How strong is your brand?

People shop online for jobs so make sure your company profile is up to date and attractive to prospective job seekers
People shop online for jobs so make sure your company profile is up to date and attractive to prospective job seekers

In today's digital era, the line has blurred between active and passive job seekers. Candidates now find the job search process is constantly turned on for them, with the majority of employees either actively searching for a new job or open to a new opportunity. Barry Whelan reports



19 February 2013

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Job search behaviour is increasingly similar to consumer buying behaviour, with candidates utilising digital resources to help them with their "buying" decisions. 

We all know technology has changed the way people research prospective purchases; this started with high value purchases. People searched and made decisions for everything from buying a car, or a TV to evaluating a business vendor. This trend has continued and now applies when shopping for a new job.

When taking a new job, the last thing one wants is buyer remorse! A new job is essentially one of the biggest purchases a person can make in his or her lifetime, so people begin researching employers and opportunities early to ensure they do not make the wrong decision. Candidates research companies through both their own websites, but also their overall digital footprint. In other words, long before candidates even step through a potential employer’s doors, they’ve already engaged with that employer in some way to find out about its reputation as an employer – much in the same way consumers research potential purchases before even going to the store.

People treat new jobs the same way they treat major purchases: they do extensive research – mostly with the help of digital tools before making a final decision. People continue to shop around until the final decision is made, just as they might shop around for a big ticket item. Workers may even continue researching other opportunities after they’ve made a final decision in hopes of reassuring themselves they made the right choice.

Define employer brands

This highlights the need for employers to clearly define their employer brands. A defined employer brand clarifies the culture of a company and helps candidates determine whether or not they’d be the right fit before they even apply. It also sets realistic expectations for what would be expected of candidates once they join the company. Expectations are the reason a candidate leaves employment with a new company early so it is important expectations are met (as opposed to finding out the company is nothing like they expected on their first day on the job).

Furthermore, it’s important to understand that engagement doesn’t end after a candidate accepts a job offer, and if employers want to retain employees – and continue to build a reputation as an employer of choice – they need to put in the effort to keep their employees engaged and deliver on the expectations they set up during the recruitment process.

In the US they have seen the emergence of employer ratings sites like, which enable employees to openly and honestly discuss their experiences at certain companies. Employers can no longer hide their cultures nor can they assume that candidates aren’t paying attention either. Even in an employer’s market, attracting the best talent should be the first goal of HR managers in any company. already contains insight into many Irish employers including our banks and some of our retailers. It is only a matter of time before websites like this are consulted as part of the job seeking process.




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