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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.

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