Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Are Your Hiring Practices Good for Your Reputation?

Have you ever considered what impact your hiring practices have on your reputation?

Given the trend to a smaller workforce and greater competition for talent, the image you present to prospective employees impacts your success.

I’ve heard some stories in the past year that suggest employers don’t consider how the hiring process affects their reputation and ability to become a top employer. Let’s look at three sins employers make and why they matter.

Not Contacting Internal Applicants

When you think “potential employee,” don’t forget about people already employed elsewhere in your organization. Employees who take the time to apply for other positions in the company clearly have some valuable qualities:

  • Loyalty to the organization
  • Ambition
  • Ready for a new challenge

So, when someone applies and doesn’t even hear the result, you’re taking chances with a quality employee.

Potential impact on talent

If they are interested in a new challenge, the apparent lack of respect may send them looking outside the organization. You also may have lost the opportunity to learn new ways that individual could make a contribution, including on special projects.

Reposting the Job Without Contacting Prior Applicants

Sometimes after you post a position, something changes in the organization to derail the process – a new leader is hired or something more pressing puts the process on hold. Things happen. Now the question is: What do you – or don’t you – do about the posting?

Here are a few reasons you might want to let people know what’s happening:

  • Prior applicants, who could be great candidates, may not reapply due to assumptions – thinking their application is still being considered or assuming all applicants were unsuitable.
  • People within the same industry often share job-hunting experiences – making it more, or less, likely that you’ll get quality applicants on round two.
  • Applications that fall into a black hole leave the impression the organization doesn’t have it together.

Potential impact on reputation

Especially when the process extends beyond your walls, it has the potential to affect your reputation. That’s why such carefully thought-out wording is used in many job descriptions. You want to attract the right people and make a good impression. Think of an ad that says: “We’re a high-energy team dedicated to the success of our clients.” Now, if they don’t follow up on that job posting, they more than negate those positive words. Now the message is: “We value our clients, but our potential employees not so much.”


“Recruitment IS marketing. If you’re a recruiter nowadays and you don’t see yourself as a marketer, you’re in the wrong profession.”  ~ Matthew Jeffrey, Global head of sourcing and employment brand at SAP


Not Following Up with Interviewees

To me, this is one of the least excusable sins in the hiring process. By the time you get to the interview stage, you normally only meet with a few people – maybe six at most. It’s almost impossible to imagine why someone can’t contact each of these individuals. After all, they spent valuable time preparing and meeting with you.


Potential impact on operations

  • Depending on where you’re located, potential employees may also be – or know – potential clients.
  • If your HR policy includes hanging onto applications for a few months, how interested is the person likely to be if they get called about another position?

The Bottom Line

All of these situations come down to two critical things:

  • Affect on your reputation as an organization and an employer
  • Potential shrinking of the pool of talent you can call upon

If you want the best employees, the relationship needs to start with respect, even before the person becomes your employee.

Think of it this way: employee communication starts with the job posting. Be sure to follow it through.

What other sins have you experienced in the hiring process?