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Building Brand Advocacy Through Candidate Experience

Learn what you need to have if you want to build a candidate experience that leads to positive engagement with your brand, and eventually advocacy.

Brand advocacy happens when customers spread positive reviews about a company’s products or services. This is often misunderstood in areas that are not client facing. For a very long time, the human resources function has been thought of as a behind-the-scenes function with no discernable link to the overall brand awareness of a company.

Candidates as potential customers

Despite the misconception, our current environment has stretched the importance of each organization’s touchpoints. In fact, how the HR department treats their potential candidates has a direct impact on the brand perception of the organization. Each applicant is also a potential buyer or customer for the company that they are applying for. Therefore, gradually across the world, the human resource function is beginning to prioritize the candidate experience.

The common issues around achieving this positive experience is usually the feasibility of the exercise and the expectation that candidates understand the pressure of recruitment. Although this may be true, it has a negative component to it that drives the candidate’s brand perception. To avoid such experiences, it is important for companies to invest in tools and process that will enable a good brand perception and build a good candidate experience.

Brand advocacy happens when customers spread positive reviews about a company’s products or services. This is often misunderstood in areas that are not client facing.

Building candidate experience

Creating an opportunity that caters for positive candidate experience in your recruitment process is a step of progress. The definition of progress would differ from one organization to the other. The current focus of progress is steering organizations towards a more diverse and inclusive environment. This inadvertently increases an organization’s candidate pool, which would in turn require a consistent experience. Becoming an ally of progress in this situation means providing your candidates with the same quality experience throughout the recruitment process.

Here are four important things that you need to ensure if you want to build a great candidate experience that leads to positive engagement with your brand:

1. Unbiased tools

The first step to achieving this is ensuring that you are utilizing unbiased tools in your recruitment programs to select and place candidates. This will guarantee you to give a fair chance for everyone.

2. Consistency

Consistency usually seals the deal, this means a candidate may have not gotten a job from you, but they are most likely to refer you to a friend or have confidence to try again later. Any change in consistency will have a negative impact on the candidate’s experience.

3. Empathy

Businesses are operating in a time where candidates have a high inclination towards justice. This is far from entitlement; it is driven by the need to encourage a more inclusive and diverse environment. Organizations are judged by how they interact with their community. As a result, there is a real need to humanize processes that affect people. Part of this humanization is the ability to empathize with the candidate’s application process. You must show your candidate that your organization cares for them even when you may not be offering them the opportunity.

4. Feedback

Feedback matters, even more so when it is personalized, objective, and insightful. Ensure that your recruitment team is equipped to handle feedback demands as these also increase your brand’s perception.

All four components will help you increase brand advocacy, which is an important tool needed to create a long-lasting positive impression on your candidates.

Become candidate centric

A hiring process is about building trust, and that should not be a one-sided activity where only the candidates do all the work. Trust can be built through process. SHL has developed an effective tool to help humanize the hiring process by making it possible for your organization to provide personalized feedback to thousands of your candidates. This format of the feedback fits perfectly into current candidate needs and their expectations of how companies need to interact with them.

Organizations that put candidates at the center of the experience will gain more than just filing one position… they will also benefit from many new brand advocates. Use unbiased tools to ensure each of them is given a fair chance to compete. Be consistent and empathetic throughout the whole hiring process. Most importantly, provide objective and insightful feedback, whether you hire them or not. All of these will help you put value in the process. And as an organization, when you value the experience of your customers, candidates, and employees, it becomes easier to adapt to the changes of the modern-day business environment.

Learn more about SHL’s Video Feedback and how this can improve the way candidates view and engage with your brand.

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Author

Seotlelo Rapolai

Seotlelo Rapolai is a Customer Experience Specialist at SHL in South Africa and is dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive positive experiences across all our services and products. Having spent almost a decade of his professional experiences in various roles HR, Project Management, and Sales, he has experienced most aspects of what makes an organization successful and some of the behaviors associated with the successes.

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