How do I use the company brand to attract candidates?

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Brands are a powerful combination of symbols, messages and beliefs about a product or employer. To best leverage a company brand, you first need to leverage the creators and gatekeepers of the brand – your marketing department.
Through the use of their tried and tested methodologies, it’s possible to add corporate brand magic to your recruitment campaigns.

You need to think about your potential candidates like a marketer would think about their potential customers. Take a look at the current media advertising your company conducts. How does it come across? What are the key messages being put out? Who are they trying to attract?

It goes without saying that people often want to work for the companies who produce or provide the products and services they use. If the methods used to attract them to buy are working, it makes sense to use them for your own purposes.

Before putting out a message, you need to know what it is your audience wants. Talk to your current employees about what they like about working for your company and how they would sell their job to others. This can either be done as a one off survey for a specific campaign, or as part of you ongoing employee satisfaction strategy.

Once you have the attributes of your target market you can work to create your recruitment brand. The marketing department should have the expertise to position the recruitment brand so use them to help you reach the right candidates.
  • Describe the benefits — as well as the obvious benefits of giving them a job and the associated salary, what other benefits come from working for your company? This isn’t about number of holidays they get a year; it’s about the prestige of having a “XYZ Widgets” business card with their name on it.
  • Describe your values — The products you buy say something about the values you hold. So too when it comes to companies and the values of their employees. Work out the core and non-core values that make up your recruitment brand and determine the images, symbols, language and media to portray the values to others.
  • Show your personality – Traditionally companies allow very creative and innovative product brand personalities but conservative recruitment brand personalities. Alignment between the personality of the business and the personality of the work environment is essential. Make sure your reception, canteens, workstations, meeting rooms and other communal areas are branded to create a consistent brand message. 
  • Make yourself available – The internet has provided candidate’s with unrivaled access to the employees within your organisation, and their views about working there. Encourage your employees to talk about the good things you do, and if there are any negative comments or campaigns, try to approach them in a rational way. Remember that what goes on the internet is available for everyone to see, and that failure to acknowledge an issue could make you look guilty.

As well as using your marketing team to help you plan your recruitment strategy, find out from them if there is a way of combining your efforts. If you’re able to get a mention your current vacancies on all their activity, you’ll go a long way towards syncing ‘buying the brand’ and ‘working for the brand’.