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You Want to Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Part 4 of an ongoing series inspired by What’s Next for You: The Eightfold Path to Transforming the Way We Hire and Manage Talent

“When people know and like your company, taking advantage of brand equity is one giant step toward enhancing the number of quality candidates who will continue to build that brand loyalty on your behalf internally and externally… Your employees can then become some of your greatest brand ambassadors.”

Was Cheers the best bar in Boston? One of the running gags in the beloved sitcom was that it wasn’t. However, as the theme song said, everyone wants to go where everyone knows your name. Cheers might not have been the most fashionable of bars, but it knew how to take care of the people who came through its doors.

The reputation of being a great place to work begins long before someone walks through the door for their first day on the job. Positive or negative, your employer brand impacts anyone who applies to work at your company – or chooses not to do so.

Too few organizations understand the brand impact of “prequel” contacts — job postings and initial candidate communications. By proactively making all touch points a positive experience, your company demonstrates respect for its talent, resulting in a higher caliber of candidate, faster hires, and more successful talent engagement.

Unfortunately, current typical practices fail in this regard. Job descriptions don’t correspond to the actual needs of the job. Outside a few preferred individuals, candidates receive at most a screening outreach call. Almost no one gets notified when they don’t get the job. The deeper into the hiring process a person gets, the more infuriating this “ghosting” behavior becomes.

Reputation also affects recruiting after employeesleavethe company. When individuals move on for positive reasons, they recommend their previous employers to potential recruits. These often-overlooked talent resources operate similarly to college and university alumni networks. The happier and more loyal former workers are, the higher the likelihood that they’ll steer both business and talent back — just like well-developed alumni networks donate generously and help direct smart kids to their alma maters.

It’s not hard to understand why companies treat candidates poorly and ignore alumni. Recruiters and hiring managers have more applications for every open position than ever before. They’re overwhelmed, and burdened with tracking systems built for an era with much less competition for skilled talent.

In short, there’s an employer branding mismatch. Companies talk about how much they value their employees. The hiring process, however, treats people like disposable cogs in a machine.

Branding, whether for consumers, candidates, or employees, isn’t about pretty words and pretty pictures. It means finding ways to communicate and live up to ideals and values that enhance stability and productivity. That’s where the data handling capabilities of a talent intelligence platform become essential.

The same AI-based tools that improve sourcing by taming today’s job application avalanche also give candidates a feeling of connection throughout the hiring process. These platforms also enable alumni to become active advocates for the organization. Bottom line: attracting, hiring, and retaining talent becomes simpler, especially in fields where domain expertise is in short supply.

In other words, AI-based data management delivers the key to employer brand and public perception. The application of this of technology restores the human element in what’s become a far too callous and inhumane process.

It’s time that hiring returned to its roots as one of the most people-oriented parts of the corporation. Candidates once again feel treated as people — to the point where “silver medalists” who don’t get the job willingly remain in the queue for future positions. Millennials and younger generations receive the social engagement that they take for granted in the rest of their lives. Alumni feel respected and valued, even after leaving the fold.

What a radical concept — your company hires faster and becomes more productive because it treats people with respect from sourcing and candidacy through hiring and alumni. Because everyone wants to go where everybody knows your name.

What’s Next for You: The Eightfold Path to Transforming the Way We Hire and Manage Talent, by Eightfold’s Ashutosh Garg and Kamal Ahluwalia, is on sale now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble