Now, don’t get me wrong. Having a written employment brand statement is very important. It is, however, only half of your employment brand, at least for high caliber candidates.
You see, the best talent are good consumers. In other words, they expect a vendor or an employer to create a brand that magnifies what’s best about their product or employment experience.
The vendor’s or employer’s definition of what’s best, however, may not be the same as theirs. So, what do they do? They test drive or try out whatever they’re being offered.
Now, that’s relatively easy to do for a car or a flat screen TV, but it’s much more difficult when you’re trying to evaluate an employer. With the exception of intern programs, there’s simply no way to get a realistic look at what it’s like to work for an organization.
So, what does the best talent do? They create a surrogate. They use the employer’s recruiting process to gauge its employment experience. In essence, the best talent believe that the way they are treated as candidates is a good approximation of how they will be treated as employees.
Optimizing the Candidate Experience
That simple truism is the principal reason for all of the recent concern about “optimizing the candidate experience.” More than well written job postings, more than a cool career area on your corporate Web-site, more than a scintillating social media program, putting your organizational best foot forward during your recruiting process will spell the difference between winning and losing the War for the Best Talent.
So, how do you optimize the candidate’s experience? Simple, you walk the talk.
You set expectations with your brand statement about what it will be like to work for your employer AND you illustrate that experience with the organizational structure and employee behaviors that characterize your recruiting process. You make sure that everything that’s said and done to evaluate the candidate ALSO illustrates your employer’s core values and culture. Or to put it another way, you take off your rose tinted glasses and make sure you look your best through the critical lens of top talent.