Online Branding Impacts Talent Acquisition

Organizations are smarter than the Gen X pool, the Adams-Eves of the digital age.  Today there has been much talk about how companies are using the ‘age of the internet ‘tools to have the right people on board and are doing thorough checks in the process of talent acquisition and recruitment. How recruiters are carrying out a Facebook and LinkedIn scrutiny of the profiles of prospective employees before hiring them is much under light. Such non-stop chronicling and monitoring has become an active work task of recruiters and bosses across the globe these days. 

But wait! Isn’t the product coded Internet - the creation of the millennial themselves and yet we are saying here, that organizations are using their products against the creators themselves? That can’t be likely. Or are we missing the point somewhere here?

That`s exactly what organizations are doing “Missing the Point”!  Millennials, as we know, are street smart and are always one step ahead. If Organizations think they are checking them out, well the millennials are then “doubly checking out” the companies they want to work for.

Millennials today want to have a perspective about the future and also of what they are stepping into. Infact the whole digital age has made us all so habitual of being informed about each and everything, that there is no scope of having anything as “the unknown”. Prospective employees too have found out ways of knowing the “unknown” about their future employers. This is where the digital image and online branding of the companies come into play. Especially those who are looking to start their career are making intensive attempts to know all about the ones they are going to work for.

According to a survey research, we found that the traditional ways of job hunting have long been gone. The most favorable tool that the digital natives use to look up for a job are either Job sites or social media sites. 37% of respondents said they refer to job sites to tap potential employers, 22% refer to social media, rather than depending on traditional means of newspapers or references. Looking at figures we can postulate that 59% get the first impressions through the online image. And the respondents who say they develop their first impressions through social media, 55% of these are the ones who are just about to start their careers. Even if the talent doesn’t respond to a posted job, they conduct extensive research on the organization, going beyond compensation and benefits- using search engines to look up recent blogs, achievements, awards and activities.

In this regard, it comes as no surprise that a wave of employer ratings portals have hit the World Wide Web.  When asked about their activeness on these employer ratings sites, 57% of respondents said that they consult job portals like Glassdoor/Payscale etc. for employer ratings. We also identified that this employer check could be done at 3 levels – at initial stage of job seeking, during the time of interview and finally at the time of confirmation and joining. Out of the identified stages, 77% of respondents agreed to do this rating check at the initial stage only, i.e. at the time of Job Seeking.

The digital presence of a company gives quite a bit of sneak-peak into a company’s culture, vision and values that it works by.  While the millennials may not have the same priorities as the gen Y when it comes to taking up a job, they are surely driven by varied number of factors. The gen Y were driven more by having Job security, while the Gen X today is driven more by growth opportunities, exposure and hands on experience. Infact growth opportunities are seen in tangent to getting international exposure and diversity. When asked what all they look for on online portals before applying in a company – 88 % of the respondents agreed on the fact that they look for growth opportunity as the foremost priority, followed by company culture and employee engagement activities.

Thus its not about fancy glass build offices anymore, millennials are indeed more fascinated by the company environment, how its employees are treated and what kind of work culture prevails at an organization. The rising entrepreneurship in India, increasing number of startups with their maverick cultures and virtual offices indicates that the post baby boomer generation are more risk taking and are seeking good exposure and a platform where they can prove themselves. They don’t want to sit in comfortable positions and infact want to be challenged at every point.

When asked about what has been the top reason for not applying to a company, 69% of the respondents pointed to the fact that if there is no great leadership pipeline available, they won’t apply in the company. Followed by other reasons like there is no sneak peak available for employee activity or not much of social media activity. infact if there’s is not much visibility available about the company on the digital platforms, the likeliness of the talent to not to apply for the job increases.

With all said and done, the digital media might have made it easier for the recruiters to scrutinize candidates through the magnified lenses of Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter, but these have put the organizations too under inspection. Its time companies should converse with potential employees the manner they would want them to see, because now they know who is watching them. 

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