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Employer branding: 7 mistakes you don’t want to make

Published on :
15 May 2024
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Back Market, KPMG, Dassault, Shine… These different sized companies all have a strong employer brand that ensures their attractiveness and loyalty and makes their competitors pale by comparison. To follow in their footsteps and develop a solid and positive employer brand, we have drawn up a list of the errors that you do not want to make. Take note!

Absent or neglected employer brand? Beware of the consequences!

In case you were in any doubt, employer branding is a far cry from some trendy HR marketing concept that is only for multi-nationals with colossal budgets. It is in any company’s interest, whatever the size, to take care of its brand image to avoid seeing their best talent leave to work for the competition and avoid being “ghosted” by qualified candidates.

There is good reason: without competent, motivated and engaged employees, there are many negative impacts:

  • Recruitment difficulties;

  • Excessive workload for understaffed teams;

  • Low incentive;

  • Significant workplace stress;

  • Tensions within teams;

  • Degraded working conditions;

  • Employee disengagement;

  • Increased terminates;

  • Drop in performance and productivity;

  • Poor reputation with clients;

  • Falloff in business, etc.

As you can see, the long-term survival of the company is at stake! To avoid this nightmare scenario becoming reality, there are some mistakes that must (truly) be avoided.

Mistake no. 1: working on your external image before taking care of your in-house image

The main reason that a company develops its brand image is for recruitment. While this is entirely legitimate, be careful not to put the cart before the horse. If you want to look attractive from the outside, the company image must first be attractive from the inside, with employees.

If you neglect this step, the initiatives and actions undertaken to hone and “pimp” your brand image with candidates will be in vain. Worse still, your strategy might even backfire if new recruits realise that their employee experience is not as well-tended and positive as their candidate experience was.

The rate of resignations and turnover will climb upwards and your negligence will cost you dearly, because you will have to launch the recruitment process again. Add to this the risk of terminates talking about their poor experience on social media or company evaluation sites like Glassdoor.

Conclusion: always begin by assessing your brand image with your teams and set up a plan of action to improve your employee experience.

Employer brand mistake no. 2: Embellishing reality

You want to attract qualified candidates at all costs and you are willing to take the risk of overstating reality in order to do this. Unfortunately, nothing good will come of this. Applicants will soon smell a rat when they visit company evaluation sites and question employees and ex-employees to get their opinion.

What’s more, because the candidates have already been taken in by a seductive pitch, these days one-third consider the content of the employer branding published on social media to not always be reliable. To gain their trust, it is always preferable to highlight employee testimonials and to encourage them to share their experience in your company with their networks. Furthermore, 47% of applicants prefer a recruitment process that includes employee testimonials with examples that demonstrate the company’s values and the perspectives for growth (Potentialpark rankings 2024 of the best digital employer brand strategies).

Employer brand mistake no. 3: Not updating your job offers

Picture this: you have pulled out all the stops to make your brand image shine. Target candidates are receptive to your values, your company culture and your purpose. They are prepared to join your company and apply for a job offer on your careers site. Unfortunately, your offers are not up to date and the position is taken. How are they going to react?

Badly, certainly. They will be disappointed and rightly so. They enthusiastically engaged in the recruitment process but the position was no longer available. This is also a waste of their time. The candidate experience is not satisfactory and under the effect of recency bias, the last impression will dominate the overall assessment. In other words, this poor experience could very well tarnish your image. An AGGO/CAASK X IFOP 2022 study confirms this: 79% of candidates state that a poor recruitment experience generates a negative reaction with them. For example, 47% will refuse to apply to that company again.

Employer brand mistake no. 4: A navigation experience on the careers site that is not smooth

Did you know that one of the first things candidates do before answering a job offer is to visit the company’s careers site? It is even the number 4 reason that motivates them to apply, according to the CCLD barometer in 2022!

Frequently, small imperfections can mar the navigation, and therefore the user experience. This is especially the case when pages are slow to load or if the architecture of your careers site is complex (e.g.: the candidate is looking for information about the CSR policy and has to click on 3 different tabs before finding the right section). To sum up, the information should be accessible simply and swiftly. If this is not the case, a potential qualified profile could be discouraged from engaging in the recruitment process.

Employer brand mistake no. 5: Application follow-up that is unsatisfactory

Perhaps you are not in the habit of answering applications that are rejected? Do you send a generic message to unsuccessful candidates without any details about the reasons you are rejecting them? This is a mistake that downgrades your employer brand! If you are in any doubt, the AGGO/CAASK X IFOP study is clear: among the elements that constitute a poor recruitment experience, we can find the following:

  • 64 % complete absence of a reply;

  • 48 % receiving an automated and impersonal reply;

  • 45% not receiving acknowledgement of receipt;

  • 44% no feedback after an interview.

And 1 in 2 candidates will share their poor experience with the people around them. Therefore, it is essential to personalise the way you follow up with candidates.

Employer brand mistake no. 6: Being inactive on social media

Nowadays, companies have presence on social media. But is having a company page on LinkedIn, TikTok or Instagram enough to attract the best talent? Unsurprisingly, the answer is no. On the contrary, a company that doesn’t share anything on social media engenders mistrust among both passive and active candidates.

To make a difference and recruit easily, it is essential to be active on social media. This involves sharing information that allows individuals to find out more about your values, commitments, company culture and careers.

Employer brand mistake no. 7: Only showing the positive

Talking about the advantages of joining your company is obviously important for your reputation. Nevertheless, candidates are wary of a perfect employer brand image. According to the Potentialpark 2024 ranking, 55% of them consider that the representation of the company culture appears too positive to be taken seriously.

Talent are conscious that everything is not perfect, and that what counts is to know exactly whether the current work context is going to suit them. So remember to talk about the challenges and the tough knocks you have encountered too. You will appear more sincere and realistic.

In conclusion, developing your

employer brand strategy

is a job that is both important and tricky. To take things further, read our article: “How to implement your employer brand strategy in 7 stages”.

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