While job search engines and commercial boards continue to be important sources of new talent in the digital age, reputation is proving an increasingly powerful recruiting tool. Consider the findings of the 2015 Source of Employment Survey Report, which interviewed job seekers between 2006 and 2014. In 2006, when asked how they found their last job, respondents gave the following top answers:
31.7% responded to an ad posted on a commercial job board
11.6% got a tip from a family member or friend
9.5% responded to a newspaper ad
In 2014, the top answers were:
24.5% responded to an ad posted on a commercial job board
12.8% referred by an employee of the company
11.3% got a tip from a family member or friend
Note that tips from family and friends maintained roughly the same percentage, while the percentage of people who responded to job board ads actually decreased. And we see a new top answer surfacing: referrals by current employees. The number of people finding jobs through word of mouth is on the rise, so don’t undersell the importance of using your company’s reputation to recruit.
Using Your Inside Reputation
Your employees are one of your biggest recruiting assets. After all, they know what it’s really like to work for your company. They’re immersed in the culture, so they can speak to the perks of your workplace. Insider knowledge is powerful, so encourage them to share that insider knowledge with prospective candidates:
The power of referrals: Offer incentives for passing on prospective candidates. These could take the form of anything from financial compensation to a work-from-home day. Make employees understand that they can gain by referring someone they know.
You can also leverage employees’ insider knowledge to build your company’s public reputation:
Have fun with social media: Use your social media channels as a platform for employees to share their positive experiences in their workplace. Invite them to post on your Facebook page, Twitter account, or Pinterest boards.
Straight from the horse’s mouth: Include a section for employee testimonials on your website, or create a recruiting video that shows employees engaged and invested in what they do.
Using Your Outside Reputation
A myriad of factors contribute to your company’s public persona, but branding is one of the most foundational. Simply put, branding means creating a definable, recognizable identity. It encompasses your company’s mission statement, as well as the many other ways you present yourself. Every company has a brand, and you can set your company’s apart by making it undeniably clear to a prospective candidate:
Less isn’t always more: Many job postings don’t provide enough information about what a job seeker will contribute to should they join the company. Add blurbs about what your company stands for to job postings on search engines, commercial boards, and social media platforms. When job seekers can pin down what you’re about, they’ll be more likely to find that vision attractive too.
Bolster home base: Make sure your company website has an equally succinct and compelling summary of your mission statement and unique offerings in the industry. Many candidates will check out your website during their application process, so it should represent you well.
By focusing on branding your company to potential candidates, you bolster your reputation, and thus the likelihood that they’ll pursue a job with you.
This is just one of the recruitment strategies that should be in your toolbox. But the bottom line here? Reputation has a considerable impact on drawing top talent. Stay attentive to it, and you take advantage of major recruiting opportunities.
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