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Online Brand Management: Protect Your Reputation

April 20th, 2012

In an earlier era, both large and small companies could effectively control workplace brand management with a few simple steps. As long as your employees didn’t publicly embarrass you and your website looked positive and legitimate, it wasn’t hard to attract the interest of a pool of talented candidates. And once you gathered a stack of applications, basic negotiating skills would suffice when it came to making salary offers based on budget resources and candidate experience.

In recent years, things have changed. The availability of online information has allowed candidates to become far more savvy about which companies they pursue and which job offers they accept. To stay ahead in the race for talent, make sure you maintain strong control over your workplace brand. And make sure your recruiting efforts stay positive, tightly-targeted, and appealing to your core candidate audience. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind as you shape your brand and protect your reputation.

Understand How Information Travels

The most talented candidates don’t have to settle, even during a bleak economy. Just because you reach out to them via your targeted posting doesn’t mean they’ll apply, and just because you make an offer doesn’t mean they’ll accept. Confident, savvy candidates look before they leap. This means they’ll run an online search of your company’s name and they’ll read at least the first three or four results they find before they make contact. Once they’re more invested in the application process, they may also search for the names of your managers and top executives.

Sites like JobVent, JobBite and GlassDoor often appear in these searches. These are forums where current and former employees can post anonymous reviews of a company’s workplace culture. Reviews on these sites can have a strong impact on the decision making process of a talented candidate, so you need to know they’re out there and you should probably know what they have to say.

Control Your Brand at the Source

Both prospective and current employees can easily keep track of online gossip and issues related to your company’s reputation. And once a few negative remarks appear in the public sphere, it can be very hard to limit their effects. Bad press can rapidly be reposted to multiple sites, and not all of these outlets can be contacted or influenced. So make sure you control your brand at the source. Regardless of what’s being said online, is your company a fair and honest employer or isn’t it? Are your compensation decisions appropriate and aboveboard? Do you treat your employees with respect? Do you cultivate their skills and invest in their careers? Do you work hard to protect their job security? Do you extend respect to your customers, your partners, and the larger community?

If you don’t care about these things, be careful. Your reputation is at stake and you’re more exposed than you may realize. If you intend to compete for top talent, you’ll need to generate some positive press to compensate for the negative, or you’ll need to make some core decisions and re-evaluate your approach to the recruitment process.

For help navigating the complex landscape of workplace brand management, contact an employment staffing service in CT at Merritt Staffing and arrange a consultation.

The Recruiting Process: Making the Most of Social Media

March 16th, 2012

Before the modern digital age, recruiting efforts were focused on cultivating a workplace brand and shaping job postings around a target audience. Employers followed a path to success by simply identifying a specific candidate market and then establishing a workplace culture around that market. This is still a foolproof method for attracting the attention of well-matched candidates, but the resources available to recruiters are changing rapidly in the age of social media. Are your recruiters making the most of these new tools?

 

Using Social Media to Identify Your Target Audience

 

Before you put effort into expanding your online presence and shaping your workplace brand identity, you’ll need to make some decisions about the candidates you’d like to attract. Who exactly are you pursuing? Are your ideal candidates young people or mid-career professionals? Are they funny or serious? Relaxed or driven? Competitive or team players? What are their professional and personal goals? And what online resources do they rely on during the job search process?

 

Your social media campaign will ideally include a list of social media profiles, an active blog, and the inclusion of some video and multimedia content on your website. You’ll want to direct these brand builders to the right candidate population.

 

Using Social Media to Build Your Workplace Brand

 

Once you’ve isolated your target audience, you’ll need to take active steps to get in front of these candidates with brand identifiers that set you apart from competing employers. A successful workplace brand starts with a strong, consistent, and functional culture. It’s a hard to portray your workplace as fun and relaxed if the opposite is true. Keep an eye on your culture and maintain pressure in a positive direction. Then use your social media resources to present an image of your workplace that reflects your chosen brand.

 

  1. Start an active social media feed for each open position. Teams or departments with open positions should have Facebook or Twitter feeds that are updated on a regular basis in a tone consistent with your brand.

 

  1. Each open position should also have a blog. This is less expensive and complex that it sounds. A simple blog can be started in minutes and maintained for free through Blogger or WordPress, and a link to the blog can be embedded in job postings, on the company website, and within social media profiles.

 

  1. Keep blogs and profiles active with content like 1) day-in-the-life postings illustrating your company culture, 2) short videos of the hiring manager discussing the position, the workplace, and her own background, and 3) additional information about the company, industry news, and links to similar open positions.

 

For additional guidance with the recruiting process, contact a staffing company in Connecticut at Merritt Staffing and arrange a personal consultation.

 

 

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