.
How Your Employer Brand Impacts Your Recruiting
The rise in popularity of social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, on top of mega-networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, has raised the stakes when it comes to employer branding. Social media is where most candidates are already “hanging out.” So, it’s the first place they’ll look for your brand when applying to or interviewing with a company.
If your social brand is engaging, you’ll certainly catch their eye. If, on the other hand, your social brand is unappealing or, worse, nonexistent, you’ll be out of the running almost immediately.
These platforms enable you to showcase your employer brand in action. Sharing fun photos of company events, timely memes about the state of your industry, or insightful articles can help you appeal to your audience of potential employees.
Social media isn’t the end, though. Your website (especially your careers page) and the messaging your talent acquisition team uses in emails, ads and job postings are all reflections of your brand.
What Role Candidate Experience Plays in Your Brand
Research shows that a large majority of candidates believe the candidate experience indicates how a company values its people. Yet less than half say employers treat candidates with the same level of respect as their current employees. This is a massive disconnect that poses a risk to a company’s overall employer brand.
From the moment a candidate interacts with your company via email, phone, or social media, the experience must be positive, respectful, and engaging. This should continue throughout the screening and interview process, all the way through to a candidate’s first day and beyond.
How do these interactions impact your brand? Consider how and where candidates may share their experiences of your hiring process. According to our Brightwing Talent Insights survey, the second most important factor for professionals considering a potential employer is online reviews, via sites like Glassdoor and Great Recruiters. Job seekers will often leave transparent reviews of their candidate experience on these websites. If their experience was less than stellar, that will be a red flag to future candidates, negatively impacting your brand.
How Your Brand Is Reflected in Your Company Culture
Your company culture is what brings everything full circle. From how it is showcased in your social media accounts and via online review sites to how it is perceived during candidate interviews, your culture is inextricable from your brand.
You could have the best marketing in the world with a beautiful website, social feed, and messaging, but if your culture is unappealing, your brand is still negatively impacted. If you’re struggling to attract and retain top talent, it may be time to reevaluate more fundamental aspects of your culture: how do your teams function? how are your core values lived out day-to-day?
When components like compensation, benefits, and career path are comparable, it’s your brand and reputation that may make or break a job seeker’s decision. Where do you stack up against the competition?
At Brightwing, we advocate for your business, finding you amazing people that fit your culture and delivering the insight you need to truly shine as an employer. Let’s partner up. We can’t wait to hear from you.