Why Are Candidates Choosing Them Ahead of Us?

There seems to be a common theme running through my blogs at the moment, regardless of the topic. They empathise with the fact that candidates have a choice where they work. The days of the client having the power are gone, so businesses have to adapt to attract and retain top talent. Job seekers are more creative in their approach and align themselves with companies they have a desire to be employed by, employer branding in its purest form.

brand_aid_featured.fw.png1.fwWhat even is “Employer Branding”? Is it another recruitment related buzz word that many people use but few actually understand in any great detail? And, should you really be that bothered by it? YES, and in a big way! A recent study highlighted that circa 90% employees have a presence on at least one form of social media. Also, there are businesses’ investing millions of $ and £ in it! Worried yet? It seems to be another common theme in my blogs that I use fear as a motivator – but it has always worked for me!

The days of applying for a job for life are gone. Candidates now actively select an employer. Candidates increasingly want an experience coupled with a brand they can align themselves with! It’s easier than ever for candidates to obtain information about you and your clients, websites like Glassdoor for example. So, as a recruiter or hiring manager, it is essential that what they find about you and company is essentially squeaky clean – think of it as a reference, we do them on candidates, why would they not do them on us? If you think it is as simple as “is this a good company to work for?”, think again. It is about the candidate experience, the candidate journey, salary, benefits and career development programs.

Branding_(Stuart_Miles_via_freedigitalphotos.net)-1From CEO to receptionist, we all have the responsibility to represent our employer to the fullest, remember what I have said about first impression – THEY STICK! I heard a great line on a project once from a receptionist who said, “I am more than a receptionist, I am the director of first impressions!”. Like the first impression she made on me, this has stuck and if you get employees embracing that attitude, your employer brand will be strong. Its common sense, if you attract the best from having the best employer brand, they are more likely to increase profit, improve processes, be more productive and drive down costs. Another WIN WIN and the reason there is such significant investment in this area.

Employer branding is far from simple, but I am! So I will break this down into some key components:


Yes you! Your brand needs you! Lead by example on all forms of social media. Share updates, like updates, ensure your job adverts are perfect before posting and contribute to discussions. Show people the power of a robust employer brand, it’s hard to ignore! Do the simple things well and stick with it, this will not happen overnight, patients is a virtue and the rewards are significant.

Employees (past and present)

It is common sense, but if you saw employees ranting about work or having a gripe against their line-manager, would you apply to work there? No! They need to be bought into the company, the visions, the aspirations, the culture, they need to share updates and links with their networks, doing so with pride and purpose. It would be remiss of me not to mention past employees or those working their notice period, a population often overlooked in these discussions. People leave employers and it does not have to be on bad terms, so by creating a robust employer brand, there will be less negative postings when they do choose to leave, in-fact, it is more likely they will post a positive message to their network.

valuesMake them an offer they can’t refuse!

Or the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) in more technical terms! Why should they choose to work for you ahead of others? This is not just about cold hard £! People will accept a lower salary if they can align themselves with the company’s values, buy into their vision and feel valued. Psychology Today found that the average employee spends 90,000 hours at work in their lifetimes, so ask yourself this – would you sacrifice a small % of your annual basic salary to work somewhere that values you, has great benefits, you feel proud to work for and offers career development opportunities? I know I would!


So important! Ties into the above, but, what is it like to work for your company? Is it an enjoyable? Do employees feel valued? Is everyone bought into the vision? If so, you are in a good place which will have a positive impact on your employer brand. If not, you need to address this and rapidly!

Candidate perception

Giving all candidates a great experience should go without saying but by doing so it creates a positive impression in the marketplace. So, show candidates you care, stick to timescales, keep them up-to-date and when rejecting candidates, provide detailed feedback. Put yourself in their shoes, be empathetic and honest. The process from application to rejection or from application to on-boarding and start date should be first class. There is no room for candidates to attend a poorly prepared interview, meet disorganised hiring managers, have a lengthy wait in reception as you over run and then receive no feedback. You’re going to need a mop - good luck cleaning up that mess!

So, there you have it – employer branding! I hope you found this informative and can employ this into your recruitment practice Be a custodian of your brand, the power of it should not be under-estimated – but with great power comes responsibility, so tread carefully and good luck!

Credit: Images from renjith krishnan and Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net

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Euan McNair

Euan McNair is an award winning Senior Talent Acquisition / Resourcing / Recruitment / Employer Brand Professional with an extensive track record of success within the Public & Private sectors.

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