Want a Powerful Employer Brand? Just Ask

I’ll start this article in employer brand with a short story. On September 11, 2001, myself and my colleagues from a long gone HR software company were in Baltimore at the HR Technology Conference, like many HR and technology professionals reading this article.

With my family back in California and planes flying into the Pentagon just a few miles down the road, it was a scary, surreal, bonding and learning experience all wrapped into one tense and uncomfortable situation.

My wife kept in contact with me as we figured out how to get home with planes were grounded across the country. She told me how freaked out our young children were and how worried they were about me. We ultimately rented two cars and caravanned across country to make it home. I was head coach for my daughter’s soccer team and my singular goal during the entire ordeal was to get home in time to coach her for her Saturday morning game.

Three days later, on a misty September morning after dropping off my colleagues after an all night drive, I pulled into the parking lot of the soccer field with almost three days of driving behind me. I had made it to the game with minutes to spare.

The entire trip my wife stressed how badly my children wanted me home.

Employer BrandAs I walked out onto the field to round up the team, both my son and my daughter gave me a big hug but quickly ran off to do more important things with their friends and teammates. It was a powerful moment for me. All they needed was a hug and the knowledge I was there. One of the biggest lessons I was given as a parent. I learned it was all about “being there.” I didn’t have to do everything right. I didn’t have to have sage wisdom or swift action to guide or redirect my kids when needed. Nope. Just be there and be counted on.

What does this have to do with employer brand? Well, two things actually, the second being the heart of this article.

  1. An emotional story is more effective at reaching people than just about anything
  2. Just “being there” for your candidates is most of the battle when trying to prove and amplify your employer brand

Ask Your Way to a Powerful Employer Brand

At Survale, we provide organizations with a platform for gathering feedback from candidates throughout the hiring lifecycle. What we’ve found as our platform gathers and crunches millions of candidate surveys is that there is one huge benefit to measuring candidate feedback:

Just asking for feedback is the most important thing.

Candidates are so blown away that anyone cares enough to ask their opinion that their brand affinity skyrockets. Our clients get the benefit of a huge boost to their critical employer brand even without acting on any of the feedback they get through our platform.

We have clients whose declined offers have turned into accepted offers after getting a feedback request. They recapture their first choice candidates just by having a mechanism for these lost candidates to provide feedback.

That’s the power of “just asking.”

So what’s the best thing you can do for your employer brand? Sure, absolutely define a powerful, visual and emotional employer brand that is compelling to your target candidates. But that’s not the most important thing.

Most importantly, just show up and be there for your candidates. Ask for their feedback online, after the interview, when they get an offer and so on. Give them a voice in how your recruiting process works. It will propel your already strong brand into the stratosphere.

Author: Ian Alexander

Ian Alexander is co-founder and CMO of Survale. He is a pioneer in SaaS HR software with decades of experience bringing leading technologies to the performance management and recruiting industry. He is a passionate advocate for revolutionizing candidate and employee satisfaction in the Enterprise.