An essential part of the job search process is finding the right employer brand. People want more than a job. Like everyone else, you’re looking for a brand you’re proud to represent. That means the company’s brand reputation and recognition are on the line as you evaluate jobs to apply for.
There are countless motivations for wanting to work for a company. You may be a dedicated customer. Or perhaps you have a network connection who works for the company, and it seems like an easy way to get a foot in the door at a big business. You could be fascinated by the brand’s rapid innovation and growth or moved by its commitment to improving the world.
Whatever your reason for recognizing a brand as a possible employment option, you must do some research to ensure its consumer reputation aligns with its employer brand. Here are a few ways to spot red flags before and during the hiring process:
Consistent social presence
While the tone an employer brand uses may vary from audience to audience, its voice should be consistent. If social media messaging is inconsistent, an easy way to pick out red flags that a company may not be fully transparent about what it’s like to work on the team.
Marketing content is targeted at specific consumers, but a brand’s voice and values should be evident across all its marketing channels. It can be challenging to know if you’d fit in with the company if it’s not clear if the culture is laid back or high-collar. It’s even more difficult to understand how to interact with recruiters and the hiring team if how employees engage is all over the place.
Engaging with customers vs. talent
If you’d be turned off to purchasing from a company based on the way customers are addressed online, you probably wouldn’t want to work for it. It’s easier to know when not to apply, sometimes. You could be attracted to how a brand interacts on social media and find how you’re addressed as a candidate is quite different.
While it can be easy to assume a recruiter or hiring manager is simply handling the hiring process professionally, the drastic difference in your experience could also be a red flag. You were attracted to this brand because of its reputation. If your experience in the hiring process gives you the impression employees are managed much differently from what customers see in the brand, there may be more lurking behind the scenes than you want to discover.
Every brand shows off its positive work culture. It’s crucial you make sure employer brand checks out. If a brand seems fun based on how they market to their customers, dig a little deeper to learn about their employee reviews.
You can do this by reading testimonials from former employees or connecting with employees on social media. Consider reaching out to schedule an informational interview with an employee in your network. Learn about the hiring process and their impressions once joining the team.
Find out what they love and what the brand could do to improve. This can give you a better idea of who you fit and if you can offer more to the company by coming on board.
Evidence of work culture
Above all, you want to be sure the work culture and workflow match your work style and personality. There are plenty of clues to pick up on the culture, but not all employer brands are transparent about what happens on their team.
Social media and blog content show off a brand’s voice and values, but they seldom share information about what it’s like to work for the brand. You will need to look for evidence in the interview process. For example, pay attention to the types of questions you’re asked. The hiring team is assessing you for fit.
Observe the ways you get information from the team. Are they sharing videos from leaders? Are employees joining in on video interviews? This can give you an idea of how collaborative the culture is and if leaders get down in the trenches.