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November 9, 2009 / Mervyn Dinnen

It’s your Employer Brand – be careful who you trust with it

Chatted with a recruitment manager yesterday…he had gone to set up an in-house function for a company which had a 100% reliance on 3rd party agency recruitment. Within little over a year they were doing 40% direct hires. He told me how he set about it, most of it would be pretty familiar to in house recruiters, then he said…

we needed to really develop the employer brand, but you can’t have a great employer brand unless you give a great candidate experience, so we really looked at that and how we can create a great experience

Got me thinking… companies put in a lot of effort to create a great candidate experience, to enhance their employer brand, and then may brief 3 or 4 recruiters to fill a role…but how do you know that those recruiters will pass on the experience you’ve carefully created?

One thing I have found is that a candidate who applies to a company through a 3rd party recruiter will link the service they receive from that recruiter to your brand. Happens all the time…we’ve all heard candidates say things like ‘not interested in that company, I applied for a role there last year through an agency and got really mucked about/never got any feedback/went for interview and never heard another thing/never got a reply to my application/left loads of messages but heard nothing….’

Now you may have done your part, but how do you know the recruiters have done theirs?? When you select your recruitment partners what criteria do you use??  Cost?  Speed of response? Reputation?  Size of database?  Recommendation?

Do you visit your recruitment suppliers, see their offices, meet their consultants and see how they work? How they are structured and rewarded? Will they just focus on closing a deal, or will they make sure that everyone applying for a job in YOUR company gets a really positive experience and impression of YOUR company?

How do you know that an under pressure recruiter, inundated with responses, waiting for feedback, isn’t going to use a throwaway comment to a candidate which can give a really poor impression of his client…which is you.

You may outsource to an RPO…but how often does an RPO get judged on candidate experience? Cost per hire…yes! Time to hire…yes! Routes to market…yes! ATS…yes! Promotion of employer brand…???

It’s your brand…be careful who you trust with it

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3 Comments

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  1. Alan Whitford / Nov 9 2009 12:46 PM

    Hi Mervyn
    Excellent post. I have said for years that recruiters are the face of the client, the first impression is the lasting impression. Recruiters spend a lot of time presenting the candidate in the best possible light – or so candidates hope.

    This is the double edged sword of any intermediary based transaction.

    alan

  2. Sue Marks / Nov 9 2009 1:21 PM

    A strong RPO – Client partnership ALWAYS measures candidate, hiring manager and HR manager satisfaction. We take our responsibility as brand stewards for our clients very seriously … sorry if this sounds like a sales pitch, but if any company is having problems with how their third party partners represent their company, they need to fire that partner and find a better one. Never, never settle for less than best in class. Thanks for letting me comment.

  3. Tracey Dunn / Nov 9 2009 2:08 PM

    Great read – and great insight as ever mervyn. When I was at Harrison Willis in the olden days, we used to invite clients to come and see us – how we operated – etc. Dont hear much of that now. is it because recruiters don’t ask clients – or that clients cant be bothered??

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