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How Job Candidates Shape an Organization’s Brand

Woman looking at a computer screen

One bad experience can tarnish a brand’s reputation. That’s true of a product failure or poor customer experience.  

For organizations, how candidates are treated in the job application process also creates a feedback loop that can be positive or negative. A recent episode of the Transform Talent podcast outlined how organizations can minimize negativity for job applicants who don’t get hired, and even enhance their reputation through a thoughtful job process.  

Have a plan for non-hires  
In any hiring pool, up to 98% of those who apply aren’t going to be selected for the role. And the more popular the brand, the more people will likely apply and be disappointed. That means the vast majority of those who have touchpoints with your organizations will not hear what they want, or even have a lasting negative impression of your brand. Organizations can get out in front of this by preparing a communication plan with timeliness, respect and that values the intelligence of the applicant. Putting a plan in place to communicate with each applicant will help mitigate negative perceptions.  

Be responsive  
The biggest thing a company can do with candidates is simple: Be upfront. Companies create self-inflicted damage if they do not communicate with an applicant at all, especially if candidates spent hours applying. “Some of the worst stories is just candidates not getting any information," says Daniel Birkholm, CEO & Co-founder of candidate feedback platform “The least you can do as a company when a candidate applies for a job, is getting back to them.”  

Enhance the application process  
Organizations go a long way to make sure customers have a positive experience with their products, whether that’s building an easy-to-navigate website or providing quick responses to questions from customers. Job candidates are also potential (or current) customers, so putting the same care into the job applications process can also enhance (or detract) from a brand reputation. “Things from the ease of use when you apply to the transparency during the process, the expectations setting” are all important to candidate perceptions, says Birkholm.  

Provide VIP treatment to finalists  
The candidates that make it to the final round –– but just aren’t the right fit at the moment –– have the most potential affinity and fit for your organization. They may even come back to fill another role in the future. Because of this, these elevated candidates require even more personal treatment, which may include personal feedback. One company, for example, gave vouchers for shopping to all of its finalists, in recognition of the value and time they provided.  

For more strategies, read more in the ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions report Add to Cart: Candidates Are Consumers, Too. The report sheds light on how negative hiring experiences can change future purchasing decisions, as well as help employers more effectively attract and retain the best candidates.