How authenticity could make (or break) your recruitment strategy

An authentic employer brand can play a significant role in attracting the right candidates

An authentic employer brand can play a significant role in attracting the right candidates to open roles and make the hiring process more efficient, according to Ricky Fritsch

When it comes to your recruitment strategy, it’s vitally important to ensure your company culture and employer brand are apparent to job seekers. After all, 99 per cent of Australian job seekers research a company when considering an opportunity there. But, what happens when candidates perceive your employer brand as inauthentic?

Authenticity is becoming more important to job seekers during their job search journey. In fact, according to Indeed’s SVP of Human Resources, Paul Wolfe at this year’s Indeed Interactive, “the most important part of the talent equation is authenticity … on both sides, [for] the employer and the job seeker”.

For job seekers, looking for a new job can be an emotional and stressful journey – the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory rates career events as having one of the biggest impacts on our stress and happiness. So, it’s no surprise that more job seekers want to truly understand the companies they’re interested in working for. After all, nobody wants to start a new job only to realise it wasn’t the right fit and have to start their job search journey again a few short weeks or months later. So being authentic to job seekers during the recruitment period and beyond is essential for organisations looking to find and retain the right candidates for their open roles.

What happens when organisations don’t have an authentic employer brand?
As insight into a company’s culture becomes more important to job seekers, organisations who don’t have an authentic employer brand risk hiring a candidate who may not be the right fit for the role, team or company. This can result in a negative employee experience and even employee turnover, causing the organisation to have to start their recruitment process all over again.

“Utilise your most engaged employees and create a strategy that incentivises them to review the business online or attend job fairs and networking events”

According to Indeed data, Australian employees are willing to leave a new job if it’s not the right fit. In fact, 40 per cent of those surveyed have left a new job after a short period because they were unhappy in the workplace, and 39 per cent left because the new role didn’t meet their expectations, according to a survey of 1006 Australian jobseekers, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Indeed.

Tips for creating an authentic employer brand
So, you now know the importance of authenticity in recruiting. But how can you start incorporating this into your employer brand?

Ninety-two per cent of Australian job seekers turn online to find more information about a company they’re interested in, according to a survey of 1033 Australian workers conducted by Lonergan Research for Indeed. As such, ensuring you have an honest and authentic online presence is the first step.

For example, make sure your social media accounts, website and Indeed Company Page provide real and valuable insights into your company. After all, your online presence is often one of the first ways a jobseeker can interact with your company, so ensuring the information online about your organisation is accurate and authentic is essential to attracting the right candidates.

How can HR improve the candidate experience?
From an HR perspective, utilise your most engaged employees and create a strategy that incentivises them to review the business online or attend job fairs and networking events. After all, the next most powerful source of information and influence for candidates is peer-to-peer information, or word of mouth. Positive company reviews will help to solidify and validate an authentic employer brand to both potential candidates and the wider public. Potential candidates are likely to take into consideration the comments and appraisals of existing employees in the same way that many consumers assess product reviews before making a purchase.

“An honest and open approach is vital for identifying any mismatches between what the candidate is seeking and what the organisation can provide”

When advertising your open roles, make sure you continue being authentic. Unfortunately, 81 per cent of Australian job seekers believe that employers are more likely to “sell” a role than describe it fairly, according to a survey of 1033 Australian workers conducted by Lonergan Research on behalf of Indeed. So, it’s vital to be honest about your roles with candidates.

For example, be transparent when writing your job descriptions, and try to include information that will give insight into what the role will really be like. Things like work-life balance, everyday tasks and career progression are all important factors to job seekers when considering applying to an open role.

When speaking to interested candidates, whether in a formal interview or an informal phone screen, continue being as honest as possible, especially when answering their questions about the role or company. Factuality and transparency during the interview process are critical to ensure candidates take away an accurate picture of the organisation and their potential role within it. It also enables the recruiter to understand the priorities, values and expectations of the candidate, and better assess whether the organisation will be able to meet these – whether it’s working from home or having flexible hours.

While it can sometimes prolong the recruitment process, an honest and open approach is vital for identifying any mismatches between what the candidate is seeking and what the organisation can provide. Plus, more job seekers (71 per cent) are going into interviews with the mindset of determining whether or not the company is the right fit for them, so being inauthentic at this stage could result in hiring someone who may be unhappy in the role.

There’s nothing more frustrating for organisations than hiring someone who seemed like a right fit, only to find them leaving the company after a short period of time. Unfortunately, that is a reality for many organisations, with 22 per cent of new employees churning within the first 45 days of employment. But with an authentic employer brand, not only will both job seekers and employees have a more positive experience with your company, but it could also play a large role in attracting the right candidates to your open roles – helping to make your hiring process more efficient.

Image source: Depositphotos