Every year top lists are published on the “Best Companies to Work”, “Great Place to Work” and the like, both nationally and internationally. They give us insights into how and why workplaces are valued in areas such as company culture, workplace environment, benefits and career opportunities for women. Although these rankings may sometimes be perceived to be somewhat skewed towards larger companies, they do tell us an important tale on what to do and what not to do when wanting to retain the best and brightest on our teams. We all know that attracting the best talent and retaining them is the key to success to many leading companies in the world, regardless of their size or geographical location. It is all about aligning your reputation as an employer across all stakeholders, both internal (employees) and external (applicants).
Setting a reputation as a best place to work begins with the recruitment process. Something to consider, you can both be a great place to work and at the same time create a horrendous candidate experience for your applicants. Most applicants will not be hired, but will be left with an impression of the company they applied to, based on their personal candidate experience. This will influence their likeliness to recommend the employer to others and could also impact their future interactions with the brand as a consumer or otherwise. Subsequently, the candidate experience should not only be measured with people who actually get the job (and may forget about their experience as an applicant), but also with the applicants that got turned down.
The candidate experience is built during the application process with response times, personal feedback, access to staff and the interview process itself. When it comes to hiring and recruitment, we might therefore also benefit from a ranking on “Best Candidate Experience. Too many companies offer a pretty inflexible process with the one-form-fits-all principle, applying the same uniform application process to all candidates rather than customizing it to specific roles. Too many candidates do not get any feedback, let alone insights on their performance, or even the report, after conducting an online test as part of their application. And far too often the application process does not allow for remote interviews, resulting in hours wasted on planes, trains and automobiles. What if more employers simply would apply the Net Promoter Score (NPS) after each application? We would only need to ask if candidates would recommend this employer to their friends based on their application experience. This should give any employer, even the ones that top the charts on Forbes, Fortune and Glassdoor, a good idea of how they perform when hiring… and that is where employer reputation actually starts!