Today’s jobseekers are more strategic and rely heavily on an employer’s reputation when making critical career decisions. It’s no surprise why organizations have become hyperaware of their employer brand.
In fact, Glassdoor reported that, even if unemployed, 69% of jobseekers wouldn’t accept an offer from a company with a bad reputation.
The rise of social media use in online recruitment and business have virtually pulled back the curtain on how well companies operate as employers instead of just consumer brands. But employer branding is more involved than sending out whimsical social media posts about your companywide yoga class or office pet.
There are many strategies available to improve your employer brand, and an applicant tracking system (ATS) can help.
Basics of Employer Branding
It’s easy to think employer branding only covers what’s being said in your social media streams and what employees are saying about your company online. However, it’s important to remember that jobseekers can impact your employer brand, too. When it comes down to it, “candidate experience” and “employer brand” go hand-in-hand.
A 2017 Career Builder survey found that four out of five candidates (78%) say their overall candidate experience with a company is an indicator of how a company values its people.
It also broke down the experience into five stages:
- Orientation – In this stage, a candidate evaluates both the job market and themselves to understand the opportunities available.
- Consideration – Here, a candidate takes a deeper look at a specific company and its culture.
- Action – During the action stage, candidates are applying to jobs and continuously researching companies to prepare for interviews
- Engagement – This stage happens when candidates and potential employers are interacting with one another through interviews, hiring updates and job offers.
- Post-acceptance/Onboarding – This stage can include employment screening, learning expectations from your new manager, and any other communication between accepting an offer and the first day of work.
Of the candidates surveyed, over half (58%) said the action and engagement stages are what hurt their experience the most.
From the employer’s side, this can be affected by:
- Ease of finding information on a company’s mission, values, benefits and culture
- Clarity of the expectations for the open role
- Complexity of the application process
- Frequency of communication about the hiring process and expectations
- Ease of understanding the company’s mission and values
- A well-thought out onboarding process
Jobseekers believe they should receive the same respect and accountability that current employees get. If you oblige, chances are you’ll boost your employer brand significantly. But with so many areas to consider, how can you keep up with it all?
Using an applicant tracking system can help you organize your employer branding efforts.
How an ATS Can Help
As the name indicates, applicant tracking systems track, rank and store potential candidate information. However, modern ATSs also includes many features that can help you improve candidates’ experience and maintain your employer brand.
Here’s a list of five features to dig into:
- Customizable Career Site or Applicant PortalAs per CareerBuilder’s 2017 survey, 89% of jobseekers turn to an employer’s career site for key information. Being able to customize a career site or applicant portal with your logo, color schemes and unique fonts will allow you to keep your brand consistent across your website, ATS and social media channels.
A branded site or portal is also a great opportunity to showcase the information candidates find most helpful when making career decisions, which includes:
- The company’s culture and values
- Any fun perks or benefits offered
- The mission and long-term vision of the business
- Social IntegrationSixty percent of applicants bail on an online application if it’s too complex to finish.Making applicants feel like they must jump through hoops to be considered typically gives them negative feelings toward the organization.
On top of that, more qualified candidates will simply take their skills elsewhere.Social integration within your ATS offers candidates a simpler, more attractive application process through social media. This allows jobseekers to act right away instead of filling out lengthy application forms. It also makes it easier for companies to cross-post job descriptions and reach a wider range of top talent, building their brand awareness either locally or globally.
- Automated/Trigger NotificationsNot hearing back from potential employers and undefined communication expectations are two of the biggest frustrations for jobseekers. In fact, CareerBuilder found that 81% of jobseekers say their experience would greatly improve if employers continuously gave them status updates.
With an ATS, you can set up automated notifications for the different stages of your hiring cycle so none of the candidates feel like they’re left in the dark. Many ATSs can also create trigger notifications or schedule reminders so your recruitment team doesn’t miss sending out an update.
- OnboardingTwo out of five jobseekers told CareerBuilder they’ve received little or no communication from a new employer between accepting the job and their first day at work. This can give new hires a sense of uneasiness and confusion, which can negatively impact your reputation as an employer.
Whether creating and sending a list of key resources to a new hire or pinpointing problem areas in your process, ATSs often have various checklists, templates and reports to help you organize, streamline and evaluate onboarding tasks
- The Positive EffectYour employer brand isn’t only affected by what your employees are saying about you – it covers how you treat potential job candidates, too.
By using an ATS to automate and streamline your hiring process, you can easily improve your candidate experience, which will boost your reputation as an employer and your ability to attract top talent.