Tuesday, March 1, 2016

3 Tips to See Your Company the Way Others See You

The days of introducing job prospects to your company's strengths, core competencies, and corporate culture in person, during the interview process or job offer stage, is over. A potential hire will have already researched your company online long before he or she actually speaks with anyone in the office. With the exception of a few industries, most customers and job candidates will only ever interact with your company through online portals. You may need to evaluate how your company's web presence looks to the outside world in order to attract the candidates you want. Here are 3 tips to help you put your best foot forward.

1. Google Your Name

Probably the first thing a prospective job candidate will do when considering whether or not to apply to your company is Google your company name. You should do the same. Almost three quarters of clicks happen on the first page of Google, with almost two-thirds measured from the top five results. Is your company website one of those results? Do your social media pages have good standing? Can you find positive news articles, blogs, or websites such as Glassdoor mentioning your company? Are any of the top results negative, or do they portray your company differently from how you want people to see you?

If someone Googling your company can't easily find positive information that conveys how you would like to be viewed, you will need to work on search engine optimization to raise the rankings of your site. If your corporate website has not been updated in several years, it’s probably time to write new copy and design the page to better serve the needs of those searching for you, including job candidates. This task might be handled by your internal marketing department or an outside vendor, depending on your resources.

2. Maintain Active Social Media Profiles

For job candidates who do more than simply read your company website, the next stop is probably social media. Alternatively, many job candidates might find out about your company or job postings through LinkedIn, making that site a common place for first impressions. Do you update your social media pages regularly? Are you easy to find on social media? Each social media site will require specific attention. Let's take a look at three common social media channels:

Facebook should contain your company contact information in an easy-to-find manner, including your company website at the very least. You may also choose to display a physical address and phone number, depending on the business. Facebook is a common way for people to contact and review companies. Facebook gives you a rating for response time and completion when customers or others send you a message. You should make an attempt to respond to your company's Facebook messages as soon as possible in order to display a positive customer service rating on your page. Update your profile picture and cover photo regularly; no one wants to see that a photo of your corporate headquarters surrounded by snow is still up in July. Facebook is perfect for pushing new content, such as blog posts, and works best with photos or other images. You should try to post or link new content on your Facebook page at least one to three times per week.

Twitter is designed to be an easily-digestible place to source information. Twitter uses only 140 character posts, and company descriptions are also short and sweet. The small profile picture should be easily-identifiable as your company, most likely your logo. This social media site is a great way to distill only relevant information because of the space limitations. You can link content to Twitter, just like on Facebook, but you will need to shorten your links or consider the amount of space a lengthy link will use. You should also consider researching hashtags so people can find your information. You can use photos on Twitter as well, but keep in mind attaching images will use some of your character limit. Twitter is a perfect avenue for not only content produced by your company, but also industry news and related information. Twitter accounts should be updated daily.

LinkedIn is a professional social media resource used by many job seekers. Many companies use LinkedIn, as well, to advertise open positions or B2B services. Your company's main LinkedIn account or those of your key executives, should aim to be influencers in your industry or market niche. Executives should exude a professional persona, but one that shows there’s an individual behind the screen. Job seekers are eager to see who works at your company, what kinds of jobs they do, and what kind of people they are. Industry-related content should be posted to LinkedIn regularly. Consider adding at least one post per week.

3. Review External Communication

When a job candidate finally gets in touch with you, you want to make sure their impression is positive. Most prospective employees will first contact you electronically, usually by emailing their cover letter and resume, or submitting them through an electronic system. Do you have automatic replies created to let people know you have received their materials? Do you have appropriate voicemail messages or phone menus for job seekers who are calling your office to follow up on their submission or return a call for an interview? Do all of your employees have consistent and appropriate email signatures, containing easily-referenced company contact information and brand awareness? These small communication methods can mean the difference between a satisfied and interested job-seeker and one that becomes frustrated with your business.

An employee chooses the company where he or she wants to work much in the same way the company chooses the individual. The hiring process should be considered a give-and-take scenario, with the candidate interviewing the company to see if the culture is the best fit for them while the company evaluates the candidate’s qualifications, talents and goals.
With consistent branding and honest accounts of your company, you will attract better job candidates who more closely fit in with your company culture and agree with your company vision. This will make not only the hiring process easier, but ensure you find team members who are the best for the role and the best for the company over all.

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