5 ways to give candidates the best first impression of your company

By Robert Half on 15 July 2022

5 ways to give candidates the best first impression of your company

  1. Your website
  2. Word-of-mouth
  3. Your social media
  4. Employee testimonials
  5. Press and media
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

With Australia's tight labour market, attracting top talent is getting more competitive. In fact, most jobseekers now have the luxury of being selective when choosing new roles.

How are candidate first impressions formed?

It’s no secret that candidates are concerned about making a good impression – but first impressions go both ways.

And the one you make might matter more.

Research from Robert Half Australia finds that 86% of jobseekers say that an employer’s brand is likely to impact their decision to apply for or accept a job offer, you can be sure candidates will research your company before contacting you.

Related: Discover 6 tips to strengthen your corporate reputation

Where are Australian companies promoting their employer brands?

Robert Half Australia research finds that the top channels employers use to promote their brand with the aim of attracting top talent to their organisation are:

  • LinkedIn – 82%
  • Careers page/section on the company website – 79%
  • Employee reviews - 77%
  • Facebook – 69%
  • Referrals and word of mouth – 69%

Let’s look at five common channels for showcasing your employer brand and how you can use them to create a great first impression.

1. Your website

Your website careers page is often the first point of contact that potential candidates have with your company.

In fact, we know that the first thing most Australian candidates do when a job opportunity opens up is to check out the hiring company’s website.

If your careers page isn’t kept up-to-date and on-brand, it’s a missed opportunity.

What should you include on your careers page?

  • Summary of your company culture
  • Recognition and rewards that are on offer
  • Overview of employee experiences
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Open roles
  • Your application process

But don’t stop at just the careers section of your website.

Every page of your website plays an essential role in showcasing your employer brand and building a positive company reputation.

Related: Discover why corporate branding is crucial to recruitment

How to highlight your employer brand on your website:

  • Ensure the content is engaging and informative
  • Make it easy for candidates to learn about your company culture and values, team
  • members and their roles, job opportunities, and career pathways
  • Consider what other resources might assist an applicant, such as:
  • Qualities we look for
  • Why this is a great place to work
  • Human experience (e.g. interviews with staff)
  • Common interview questions
  • Details about onboarding

KEY TIP: Make sure your website is easy to read and simple to navigate, free from spelling and grammatical errors, and promotes a positive company culture. It should also clearly direct them to your open roles and application process.

2. Word-of-mouth

Since people are naturally more trusting of the opinion or recommendations of a friend or family member, encouraging positive word-of-mouth is a wonderful opportunity for boosting your company’s reputation.

What’s more, organic word-of-mouth recommendations start by consistently providing a great employee experience and positive company culture.

How to encourage positive word-of-mouth:

  • Nurture a company culture that values trust and open communication
  • Support constant communication with your team on what they enjoy and opportunities they see for improvement
  • Be accountable and demonstrate action – make people feel heard and invested in your company
  • Encourage your existing employees to act as advocates
  • Be consistent with your employer brand message across all platforms
  • Use exit interviews to understand issues employers may have or to reinforce positive experiences

What happens when staff leave your organisation?

Remember, staff turnover is natural. So celebrate employees who are moving on to great opportunities and recognise their contributions.

This could be done internally, such as with a farewell event. Or publicly, such as having a manager publish a farewell post on LinkedIn highlighting the employee’s successes and wishing them well.

KEY TIP: Always share authentic information about your company, so there’s no chance of presenting a false image and generating negative word-of-mouth.

SEND US YOUR JOB VACANCY

3. Your social media

With LinkedIn being the most popular source to research a company in Australia, your social channels might be just as important as a website for strengthening your employer brand.

Most companies focus on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. However, there’s no need to be across all of them.

Remember, social media works best when you make it social.

So take the time to write engaging posts and share content that encourages conversation.

How to use social media to showcase your employer brand:

  • Choose social channels that are relevant to your audience
  • Pin key employer branding posts to the top of your feed
  • Share stories about company culture and career progression
  • Use a content calendar to ensure you have a good balance of topics and regular posting frequency
  • Encourage current employees to share company posts

Related: Want to know how to build a strong social media presence for your brand? Explore our top tips.

KEY TIP: Be responsive to your online community – reply to comments, ask questions, and create a reputation for being friendly and approachable.

4. Employee testimonials

Most jobseekers will check out your company reviews before applying for a role – particularly those from employees, which are considered more trustworthy and authentic than brand owned messaging.

But it shouldn’t be a one-sided process.

Show candidates that your team is invested in employee satisfaction by regularly monitoring and responding to employee reviews.

How to make employee testimonials work for you:

  • Encourage employees to post honest reviews and testimonials
  • Regularly check common sites for reviews (e.g. Glassdoor, social media pages)
  • Respond promptly to both positive and negative reviews
  • Share employee testimonials across other platforms

How can you run an employee testimonial program within your company?

  • Set a reminder to ask new hires to complete a survey or share their impressions after six months or a year
  • Encourage people to leave a review after a positive exit interview
  • Identify triggers when employee appreciation may be high, such as when someone receives a promotion or reward, and have a standard email that outlines how to leave a review and why it’s important

KEY TIP: Having only positive testimonials can look fabricated, so use any negative reviews to showcase how active your company is by responding to comments as soon as possible. Give the reviewer an opportunity to speak with a leader on their issues and thank them for their honest feedback.

5. Press and media

Despite the convenience of social media, your media strategy shouldn’t stop with just social channels.

Building brand awareness through Australian press and media, whether through thought leadership or employer branding, can reinforce a positive reputation and attract the interest of job candidates.

As well as highlighting your credentials as a great employer, press and media allow you to highlight your corporate expertise and showcase the quality of your work which can attract the attention of ambitious jobseekers.

How to use traditional press and media to boost your employer brand:

  • Focus on publications relevant to your candidates – consider targeting industry-specific publications or approaching university magazines to connect with graduates.
  • Work with journalists to highlight industry expertise.
  • Enter your organisation for awards or accolades that recognise your business credentials as an employer.
  • Highlight unique or newsworthy employment offerings, such as industry-first leave policies, exceptional employment data, or business expansion news.
  • Also, consider highlighting any company accolades, such as 'great places to work' or 'DEI leader' recognition that a third party has awarded.

You can check out the LinkedIn Talent or Seek awards for examples.

KEY TIP: While paid media is the simplest option, creating opportunities for earned media is best for creating a trusted brand.

Ready for the next step?

If you’d like more expert hiring advice and how to give candidates the best first impression of your company, why not check out our recruitment process articles.

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