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Employer Brand: Selling Your Company Culture in Job Interviews

employer , employer brand , company culture , employee engagement , permanent recruitment

As recruiters, we are sometimes given feedback from candidates that the Employer Brand and benefits that we describe to them in the pre-screening phase are often not conveyed well by the employer during job interviews and that they can come away feeling confused about the company culture. In real terms, this could mean that potential candidates are less likely to accept an offer or be swayed by a counteroffer from their future employer as they feel uneasy about the environment they will be moving to. 

Within many organisations, interviews can be carried out by multiple people who will all have a differing interview technique. Here are some tips you can give hiring managers to ensure that your Employer Branding message remains consistent throughout a candidate’s journey.

Key steps to market your employer brand to potential candidates in a job interview:

What to do before the interview?

1- Paint an honest picture:

The first step would be to paint an honest picture of the recruiter so that they can sell your company to the candidate during pre-screening. It can be a great idea to invite your recruiter to your premises so that they have seen the work environment and possibly even have the opportunity to speak to other staff members who are in similar roles. This will also help them sell the role with more knowledge. If the recruiter can talk to the hiring manager and discuss the job role at hand, the recruiter will have a greater understanding of the role and the job advert/job description will reflect this.

2- Optimise your website and social media:

Work with your marketing department to optimise your Work for us/Careers page so it reflects your company culture. If you have any charity events, fun activities, Christmas parties, summer holiday getaways together as a team or unusual benefits, highlight them with pictures and videos on your Work for Us page.

Another great idea is to promote your work culture on all the company’s social media channels. If you know that your potential candidates hang out on Instagram, it is an apt channel to make your employer brand visible, using Instagram Stories and Live videos such as behind-the-scenes footage of the company. It will give an insight into potential candidates as to how it would be to work in your company on a day-to-day basis. Storytelling and case studies are a great way to achieve authentic content and you can feature these across relevant social channels including LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

3- Build your company reputation:

They might go to Glassdoor and check reviews of your company, so make sure you treat your existing employees right so that you get good reviews. A lot of candidates check glassdoor for reviews or visit the company website, so it is important that they see a good image of your company. If you do recieve any poor reviews, make sure you respond to these on the platform to show that you are conscientious and take feedback seriously. Encourage your exisiting employees to leave reviews that reflect your company culture and their positive experiences.

4- Provide a quick guide to the hiring manager:

You should ensure that anyone who is responsible for job interviews has had training and a quick prompt guide to the key factors and benefits of your company and its culture so that they can convey these during the job interview. A job interview is not just an opportunity for employers to evaluate potential employee but also for the candidate to get a good impression of the employer, this is critical in markets where there is a candidate shortage as jobseekers may well have a variety of employment options open to them and employers competing for their skills.


What to do during an interview to convey employer branding?

1- Prepare in advance:

Write down three things you already know about the candidate from their CV and ask them direct questions relating to this. This would show that you have read their CV beforehand and know what skills and experience they have. Instead of asking questions like, “Walk me through your CV” or “What skills do you have?”, prepare well ahead of the interview and ask "Tell me about your role at ABC LTD". Some general things that show your interest in the candidate are: smiling and making eye contact and looking engaged when the candidate is answering the question. Do not interrupt if you have asked them any competency question, instead make notes of follow up questions and ask them those once they have finished talking.

2- Check their LinkedIn profile:

Take time to read through their CV and if they have mentioned a LinkedIn profile, check their history of previous work on LinkedIn. You might see that they have been recommended by their previous employer or colleagues which will give you a good indication of their work experience. It also shows that the candidate is good at interpersonal skills as he/she was able to get a recommendation. You can also see which skills they were recommended for the most. This will help you tailor your questions according to each candidate’s profile, rather than asking them general questions, which may not be specific to their skills or knowledge.

3- Tell candidates about their day to day responsibilities:

Authenticity is a key factor here! Talk to the candidate about their day to day responsibilities. Tell them what will be expected of them. Mention what their key deliverables will be in the first quarter and goals they would work towards to achieve targets set for that quarter.

4- Convey company benefits and career progression opportunities:

It’s not just about your expectations of the candidate but also what a candidate can be offered in terms of career growth. So, make sure to highlight any pieces of training and career development opportunities that you provide to your employees. Give examples of success stories. For example, if there is an employee in your company or the team they will be joining, who has progressed from being an apprentice to a senior level position in a few years, mention that to your potential employee. Any employee would want to know what compensation and benefits your company can offer to them, so mention if you offer benefits such as an enhanced pension scheme or life assurance. Even if you provide free fruit and beer to staff every Friday, highlight these perks.

What to do after the interview?

1- Show them around and thank them:

After the interview, show them around the office and introduce the team members they will be joining. If the candidate asks about progression, share real life stories of existing employees or themselves as a testimonial. After the interview has finished, saying a simple thank you can go a long way in putting your employer brand in the positive light.

2- Provide constructive feedback:

You should make sure that a full de-brief is given to the recruiter for each candidate so that honest feedback can be given to the candidates regardless of if they are successful or not. This shows investment and is a great way to ensure that the word of mouth promotion of your company stays positive even if the outcome wasn’t what they wanted. They will be able to use constructive feedback to correct their mistakes for future job interviews.

Are you looking for your next team member? We invest time to understand our client's culture, ethos, and values to ensure best-fit recruitment, maximizing the likelihood of long term commitment from candidates. Whether you are recruiting for full-time or part-time permanent positions Swanstaff will find the right candidate for your business. Please fill the form below and we will be in touch soon.

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