Branding as part of the hiring experience

I'm at risk of "soap boxing" here, but a recurring frustration for us involves the lack of protection by employer clients, of their own company brand.

I'll share some examples with you.

1. Household recognised consumer goods brand.  Going through a hiring process.  Failed to deliver timely feedback and kept candidates waiting for weeks between interview stages with no explanation or apology.  Result - candidates who have had a poor hiring experience and won't buy the products again AND will refuse to be considered for future roles AND who will take the trouble to share their bad experience with others (who are likely to be deterred as future customers given they have the luxury of product choices)

2.Market leading technology company.  Going through a hiring process.  Engaged with 3 recruitment agencies as determined by the global procurement department.  The agency consultants were inexperienced, ill-informed, tripped over each other in sourcing candidates and provided mixed messages, didn't expend effort on candidate engagement, and didn't limited their search for talent to their databases given they were only being paid on a contingent basis and this was just one of the 40+ assignments they were working on simultaneously.  Somehow despite the muddle a hiring result was achieved for the tech company client.  Result - candidates who been confused and have generally had a poor hiring experience and won't utilise the tech products again AND will refuse to be considered for future roles AND who will take the trouble to share their bad experience with others (who are likely to be deterred as future customers also)

3. Fast growing pharma company in a highly competitive market for "talent".  Failed to offer a transparent two way information exchange as part of the interview process and actually over-sold their role remit and company culture in order to make a "star" hire.  They wound up securing a professional who then learnt that the role/culture/agenda/challenges were completely different to expectations.  Result - candidate promptly leaves for a new job elsewhere AND will refuse to be considered for future roles AND who will take the trouble to warn of their bad experience with others (who are likely to be deterred as future candidates also)

Spot the recurring themes?

If you're serious about protecting your external brand, and ensuring harmony between the internal reality and external perceptions, then take a fresh look at your hiring processes.  If we all take the view that every candidate is a potential brand ambassador for our companies, I suspect it will change the way a lot of us do our hiring.

Additionally, maximising the candidate experience needs to be an objective that every stakeholder in the hiring process buys into - a candidate who meets 5 great folks and then is kept waiting by the 6th who proceeds to show indifference and lack of professional respect; results in denting all the good branding work done to date.  This exception may well prove the difference between securing the candidate, or not.

Get your hiring process right, and every candidate can have a fantastically positive experience, regardless of whether they're successful in securing an employment offer from your company.  Happy candidates means happy brand ambassadors, and a competitive edge that we can all utilise in business today.