We regularly represent clients whose companies aren’t recognizable by name or products to the average person on the street, yet they employ people and generate profits. When they post jobs, we often hear that response is disappointing by way of quantity in addition to quality which is why they then enlist our support. When we approach qualified candidates and ask why they didn’t apply directly to our clients’ own postings, we often learn that one reason was simply a lack of awareness of the company. These days, candidates, especially employed candidates, tend to be cautious and highly selective about exploring employment opportunities. They’ve been RIF’d in the past, seen companies close and know there are companies who survived the recession but are fragile so sometimes “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know”. .
As ambassadors of our clients, we have the distinct leverage of being able to introduce and explain our clients, the nature of their businesses, their histories and the impact a candidate can make by adding the value of his/her experiences and talents. In essence, we’re able to represent a client’s brand and often better than they can themselves especially when limited to the body of a job posting.
The following article by Minda Zetlin we found on www.inc.com, encourages companies to improve their brand in the eyes of candidates. Naturally, it suggests website utilization, but many of our clients are local divisions or plants of larger corporations and their corporate website often doesn’t display the local plant/division well, if at all. That being said, candidates should see consistency with corporate brand messages when they interview for the local opportunity. Again, we’re able to tell the story of our local client relative to its corporate membership, to build its brand in the eyes of candidates.
The article also encourages companies to stay “engaged” with candidates you may not have room or need for today but might in the future. That’s easily said if your company has a large Human Resources team and a computerized database to sort through but, really, most of our clients don’t have the time or resources to “stay in touch”. We’re often able to perform that role for clients. In fact, we regularly make clients aware of candidates that become available with industry/product specific experiences just in case there’s a simmering need for such talent they just haven’t made us aware of. And, we’re often told to stay close to said candidates as there may well be an forthcoming opportunity after a period of time or pending a series of events. So we’ll regularly update with those candidates and keep our clients ‘front of mind’ so they’re receptive if and when there’s a firm employment opportunity to discuss.
As a component of consistent branding, Ms. Zetlin encourages you to “make sure the Supervisors and Managers in your organization are actually creating the organization and culture you promised in your branding”, warning you that employees will leave if there’s a disconnect after they sign on. We would further encourage you to ensure that all company participants in the interview process are on the same page, consistently representing your brand and the job responsibilities and empowerment. Sometimes, company representatives are overzealous in their attempts to attract candidates and can be guilty of overselling. Once candidates are onboard and see a difference from what was presented, it’s natural that they feel deliberately misled and that can lead to poor retention. At KEC, we work diligently to represent employment opportunities realistically so we arrange a best fit for both employer and employee so you have a better chance at retention.
Enjoy the Article! ~ Jim Fairfax