4 Things Hurting Your Employer Brand, and How To Fix Them


Are you creating candidate roadblocks without knowing it? Check these 4 things to improve your employer brand.

You have what you believe to be a top-notch employer brand and an awesome open position that job seekers will surely flock to. Unfortunately, your employer branding efforts and creative job posts aren’t having the effect you thought (and hoped) they would. So what’s keeping job seekers from applying to your seemingly great opportunity?

Employer brand plays a huge role in attracting top talent — but it can play an equally huge role in driving that talent away from your company. If your talent acquisition efforts aren’t delivering more choice candidates than you can handle, your employer brand may be to blame.

Here are four things that may hurting your reputation with job seekers (and what to do about them):

1. Negative Reviews from Laid-Off Employees

Hell hath no fury like an employee scorned — especially if that employee is a millennial. According to CareerArc’s 2015 Employer Branding Study of more than 1,300 job seekers and 218 HR and talent acquisition professionals, millennials are far more jaded by — and vocal about — being let go.

While 38%of fired or laid-off employees share negative reviews of their former employers, a whopping 73% of millennials who reported being negatively impacted by a termination or layoff shared their negative views on social media, review sites, and with personal and professional networks.

Solution: Handle Terminations More Respectfully

How do you fire an employee without burning any bridges? In a nutshell, handle the termination efficiently and respectfully. Even if you have an “at will” employment policy, give the employee a reason for terminating their employment. Help them understand where they fell short, but also mention and thank them for what they did well.

Maybe the employee was talented but just not right for the role — in that case, offer them a recommendation letter for their soft skills. By framing the termination in a more positive light, the employee can leave with their dignity intact and you can rest assured that the termination won’t wound your employer brand.

2. A Weak Online Presence

You wouldn’t buy a brand new car before doing the necessary research, and smart job seekers don’t apply for jobs without doing their due diligence either. Today’s job seekers are much more selective about where they apply, as illustrated by the wealth of online resources they use to evaluate potential employers. According to CareerBuilder’s 2015 Candidate Behavior Study, on average, job seekers use 18 different sources when searching for a job and evaluating job fit.

One of the first places job seekers go to seek out information about a company’s employer brand is online. According to the aforementioned CareerArc study, more than half of job seekers check out an organization’s online properties first, ranging from the company website to its social media channels to employer review sites like Glassdoor. Having a poor — or worse, no — online presence is a surefire way to drive away today’s top talent.

Solution: Update Your Website & Social Channels

Having a company Facebook and Twitter account is great, but job seekers expect employers to have a strong online presence across multiple channels, starting with a user-friendly company website and active social media accounts. In fact, CareerArc found that 91% of job seekers view poorly managed or unattractive websites and social media channels as damaging to employer brand.

To make a positive first impression online, update all of your online channels with recent company news, upcoming events, and photos or videos from company outings ( anything that provides an inside look into your company). Most importantly, engage job seekers and followers by responding to reviews, asking and answering questions, sharing relevant content, etc.

3. Negative Product or Service Reviews

What do customer reviews have to do with a company’s employer brand? In short, employees serve as the face of a company’s product or service. And no employee wants to represent a sub-par product, which is why customer reviews have such a strong effect on a job seeker’s decision to apply.

80% of job seekers find negative reviews of products and services as most damaging to employer brand, according to CareerArc’s study. Job seekers want to work for a company and product they can proudly stand behind. A product or service that doesn’t seem to be doing well not only damages the company brand, but also damages the employer brand.

Solution: Don’t Ignore Bad Reviews

When a negative review does pop up (and it likely will), don’t ignore it — address it. Don’t let bad reviews persuade potential customers or job candidates to turn away from your brand and on to your competitors.

Instead, acknowledge the review and offer a solution. Business strategist Jay Baer likes to call this “hugging your haters” and has some great advice on how to use complaints to strengthen your business. By simply taking the time to respond to negative reviews, you’re showing both customers and job seekers that the company values the opinions and suggestions of others.

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