For employers, it’s one thing to spend significant amounts of time, money, and energy vetting candidates before making a job offer. Yet, it’s quite another to learn that prospective employees are increasingly turning the tables on that function long before they ever click “submit.”

LinkedIn suggests that’s precisely what 75% of job seekers now do before applying.

The higher degree of scrutiny should come as no surprise. With unemployment at all-time lows and wages seeing a general uptick across the board, the ability to successfully attract top talent is beginning to have a profound impact on organizations at every level. In particular, the C-level.

By many accounts, Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) are already feeling the pinch.

In the not-so-recent past, it was enough to make sure the checks cashed, the benefit enrollment dates were met, and five o’clock Fridays started promptly at around four-thirty. Well, most Fridays, anyway.

Certainly, each of those factors still counts. But the thing that’s thrown many CHROs for a loop is the concept of boosting candidate interest around the company itself. In other words, engaging in an ongoing dialogue through social media that’s uniformly positive and genuinely reflective of what it’s really like to work at any given organization.

On that score, LinkedIn reports that candidates are really starting to do their homework. Not only are they 3x more likely to trust what current employees say on the subject, a total of 52% of candidates look to online resources and social media platforms to learn more about an employer ahead of time.

Turns out “word-of-mouth” still speaks loudly—even louder if it’s accompanied by audio and/or video.

Building an Employment Branding Strategy

From the perspective of the Society for Human Resource Management, an employer brand encompasses an organization’s mission, values, culture, and personality. Those that do the job shape recruitment, retention and reputation in favorable ways—increasing the number of qualified applicants to open positions, reducing cost-per-hire, and speeding up the onboarding process.

Here are a few actions that can raise your spirits:

  • Scope it out from the inside. Taking a proper inventory of employee sentiment is essential to determine what top performers like and don’t like about workplace culture. Sometimes it does hurt to ask, but it’s critical in assessing what needs to change to keep the best and brightest on the payroll.
  • And the outside looking in. It also pays to get a grip on how your company is perceived in comparison. One way is to drill down through applicant surveys, but others include conducting your own employee review searches or securing the help of staffing agencies that specialize in tracking down feedback.
  • Know your value proposition. Salary and benefits are obviously of paramount concern to each and every employee, but it’s also important not to overlook the commitment of your organization to professional growth and recognition, as well as personal respect, family considerations, and office politics.

If it stands to reason, it will stand the test.  CarterWill Search can show you the way.

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