It’s Not You, It’s Me

‘It’s not you, it’s me’, ‘I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you, but I’m not going to take this forward’, or ‘you’ve got so much to offer’…I mean, you’d be forgiven to think these are romantic breakups.


In fact, they’re reminiscent of interview feedback I, or people I’ve come across, have had.


Considering many people will be interviewing in the current job climate, it got me thinking - what really is the impact of poor recruitment processes on an employer’s brand?


Firstly, I thought it would be useful to share a baseline definition of ‘employer brand’, what it means and what it represents: Generally speaking, it refers to a company’s ability to use what’s unique to them to market itself to potential talent. However, for me it also incorporates a company’s ability to engage with its current employee population; embedding company values across all practice areas and building initiatives based on values that employees can be proud of – after all, employees can be the best brand ambassador! With that in mind, it’s really astonishing to think that some companies may jeopardise compromising company values as part of a recruitment process.


Granted, it’s not just about the feedback at the end of a process. So, where are the opportunities to share insight of your company brand to potential talent, whilst embedding practices in tune with company values? It really is the whole cycle – from the job ad, to the interview, the communication in between and of course the communication at the end of a process.


  1. Job Ads – Let candidates get an insight into the company and the general ‘vibe’ through the language used to speak to potential candidates. It sounds so simple, but draft JDs in your company’s tone of voice. Don’t have one? Get one! Or at least agree what it is at Management level. If your organization is engaging in DEI initiatives, reflect this through the JDs, too! Being careful with pronouns used, or using language that’s supportive of flexible working /reasonable adjustments, for example, can be used to connect with a diverse audience. This can only support the development of a psychologically safe environment for current colleagues, perhaps even encouraging employees to refer their friends for open vacancies.

  2. Interviews –Want someone to join that will ‘fit’ or even add to/evolve your culture? You need to ensure you’re giving them an opportunity to showcase their alignment with current ways of working at your organization. Drafting interview questions to reflect company values is an easy way of doing this. Using value-aligned language in interviews will only help embed the language across the rest of the organization, as managers start using the same language with their teams too.

  3. Engagement – For starters, an updated, relevant, and easy to navigate, the company website can help potential candidates find information easily. A website showcasing thought leadership pieces such as blogs, as well as documenting company events can provide ways of highlighting the thinking and approach at an organisation and can really help a candidate get a feel of what it’s like to work there.

Overall, it comes down being consistent and genuine to your company values from (pre) start to finish (both internally to current employees, and externally to potential candidates). Keeping potential candidates engaged throughout the selection process and giving a timely outcome to an interview can create a lasting positive impression - and only puts an individual out of their misery sooner!


In the meantime, Glassdoor fills with positive reviews, which contributes to an employee’s pride for working with a great employer that puts people first.


What else did I miss? I would love to hear your thoughts on how organisations can strengthen their employer brand.

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