In today’s market how we attract and engage with potential talent has broadened. Ranging from internal recruitment teams, referral schemes, owner networks to social sites and maintaining partnerships with recruitment or executive search firms to name but a few.

Whatever your preferred approach more so now than perhaps ever before businesses are being judged not just by what they do but also by what they don’t do within the hiring process. And this applies to recruiters as well.

Whenever a candidate applies for a role and has that first touch experience with the hiring manager or recruiter and the company has been revealed then this is when the first seeds of an opinion are formed about your brand. And all too often its where businesses let themselves down when it comes to managing the hiring process.

For the candidates that have a seamless experience from start to finish and secures that all important role then its golden. However, to every person who gets the job there are a large number of candidates who obviously didn’t. Its these candidates that feel, more often than not, that they had a negative experience when going through the application process and this isn’t just down to not securing the role. It’s this part that has a knock on effect to your brand.

You see you may celebrate when you find that right hire but if in doing so you’ve been lazy with the hiring process or partnered with the wrong recruitment or search firm then the chances are you’ve left a lot of people with a sour taste in their mouths. It’s this experience that they will share with colleagues or industry friends.

In a world where we are now actively encouraged to write reviews or vocalize opinions through whatever media channels that are available to us. More so now than ever, if we are being honest with ourselves, as a society we like to rant or air our grievances with ease as its not in our nature to praise without being prompted. Sad but true.

To avoid harming your own brand, here are some key pointers to remember when hiring:

  • Partnerships – Ensure that if you engage with a recruitment or search firm that they are reputable, operate and specialise within your field and ideally you have met with the consultant who is going to be represent your business. (Believe me, if you invest the time at the beginning it will pay off in the long run). As it’s vital that your recruitment consultants understand your business, your brand and your culture. Remember as soon as you give the green light then they are effectively representing your brand to a very wide audience and it can be all too easy to misrepresent you.
  • Fees – we all like low fees or no fees at all, as clearly, we all think recruitment is a piece a cake, when in reality it isn’t. However, don’t necessary put fees in front of service. By all means negotiate but considering the talent you employ distinguishes you between your competitors as well as your ability to grow, you may want to ensure the talent you see is the best on the market and you’re not being left in the standing section only. Also a good recruitment firm who understands brand value and PR is worth their weight in gold.
  • Communication – if you’re going to brief someone on a role, brief then properly. Doesn’t have to be war and peace but make sure they understand the opportunity as well as the benefits and culture of the agency. Ultimately what you tell them is what they will share with their audience. If you give a halfhearted effort then what can you expect in return.
  • Feedback – This is a big one! If you’ve interviewed someone and they’ve taken the time to prepare and meet with you. Have the decently to ensure you give clear feedback. Nothing worse than keeping someone hanging or not feeding back at all. Be constructive and remember we’ve all being a candidate at some point so try to remember how you’d like to be treated, rather than perhaps how you were treated. (This also applies to recruiters).  If you’ve employed the services of a recruitment or search firm then make sure that they acknowledge and feedback to each application as part of their hiring program. Especially if they’ve revealed your brand. Nothing worse than briefing a candidate on a role at your agency and the recruiter never getting back to them. Makes both business look lazy and uncaring.
  • Being human – invest a little more time in explaining the culture of your business and the people behind it no matter how big or small you are. Remember in today’s world we buy into people, ideas and culture more so now than ever before. We want to belong and believe in something.

Recruitment doesn’t have to be a painful experience unless you get it wrong. And in a time where we all struggle to find those superstars perhaps its now we all should remember that relationships isn’t just a word to be used lightly and that how we treat one another does have a real impact.