In the run up to our next Toolshed event on employer branding, we asked top recruiters for their thoughts on how SMEs can improve their brand. We ran a focus group with the best recruiters in the city and the region, including directors from Mackenzie Jones, 2nd City Resourcing, Union Club Recruitment and Discovery ADR Group, on topics like attracting the best talent, how to become known for culture and why you should create brand ambassadors.
One key insight emerged. According to recruiters, there is one thing that can make or break employer brands: the interview.
Why interview matters
It’s not just candidates that need to be prepared. The interview experience should make you, the employer, sweat too. Maybe CVs are pouring through the door, maybe you have a tonne of interviews with great candidates lined up. Why would you worry about the interview? What could possibly go wrong?
However, companies live and die by interviews – and a bad interview can kill your brand.
How much thought have you put into who will be interviewing your potential employees? So much depends on the candidate’s chemistry with the person across the table.
Aaron Down, Managing Director of Union Club Recruitment
You’re being interviewed too
Kathryn Gallan, Managing Director, 2nd City Recruitment
According to every recruiter in our focus group, “candidates are starting to use the interview to interview the recruiter too” and gather critical information to help them make their decision. Be prepared for questions around your culture, how you invest in people and what progression looks like.
The interview starts a lot earlier than you thought
Most importantly, the interview isn’t just the half hour you have with the candidate – it starts the moment they step foot through the door. Everything from the mood in the office to the feeling they get when they peek into the café space forms part of their decision.
Hollie Brookes, Marketing Manager, Discovery ADR Group
Even if the job role looks great to them on paper, getting a feel for the company can help them decide whether or not they can see themselves working there.
Every experience is a chance to get it right
The power of a great interview isn’t just to find the right person for a vacancy – it’s also a chance to for your company to become known for all the right things.
Claire Pierce, Director, Mackenzie Jones
So even if that candidate isn’t right for you right now, they could still be a great brand ambassador. If you’ve ever cancelled an interview at the last minute because you’ve already found the right candidate, you could be damaging your employer brand without even realising it.
If it comes down to a decision between your company and a similar competitor, their interview experience is the deciding factor.
So, if you want to know more about how to get your interview experience right and learn about the latest research, check out our next Toolshed event.
What is Toolshed?
A series of free thought leader events, run by Birmingham’s ORB Branding Agency, giving senior business leaders expert insight to unlock the power of branding and drive business growth.
The next Toolshed in March focuses on employer branding. Find out why the job description is dead. Learn from businesses that have nailed their employer brand, and walk away buzzing with ideas on how to get candidates and employees shouting about your brand.Register here