A strong employer brand is the ultimate recruitment tool. Why? Because it allows companies to slash their cost-per-hire by 50 percent, according to the Society of Human Resource Management. And the benefits don’t end there. It reduces company turnover by 28 percent. In addition, companies with a positive employer brand have more than 2X the revenue growth and almost double the profit margins.
A weak employer brand, on the other hand, causes companies to take a hit in more ways than one.
Negative Reviews Cost More Than You Might Realize
Negative reviews are the bane of any brand’s existence. And your brand may be unknowingly inspiring bad ones through its candidate experience.
There are a few simple steps you can take to improve your candidate experience. For starters, it’s important that you contact all job applicants and let them know about their application status. As Brazen notes, 72 percent of job seekers said being ‘ghosted’ by companies they applied to left them with a negative impression of that employer. Candidates share their negative experiences on social media 34 percent of the time, according to LinkedIn, but don’t assume it stops there—they’re telling their friends and family offline too. That’s what Virgin discovered when they conducted a study on the impact their candidate experience was having on their business. Their verdict? It cost them $5 million annually in revenue.
Keep in mind, negative reviews affect the candidate experience because they prime top applicants to have an unflattering opinion about the company. For instance, 38 percent of fired or laid-off employees post negative reviews of their erstwhile employers. Well, that’s not so bad, right? Wrong! The amount of Millennials that shared less-than-flattering sentiments after being in a similar situation is almost double (73 percent) that, and they used multiple channels–social media, review sites, etc.
Add all of this to the fact that 70 percent of Gen Zers look at online reviews before making any career decision, and you can see the problem. People who’ve never interacted with your employer brand will now walk away thinking it’s a negative one.
How To Improve
There are a number of concrete steps your company can take to rebuild its employer brand.
For starters, job seekers’ opinion of your employer brand begins with a company’s website and social media channels. Ninety-one percent will have a lesser opinion of a company’s employer brand if it has an outdated website and subpar social media channels. So simply updating your social media with recent news, upcoming events, and company culture will put you on the road to recovery. Obviously, your company should make those updates on its website as well, on top of considering additional improvements.
Providing a positive candidate experience will also have a profound impact on your employer brand (not to mention that it helps drive revenue). Turning a negative candidate experience into a positive one starts with promptly responding to all applicants, regardless of whether they’re moving on to the next hiring round. Simply letting candidates know one way or the other gives the kind of clarity everyone is searching for while job hunting.
Finally, your company needs to address its branding issues head-on. That includes replying to negative reviews, which Inc. says improves your company’s negative perception by 62 percent. But don’t just respond—react. Address those issues and make the necessary changes to your company culture proactively.
Boxers can take a hit, but if they take too many they get knocked out. Treat your employer brand the same way. And remember that your candidate experience is your secret weapon.