imagesPassive candidates and the Employer Brand Impact

Employer brand is a hot topic in the recruitment and marketing worlds and many practitioners believe that the right employer brand can have a powerful impact on even passive candidates. But what does this mean in practice? Here at Employer Brand News, we wanted to take a closer look.

It is widely accepted that a candidate who is ‘in’ the market is a more attractive proposition to an employer than one who is ‘on’ the market. To use HR lingo, those that are ‘in’ the market are known as ‘passive jobseekers’. These are the people who already have a job in which they may be perfectly happy but would be open to the idea of taking a better one should one be presented to them. Having a strong employer brand could be the ‘hook’ that tempts them away and turns them from being passive to becoming fully engaged with your company.

Indeed, according to research carried out by LinkedIn in 2012, 83% of talent acquisition leaders say employer brand significantly impacts their ability to hire great talent – get this right then attracting job seekers will be a much easier process, especially those job seekers who are passive.

In fact, the pool of passive talent is significantly larger than many might expect. According to LinkedIn, almost 1 in 3 (30%) of people viewing the jobs posted on their site are passive jobseekers, whilst another survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that overall some 77% of full-time workers are open to or actively looking for new jobs opportunities.

Furthermore, as many as one-fifth of those currently employed say they have been approached by a recruiter regarding a role. So the question is, why are passive job seekers so important to organisations and how will an employer’s brand tempt them away from their current employer? It is a simple matter of supply and demand.

The UK is experiencing an ever-growing skills shortage, particularly in specialist and emerging sectors, and this is having a knock-on effect on the range and availability of suitably skilled job seekers. And this is especially true at a more senior level, where the availability of key talent is more scarce.

Indeed, the same CareerBuilder survey also found that 6 out of 10 recruiters say they have an open position due to the difficulty finding a candidate with the appropriate skills. As such, employers cannot afford to play a waiting game or bide their time until the right talent becomes available. Instead, they are proactively seeking out the people they need in a bid to entice them away to plug the much-needed gaps they have to fill within their own organisations.

But whilst getting their attention is one thing, prompting them to take action and jump ship from the security of their existing job to the relative unknown of working for your organisation is another. And this the challenge being met by having an effective employer brand.

Your employer brand should be aligned to your organisation’s values (your ‘employee value proposition’), convey your ‘personality’, and create that ‘I want in’ factor among job seekers. And that means focusing your messaging on mutually rewarding relationships, such as career and development opportunities available to prospective employees, big projects the company is involved with, and growth plans for the business over the next 2 to 3 years, for example.

As in many business transactions, people buy from people. So show off your people to the very people you wish for them to join. It’s never just about the jobs – it’s about the people they will work with. Your people are representative and an extension of your brand and this is why some of the biggest recruiters such as Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever share the experiences of their staff and take you on a virtual tour of what it is like behind closed doors within their organisations.

And this transparency is extended to sharing the vision and goals of the organisation. Showing where the organisation aims to be over a given period of time will gain buy-in and make potential employees feel empowered should they decide to come and work with you. Cancer Research UK is a great case in point with its ‘Together we can cure cancer’ rallying call.

But most importantly, target your messages effectively to the right people, at the right time and in the right way. Contextual marketing techniques combined with clever imagery and bespoke careers pages will do much to enhance your employer brand and will invariably be the very first interaction a potential employee will have with your organisation, so it is important to get it right.

October 28, 2013 in Recruitment