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Top 5 Hiring Mistakes that Can Harm Your Employer Brand

How do you create a positive perception of your company – one that will attract the right people? Building a strong employer brand doesn’t happen overnight, but small, simple steps will make your business more appealing to job seekers.

Here are the five most common hiring mistakes that can damage your employer brand:

  1. Not giving jobseekers the information they want

Jobseekers will use up to 14 sources of information before deciding to accept a job offer and their #1 resource is company websites.

Research by Talent Board ranked the types of content that candidates want to see most:

  • Company Values
  • Product/Services Information
  • Employee Testimonials
  • Answers to “Why” Employees Want to Work Here
  • Financial Information
  • Diversity/Cultural Information
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Community and Sustainability Initiatives
  • Employee/Recruiter Blogs
  • Awards Received Relating to Employee Experience

Are you providing enough information for candidates to make the next step?

  1. Assuming that salary is the key driver

Salary is important, but it’s not the only driver. In a survey of millennial workers (aged 18–30), 89% said work that excites them is the most important factor, followed by being able to learn and develop and having a job that suits their talents. Can you give real examples of employees who’ve had opportunities to learn new skills, work on exciting projects and advance within the company?

  1. Failing to sell your proposition

In a job market where demand for talent outstrips supply, the best candidates have multiple options, so you need to be able to show how your job would benefit their career or enhance their skills. Can you articulate why your company culture makes it a great place to work?   Do you know what candidates are looking for, and how well that matches what you can offer?

  1. Over-promising and under-delivering

The last thing you want is to bring a great candidate on board only to have them bounce straight back out again because the reality didn’t live up to the hype. While consumer branding is about presenting things in the best light possible - when it comes to your employer brand, over-promising is a huge mistake. Authenticity is the key to attracting and keeping great people. Accentuate the positives, certainly, but be honest about the negatives.

  1. Taking too long in the hiring process

A bright and talented young friend of ours recently applied for an entry-level job.  Six interviews later (over two drawn-out months), he gave up wanting to work there and lost respect for the company. The best candidates will have other offers on the table and a long, protracted recruitment process with multiple interviews and slow decision-making reflects badly on your company and will only hasten their decision to go with a faster, more professional alternative.


CareerBuilder Survey, 2016
Erasing the Lines Between Career Sites And Candidate Experience, Talent Board, 2015
Generation Y: What They Want from Work, Talentsmoothie, 2008

About the Author: Katrina Wray, Managing Partner at Lift Consultancy

Katrina is a management & leadership specialist who helps businesses attract, grow and keep the right people. Clients include Sony, Viacom, Digital Deluxe & WPP as well as small businesses with growing pains. A member of the British Psychological Society, Katrina is accredited in Schroder’s Leadership Behaviours.

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