By Mary Lorenz
Employers might not worry much about what job seekers think about the company brand, but perhaps they should. Job seekers do care about brands, and they aren't keeping their opinions to themselves.
A new survey by CareerBuilder and Inavero highlights the role a company's employment brand plays in its ability to attract and engage potential employees. According to the 2012 Candidate Behavior Study, 35 percent of workers begin preparing for their next job within weeks of starting a new one. Why so soon? According to Kassandra Barnes, content and research manager at CareerBuilder, the explanation is simple: "The job-search process never really 'shuts off.'"
Also, people treat new jobs the same way they treat major purchases: They do extensive research -- mostly with the help of digital tools -- before making a final decision. Therefore, Barnes says, workers may continue researching other opportunities after they've made a final decision to reassure themselves that they made the right choice. "It's like they're trying to make sure they don't have buyer's remorse, so they keep shopping around to make sure they got the best deal," she says.
This finding underscores the need for employers to clearly define their brand. A well-defined employer brand clarifies the culture of a company and helps job seekers decide whether they'd be the right fit before they even apply. It also sets realistic expectations for what job seekers can expect once they join the company, as opposed to finding out on their first day that the company is nothing like what they expected.
Furthermore, engagement doesn't end after a job seeker accepts an offer, and if employers want to retain employees -- and continue to build a reputation as an employer of choice -- they need to put in the effort to keep their employees engaged and deliver on the expectations they set during the hiring process.
Thanks to the increasing prevalence of employer-ratings sites such as Glassdoor, which enable employees to openly and honestly discuss their experiences at certain companies, employers can no longer hide their cultures, nor can they assume that job seekers aren't paying attention. Nearly two-thirds of workers who participated in the survey said they consult employee-ratings sites to research potential employers prior to submitting an application.
"This study shows how much candidates rely on these sources to evaluate potential employers," Barnes says. "If a company has an unhealthy culture, candidates will find out about it."
Mary Lorenz writes for The Hiring Site, CareerBuilder.com's community for hiring professionals and other curious-minded individuals to discuss the attraction, engagement and retention of their #1 asset -- their people.
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