Have you ever walked into a store and received terrible customer service from an employee? After that experience, did you write an online review, swear to never go there again, or tell your family and friends?
No doubt that experience left a bad taste in your mouth, not just about that one person, but of the entire brand. And depending upon how you choose to act (review, word of mouth, etc.), your ability to then influence others may have a profound impact on that business. To me, a similar situation could ring true for that of corporate recruiters.
Your company’s corporate recruiters could be the only people from your organization that someone ever meets. The impression they leave with job seekers and applicants is a critical — yet sometimes overlooked — piece of the total employer brand experience. When was the last time you asked yourself:
- How well do my recruiters know my business?
- How proficient are they in telling my company’s story?
- Do they know the important messages to share?
- Are they compelling enough to inspire people to want to work at my company?
- What is the lasting impression they are leaving?
CORPORATE RECRUITERS AS EMPLOYER BRAND AMBASSADORS
I’ve often said that corporate recruiters must serve as employment brand ambassadors. As they travel to target universities, attend career fairs, interview candidates, and network at local and national events, they are representatives of your company and your employer brand. How they communicate and engage (or not communicate or engage) may be indicative to how others perceive your overall organization. What will your recruiters leave people thinking?
- Wow, ABC Company must be a fun place to work!
- XYZ Company seems to employ a great group of professionals.
- I am definitely applying to LMNO when I get home tonight.
- Or, Whoa … there is no way I’d want to work with people like that.
TAKE YOUR RECRUITERS FROM GOOD TO GREAT
First, stop assuming that your recruiters are all perfect brand ambassadors. Whether they are new to recruiting or seasoned hiring pros, I would venture to guess that everyone has a place where he or she could stand to improve. Maybe it’s the content of their current message or their non-verbal communication, regardless, work with your recruiters to identify gaps in their skill set and then begin to fill them in. Could you:
- Partner with your brand manager to provide an on-site workshop?
- Host a virtual webinar for your recruiting teams to attend?
- Ask senior executives share their stories with your recruiters?
- Create a structured training program to offer throughout the year?
However you decide to brand-train your recruiters, make sure they know that it’s a “safe zone.” A place where it’s OK to be nervous or make a mistake. A place that’s supportive and constructive. A place built with the intention to help them improve their knowledge, skills and abilities. Putting your recruiters through role-play simulations may be a good way to begin.
At the end of the day, our recruiters do more than just put people through a hiring process. They are marketing our companies, building relationships, connecting with individuals inside and outside our office walls, and compelling people to act. It’s important that they know what makes our companies great, are approachable so they can share our stories, and are aware of the lasting impressions that make on our employer brands.
What role do you think recruiters play in a company’s employer brand? Is it fair to say that recruiters must be excellent ambassadors of their companies’ brands?