A Positive Brand Image

The brand of an organization is built and nurtured by the marketing department. There are many factors that impact the image of a brand, such as web presence, social media perception, benefits, culture, etc. However, the responsibility of building a positive brand image does not lie solely on the shoulders of the brand team. If you are a business leader who is responsible for the hiring and performance of your team, the image of the brand should be one of your top priorities.  Why? A positive brand image is vitally important when it comes to recruiting and talent acquisition. The caliber of hires determines performance which ultimately falls on your shoulders.

Employer brand image–what people think about the brand based on personal experience, what they’ve heard and what they’ve read—is a key factor of overall brand image.  When it comes to recruiting and talent acquisition, candidate experience is the #1 driver of brand perception. As the responsible party for your team and its performance, it’s critical that you have a full understanding of the importance of the candidate experience as it relates to the recruitment process.

Why Brand Image Matters

We live in a culture where information can be shared with the world at the click of a button. A company with a solid reputation for candidate experience will attract the best people. Conversely, an organization with a poor candidate experience deters those top performers you are seeking. Do you think information about your reputation is not readily available?  Do a quick Google search of “working at {insert your company name}” and you’ll quickly change your view. The employer image matters because it increases your qualified candidate pool—the first step in the recruitment process.  A LinkedIn study revealed that an unattractive employer brand can cost companies up to half of their applicants. In this candidate-driven market, employer brand is essential for reaching passive candidates and top performers.

How to Deliver a Good User Experience

As a business leader, the first thing you can do to impact brand image is take the time to understand the current candidate experience. Schedule some time with your internal recruiters and ask them a few important questions. What does the application process entail? What is your communication protocol? What does the timeline look like for recruiting a key leadership role? You may even consider discussing the process with some recent candidates. If you quickly see issues with the current process, use your role to bring about change.  Here are a few requirements for creating a positive candidate experience.

 User-friendly process. A world-class brand should provide a world-class candidate experience.  Offer candidates a fully mobile experience, from completing an application to submitting a CV or references. Don’t ask questions prematurely in the process to keep this step from becoming too laborious.  

Communication. Be upfront and honest about every aspect of the process—how long it will take, what they can expect, decisions that will be made at each stage. Most candidates cite time to apply and lack of personalized updates as the two most common frustrations with the process.

Treat candidates like customers.  Give them the same service. Keep the same promises. Show them great respect.

Building the Employer Brand

Who is the face of your employer brand? Who is representing the company to prospective candidates? Is it your HR department? An internal recruiting team?  An external agency?  Whoever it is, it’s imperative that they are making the right first impression. However, employer branding does not belong to a single function. It is not solely the duty of marketing or talent acquisition. Everyone should be working together to create a unified strategy.  This is the time to let go of the status quo and drive the right behaviors and better outcomes.

As executive search professionals, we live and breathe recruiting every day of the week. As demand increases in an already tight market, we hear more and more grumbling from candidates who are discouraged with the way they are being treated. Corporate behavior is impacting the company brand and it seems as if no one is paying attention.  Will you?  Getting the candidate experience right is the opportunity your organization has to establish a strong differentiator in this competitive market.

At WMI, we make brand integrity a priority in our process.  We will represent you–the hiring manager– and the organization in the best possible light. In essence, we “sell” your company to the right candidate. If you need assistance with building your employer brand, improving your current process or need a partner who will ensure the best possible candidate experience every single time, we are here to help. We desire to walk alongside our clients in the recruitment process.  We choose to have real conversations with you and listen to your challenges and needs.  Our CEO offers a limited number of free strategy sessions each month. Please contact us to discuss your needs.


You may see recruiting and developing leaders as a problem. To us, it is an opportunity. We have assisted hundreds of satisfied clients. We look forward to assisting you as well.