Building brand equity is a concept that many company leaders embrace. For years, organizations across the globe have been strategically building their corporate brand as a means of attracting targeted customers to their company. Studies show that this strategy is paying off. In one study, 71 percent of the consumers surveyed stated that brand recognition was vital to their decision-making process.
Despite the success of many companies using their corporate brand to attract clients, convert sales and build evangelist customers, they have been slow to integrate brand equity building into their hiring strategies.
With unemployment at record lows and the marketplace shifting to a candidate-driven job market, employers now know that it's time to think outside of the box if they want to remain competitive. To make the biggest impact on employees, and even prospective employees, the brand building must start with the candidate experience.
Why the Candidate Experience?
Initially, corporate brand building strategies fell primarily within the restraints of the marketing department. Today, companies realize that brand building is more than just a mere marketing strategy. To maximize its potential, it requires bringing the entire company on board. Many organizations already have strategies in place to make sure employees, company-wide, understand their values, goals and company culture, which are at the core of their brand image.
For many, this process of educating the employee starts during the onboarding process. Unfortunately, this is too late - at least it's too late for the prospective candidates that didn't make it through to the onboarding process. Think about how many applicants your company had for the last job opening compared to how many were offered a position. This is how many missed opportunities your organization had to share its brand message.
Whether you realize it or not, every prospective candidate that even views your job opening forms an impression about your business. Whether they receive an offer or not, these candidates will share these impressions with their friends, family members and colleagues, who could be your future customers, employees, partners or vendors.
Using the Candidate Experience to Build Brand Equity
It's up to your company to determine if you will let candidates make their own decisions about your brand or if your business wants to control the narrative with a strong brand building strategy.
Studies show that it only takes 10 seconds to form a first impression, yet it requires five to seven touchpoints to make a lasting impression. Not only should your brand be visible in the job posting, which is typically the first touchpoint, but you must also develop branding strategies for every stage of the candidate journey.
The good news is that the candidate's experience is one of the most engaging business processes. Building brand equity with various touchpoints during the recruitment process can be highly successful.
There are many ways to incorporate corporate branding into the candidate experience, including utilizing the company's career page to highlight the company brand, optimizing pre-employment testing to create an enjoyable application process, and staying on top of employer review sites to ensure your brand message is displayed clearly.
Potential applicants who have a positive candidate experience are more likely to portray a favorable opinion of the company, whether they were offered a job or not. In fact, these former applicants, as well as your current employees, have the potential to be effective, long-term advocates for your company. A positive employer brand can also help to reduce hiring cost, lower turnover rates and improve employee morale.
If your company has not incorporated brand building strategies into the candidate experience, now is the time. Developing the right strategies can provide the extra boost needed to attract top talent and to build brand equity.
What do you think? Leave a comment, and make sure you check out the rest of our series on Brand Extension!