Hiring seems so innocuous to some. It’s simply putting a new person on as staff and integrating them into the business and environment, without much else happening externally, right? It would certainly seem that way, yet how we hire can affect how we are perceived in the marketplace, almost certainly influencing brand recognition.
There are two key areas that influence this, and these two are probably the most important:
- Putting the role to market
- The new employee in your business
OK, so you are finally getting around to putting your role out into the market to attract the best talent. You pop an ad on Seek, make a few comments around Linked In and maybe tweet the role with a link back to your website’s career page.
What most businesses don’t understand that this is like any marketing campaign they embark on and it must be treated as a branding exercise. Your name is being put out into the market, and how you respond to any applications received can really influence how you are perceived in the market.
Why? Because one fatal mistake businesses make is that applicants to a position are not seen as customers. Remember, Marketing 101 says that anyone can be a potential customer, and just because this particular customer is applying for a role within your organisation makes them no less a customer than one who walks through your front door with an intention to buy. Anyone with even a modicum of marketing nous will say that a customer is anyone who comes into your business – which means applicants as well. There is a popular axiom within the recruitment industry that states: 'todays candidate is tomorrow's client'. It's a perfect summation on how quickly someone can turn into a customer demanding your product or service.
Branding is everywhere and how brands can spread is unprecedented. These days, with the reach of social media, a bad experience an applicant has with your business will become viral in a very quick time and something you would deem as innocuous has cost you some serious cash.
Then there is mere observation of your hitting the market with your job ad. Does the grammar and spelling show a company with clear checking processes and/or quality management? Does the wording used imply fun, serious, relaxed or a dictatorial atmosphere? Does the ad talk more about the company, and less about the role, or vice versa? Does it mention the culture, the environment, and plans it has for growth? All this create a picture, a view and directly influence perception and branding. Because let’s be honest here, candidates are not the only ones who will be reading this. The impression the ad makes will go beyond the candidate market. The wording, quality and tone of the ad will go to company perception, and that is one thing that can’t be taken lightly.
Does hiring affect branding? Absolutely. It is the wise businesses that realise this, approaching the market with their eyes wide open, fully aware of the importance of getting their role-to-market strategy spot on.