There are opposing viewpoints on whether or not consumer brand and employer brand are interchangeable. Some say they’re absolutely the same thing, completely intertwined. Others believe that, while the concepts are similar, they’re about different audiences and different goals (product sales vs. culture sales) and should, therefore, be approached differently. But no matter your opinion, there’s one thing that’s certain: candidate experience can directly impact both.
Candidate Experience from the “Usual” Perspective
Most often, when we talk about candidate experience and how it can impact consumer and employer brand, we’re focusing on the negative. A poor candidate experience leads to frustrations that are voiced on social media, to friends and family, etc… A poor candidate experience makes that job seeker less likely to recommend you as an employer and less likely to purchase products from your company in the future. These are very real concerns and issues that have proven to be true.
From the positive side of things, it’s likely that a great candidate experience can result in recommendations for your company – both as an employer and a retailer/service provider. But what about the flip side of things? Could a positive/negative customer experience impact your employment brand and, ultimately, your recruitment process?
Candidate Experience from the Reverse Perspective
While it may not be something that’s been established as a definite, customer experience as an employer branding tool doesn’t seem too far off (and it definitely can’t hurt). Every experience and interaction a customer has with your company and brand should be pleasant because you never know if he/she is actively seeking employment or one of the many “passive job seekers” we hear so much about.
When it comes to perceptions, customers and candidates aren’t differentiating between your consumer and employer brand, so you shouldn’t either. Provide a great candidate experience, people want to work for you and buy from you. Provide a great customer experience, people want to buy from you and possibly work for you. Right?
The bottom line: customer service should always be a huge focus for your company and employees. By having high-quality interactions each and every time, you could be gaining more than just a sale. You could be gaining a future employee and brand advocate for life (if you continue to treat them right).
Image: Kate Ter Haar/Flickr