Do You Have a Pre-Interview Brand Strategy?

Shaun Enders

Believe it or not, a candidate’s first impression of your company doesn’t happen during the interview. They begin to form an opinion about your organization well before they ever set foot in your office. During the interview, they’ll actually be looking for confirmation of their impression, good or bad. While Fortune 500 companies bring name cache that will always garner attention from candidates, smaller companies must have a clear value proposition—especially in competitive fields. Some companies are unwittingly damaging their chances of recruiting the best talent. In this article, we explore how the wrong pre-interview tactics can impair your hiring strategy.

Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes

Evaluate your recruiting workflow from a candidate’s perspective. A haphazard or ad hoc approach to finding and recruiting candidates not only slows your own progress in finding great employees, it leaves a lackluster impression on applicants. Comb through every step of your recruiting process from the candidate’s point of view. Does the candidate receive a reply thanking them for their application? What is the time frame for a follow-up? Is the complete process for application clearly outlined to the candidate? How do you notify candidates that they are not a great fit for the company? Are there guidelines under which they can apply again? No candidate enjoys throwing their resume into a black hole. Lack of communication on your part leads to lack of interest on theirs.

Pay attention to the cut list

The candidates you don’t hire are just as important—if not more—as those you do. Qualified candidates that were in the running but ultimately weren’t selected become your company’s network of industry talent. Their own ever-evolving professional experience, as well as that of their colleagues, could benefit your company in the future. Be clear with candidates who don’t make the cut about why they were not selected. Give them useful feedback if necessary. Reach out to them when a position becomes available that might fit their skill set better. These connections can give you a head-start on filling every new open position.

It’s a small world

In today’s professional circles, word travels fast. And the loudest people are usually those who have had the worst experience. Shoring up your hiring strategy to make sure every candidate feels valued and respected is not just polite—it makes good business sense. Tailor the recruiting process to candidates, so those who are rejected still feel good about your company. Your talent acquisition and hiring managers will likely have to work together to make sure everyone is on the same page internally, so the experience is the same across candidates. Doing so will leave behind a network of people who are enthusiastic, not bitter, about your company.

Bring your recruiter up to speed

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when working with an external recruiter is to not share your brand guidelines and hiring vision with them. Absent any information, the recruiter will do their best to represent your company to candidates, but they’ll ultimately complete the narrative. At Transition Staffing Group, we take a more proactive approach which involves extracting all of the relevant selling points about your company. We stay true to this process to make sure that the applicant experience— whether we are speaking about an opportunity to an available candidate or interacting with an applicant—is lockstep with your brand experience.

We have included some helpful hints when synchronizing with your recruiting partner.

  1. Standardize and structure your hiring process across all company locations and with each of your recruiting partners.
  2. Provide a detailed outline of the position and consider a one-page data sheet on key points about your brand, your company culture, fun facts about your company and success stories or milestones.
  3. Make sure your recruiting partner is following up with both interviewed candidates and rejected candidates.
  4. Hold your recruiting partner accountable and inquire as to what they said when delivering the tough news of rejection.

Every company deserves to recruit best-in-class applicants, but too many companies fail to realize that this process begins well before you ever lay eyes on the first resumé. In today’s professional environment, interviews are a two-way street. Make sure that your company’s hiring strategy is supporting your brand efforts from the earliest stages of recruiting.

Are your recruiting tactics supporting your brand? Our expert professional recruiters will help you generate a scalable, sustainable hiring strategy that shows off your company’s best features.

Watch now to learn more about Transition Staffing Group.