Despite layoffs in the tech sector making headlines nearly daily in the first month of the year, one of the biggest takeaways from GoodTime’s 2024 Hiring Insights Report is that we are still in a candidate-driven job market. 

With fierce competition for talent predicted for 2024 and layoff anxieties still looming, I consistently advise companies that it is now more crucial than ever to dedicate resources to protecting and improving their employer brand. 

Below, we’ll explore how strategic use of automation can not only enhance your employer brand but also position your company to attract and retain top talent in 2024’s competitive landscape.

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But why is employer brand so important in 2024?

A company’s online reputation has a tremendous amount of swaying power for candidates as they consider prospective employers. 

Each week I speak with dozens of candidates, and I always ask what’s most important to them in their next career move. Over the last three years, their answers have increasingly strayed away from compensation-based responses to more culture-based responses, such as prioritizing companies that offer good work-life balance and ample opportunities for career growth, development, and mentorship. Candidates care increasingly about the kinds of people they’ll be working with, whether or not they’ll be backed by supportive teams, and how upper management communicates goals and expectations with the rest of the company. 

The risks to your employer brand: The impact of online platforms

So where do candidates look to see if their prospective employer checks these boxes? Sites like Glassdoor and Reddit. 

It takes a company years to build and implement the policies, practices, and philosophies that shape its employer brand. Unfortunately, it only takes a few minutes for an unhappy employee or a handful of people affected by a reduction in force (RIF) to take to one of these many online opinion platforms and effectively undo years of reputation building. 

It’s a delicate task to maintain a positive employer brand in an era where information spreads at lightning speed. Each phase in an employee’s journey contributes to the overall narrative that forms your company’s brand in the public eye. As much as positive experiences can bolster your reputation, negative ones, especially those shared publicly, can cause significant damage. 

This is where strategic employer brand management comes into play. It’s not just about crafting a positive image; it’s about genuinely creating a positive experience that resonates with both current and prospective employees. This experience, when handled correctly, turns employees into brand ambassadors, spreading positive narratives that counteract any negative feedback.

The role of hiring automation in enhancing employer brand: Addressing interview process complaints

People take to Glassdoor and similar platforms not only to share about their time working at a particular company, but also to talk about their experience during an interview process. 

Some of the most common interview process complaints that I hear from candidates are: 

  • The process was too lengthy
  • Too much time passed in between stages
  • Companies failed to give timely feedback
  • There was generally poor communication throughout the process

The good news is that all these common complaints can be addressed with the right interview automation tool. These tools don’t just accelerate the hiring process. They also create positive, memorable experiences that directly impact your reputation among candidates. Plus, they free up time for you to focus on those essentially human elements of hiring.

By automating elements of interview scheduling and candidate communications, TA teams are getting back more than 30% of their time all while protecting the company’s employer brand and providing a white-glove candidate experience. 

Chart: recruiting teams spend 35% of their time scheduling interviews.
Source: 2024 Hiring Insights Report (GoodTime)

The future of HR and talent acquisition: Prioritizing employer brand

To attract top talent in 2024’s competitive landscape, employer brand should be top of mind for all HR and TA leaders. However, recent trends suggest a worrying shift. The de-prioritization of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts, a cornerstone of a strong employer brand, has been noticeable in many organizations. This, combined with an uptick in employee layoffs and terminations often conducted without adequate outplacement services, paints a concerning picture. Such actions can inadvertently erode trust and goodwill, which are essential components of a strong employer brand. 

To meet hiring goals and retain talent, companies must adopt a holistic approach to reputation management. This involves actively managing every touchpoint in the employee lifecycle, from initial contact to exit. Best-in-class automated solutions can play a pivotal role in this strategy. By leveraging automation, companies can streamline recruitment processes, enhance communication, and provide a more engaging and candidate-friendly experience. Automation tools can also aid in gathering and analyzing feedback, allowing for real-time adjustments to recruitment strategies and employer branding efforts.

In essence, employer branding in 2024 requires a nuanced understanding of the evolving job market and employee expectations. By aligning their values with their practices and leveraging the right technology, companies can not only attract top talent but also foster a culture of loyalty and advocacy, essential for long-term success in a competitive landscape.

About the Author

Megan Mooney

As the Managing Partner of Vetted, a boutique, Boston-based recruiting and outplacement firm, Megan has robust experience crafting and implementing full-lifecycle recruitment programs for some of the top tech companies and marketing/PR agencies in the Boston area and beyond. Megan takes a human-centered, empathetic approach to recruitment and finds fulfillment in connecting people with opportunities that help them reach their full career potential. She holds a BA in International Relations from Roger Williams University and a MA in Human Rights from University College London.