A successful employer branding strategy requires you to think about different aspects of your company. Employer branding involves promoting our organisations, engaging qualified candidates and protecting our reputations. 

But at the same time, to be truly effective, you have to balance this with candidate feedback. But how? Here are some thoughts on how you can make that happen. 

Attract and self-sort

Despite the best intentions, we all may forget that we can’t be all things to all people and instead send mixed messages. 

We get swept up in the thrill, attempting to replicate idealised employer brand models such as Patagonia or Salesforce – without realising that we’re not either of those companies. And what works for one brand rarely, if ever, works for others. 

To rectify this common mistake, you need to see your organisation for what it really is and create a strategy demonstrating it. No upsells, no judgement, no quoting off policies and procedures. Simply share what the candidate needs to know and why. 

Think of it like buying an outfit in a clothing store. You tell the salesperson your budget, and they only show you options in your price range. When you ask for feedback, they give you an honest answer. 

It might not mean you leave feeling pampered, but you’re likely to leave with exactly what you need at a price you can afford. 

This straightforward approach won’t be the experience everyone’s looking for, and that’s fine. You’ll attract some while others will realise that your company might not be for them after all – as intended. 

Find your fingerprint 

Another important part of employer brand is finding your ‘fingerprint’: the part that’s 100% unique to your organisation. This is where authenticity and integrity enter into the equation. 

These activities help you be yourself. Maybe that means owning up to past mistakes – such as the ones that appear all over those ratings and review sites. Address any critiques head-on, and show candidates what you’re doing to improve. 

Tell candidates what’s working for you and how you found your identity as an organisation. 

Tell your story in a way that reflects the truth. As much as your fingerprint is yours, whether or not a candidate finds your culture appealing enough to work for you is a personal decision; no office perk or company outing can change that. 

Consider any feedback given during the process. Reflect on it and use these learnings to your advantage. Knowledge is power, after all. 

The candidate journey: brand meets feedback 

The candidate journey is where employer brand meets candidate feedback. These can be a match made in heaven, should everything align along the way – but there is a lot of room for error.

Since employer brand feeds the candidate journey and unstructured feedback takes place throughout, you’re going to need to look at the recruitment process as a two-way street. That’s a radical change in mindset and one that might take time to implement and incorporate – but it’s worth it. 

As much as you want to attract candidates to work at your organisation, you need to want them to be there, too. 

Leverage bi-directional interactions by asking question for question during the screening and interview stages. This enables and empowers honesty, so each side can open their hearts and minds to each other. 

You hear from candidates and employees constantly, and you need to start taking their feedback seriously. At the same time, offering feedback before candidates have to ask for it gives them the necessary information to make an informed decision. 

By balancing the approaches outlined above and marrying employer brand with candidate feedback, you can find a more rewarding strategy that supports improved recruitment and hiring outcomes.

William Tincup is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller and teacher. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Indeed.