Recruitment and brand integrity: it's not often that these words are thought of together, but recruitment and the integrity of your brand are intrinsically linked. Indeed a job candidate's decision to accept an offer can be influenced by the integrity of your brand. Conversely, your business and brand can be affected by the experience candidates have during the recruitment process. One of the simplest and easily avoidable issues that erodes a brand is the branded communication, or, in the case of recruitment, simply the lack of any communication. Simply acknowledging an application and providing feedback on the success of an application are two forms of communication many organisations don't undertake.
Worse still, someone attends an interview and they receive no further follow up at all. Marketers spend significant resources in building and maintaining brand integrity, which can be quickly eroded by both internal and external recruiters who represent your brand inappropriately or in a misleading way. Negligence in communication is one thing, but negligence in what is communicated is another. Job descriptions, company performance and strategy may be overstated and misrepresented in both an exaggerated or negative way. For example, an internal recruiter may misunderstand the strategic direction of the company, thereby providing a false impression.
Career and hiring decisions built on these types of foundations lead ultimately to dissatisfaction and an erosion of the integrity of the brand. It is difficult to ensure brand integrity, particularly with respect to the often overlooked recruitment team, whether it's the internal team or externally through a recruitment agency. Here are a few tips for when you're working with a recruitment agency to ensure that your brand integrity is maintained during the recruitment process:
- Ensure you respond to ALL applications. Don't take the easy path of stating that only successful applicants will be contacted.
- Spend time with your recruiter. This may be simply a face to face brief or something more in depth. At people2people, we have several clients who invest a half day session 'inducting' their recruiters into the culture of their business. If your recruiter is from your internal team, then take some time to explain the role and why you need to hire. 'Just get me someone like last time' simply won’t cut it.
- Provide some relevant corporate material. This could be either online or in hard copy, which any prospective employee can take with them to assist with their research. The simplest of these is a job description that communicates the consistent branding and the brand's values.
- If you are 'going to market' with advertising, ensure that advertising templates are consistent with your brand.
- Invest in your external recruiters. An effective brief and rates negotiated in good faith up front will ensure they represent your brand with integrity.
It may not be something that only marketing professionals think of – brand integrity is a very important part of the recruitment process. How and who do you want representing your brand in the market?