How to get a candidate interested in your company: Recruit employees by reputation

In the digital age, prospective candidates often research a company prior to applying for a position. Candidates will look for more than the company website; they want to see client reviews, blog posts, employee profiles and anything else that might provide the candidate with a better understanding of the organization.

An employer needs to be proactive with its online reputation. Its digital presence should be selling the company from the first contact. Candidates are seeking as much information as possible to understand the company’s culture, and employers can ensure this experience provides a positive impression through several methods.

A social media presence is an important — and easy — way to communicate your company’s culture to candidates. While not every company wants to post hourly tweets, your company should have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites, provided they make sense for your business.

You also should monitor reviews and respond, if necessary. Glassdoor hosts employee – and candidate – driven reviews of companies. Candidates are often directed there when searching a company. Be familiar with what they read, so you can respond to a potential inquiry during an interview.

A current trend is to include a recruiting video on the job page of your website. This can include virtual tours of the office and/or employee testimonials, which will answer many questions for new prospects. It makes potentially boring job ads come to life and feel like real career opportunities, allowing candidates to visualize themselves working there.

Allow your job ads to reflect your company’s culture. Of course, the requisite legal and human resources information should be included, but try to communicate the culture of the company in addition to the role.

Often, it’s easy to teach job skills, but you can’t train for a cultural fit. If the candidate is not going to appreciate the culture or fit in with the company, it will eventually end poorly.

Current employees should be your best recruiters. They tell friends and family where they work and what they do every day. Keep your employees happy, and you’ll have a large team of recruiters.

Inform employees about new positions that are available, and encourage them to refer candidates. Creating a referral program is a good motivator, but simply providing a great story to tell is even more effective.

Ensure that your employee/recruiters are engaged in the company by working to nurture the culture you currently have or are striving to create.

Make your company special by offering unique perks. For example, at Adams Keegan, we have breakfast as a company every Friday. Once a year we also have Employee Fun Day, in which we’re “paid to play,” and the entire office is treated to a day of fun and games. Photos from these events are frequently posted on social media, and those images support ongoing recruitment efforts. Additionally, consider creating a hashtag for your next company event.

Hiring new employees is always risky. But using these modern — and tried-and-true — tools should minimize that risk and result in a win-win for both recruiters and candidates.

By Kristin Lockhart, director of recruiting services for Adams Keegan.

This article originally appeared in the Memphis Business Journal.