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  • Bernadette Saumur

How the right talent acquisition partner can create unexpected value as a "brand ambassador"

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

In determining whether to use a talent acquisition partner, business leaders recognize the more obvious benefits of using a professional organization -- such as finding the best talent, time-to-hire, cost-to-hire and efficiency. While all these benefits are compelling reasons for hiring a talent solution provider, one often overlooked benefit in hiring the right talent acquisition partner is their role as an unofficial "brand ambassador" for the organization.

Members of the talent acquisition partner's team interact with a significant number of potential candidates, all in the client's specific target area for key talent. This is the talent pool that the organization wants to attract. It is the pool that has the candidates with the best credentials and experience for the organization, often in the right key industry or vertical. Given these candidates are the ones an organization would be competing for, hiring the right talent acquisition partner that interacts with this pool is critical.

Obviously, not all the candidates will make it through to the final selection stage, and, similarly, many may not even be interested in the opportunity at a particular time. However, the recruitment process with the right talent acquisition partner presents passive candidates with what is often the first introduction to the hiring organization. Here, the hiring organization can benefit tremendously from the right talent acquisition partner championing their brand as a highly desirable employer. First impressions are very often lasting impressions. As a result, the talent acquisition partner will often set the tone and their professionalism -- or lack thereof -- will reflect on the hiring organization.

While this may come as a surprise to some businesses, the truth of the matter is that many candidates know very little about them. For the majority of organizations (even the large, multinational, publicly listed ones), candidates have often not even heard of them. Even for some of the larger, more known brands, candidates know very little about the organization itself. While it may be true that for some of these more well-known brands, candidates may have some level of knowledge about the company's products or services, they often know very little about the organization, what it's like to work there or its culture. What's more, what they often think they know about these organizations is, more often that not, based on disinformation, rumour, or some unfavourable opinion of a friend or acquaintance who purportedly worked for the organization. Further, it may also be based on past issues, that have since been ameliorated or no longer an issue.

We have seen large, multinational businesses with little to no name recognition in the marketplace, or with a somewhat negative reputation amongst this coveted pool of candidates, change over time as we work on more mandates for these organizations. Moreover, after partnering with us on multiple mandates over time, name recognition and the candidate pool's overall impression of the organization had significantly improved directly as a result of our approach to recruitment and talent acquisition. In essence, the right talent acquisition partner will become a trusted brand ambassador for the hiring organization with this highly desirable pool of candidates.

While some larger hiring organizations may have a significant team of internal recruiters, often given the number of mandates they juggle, these internal recruiters may not be able to spend the time educating and selling candidates on the organization. Further, internal recruiters may take it for granted how much the candidates know about the organization, or, in some cases, may have the view that if a candidate really wants the position, they will educate themselves on the organization.

In a competitive market, being a strong brand ambassador for the organization is often essential to attract the best candidates. To this end, it often requires educating candidates about the client organization, rather than simply relying upon active or motivated candidates to fill the position. This process often requires promoting the organization and its products or services, educating candidates on the business' culture and providing insight into why others have chosen to work for the organization. After numerous discussions with candidates on multiple mandates, the right talent acquisition provider can have a positive impact on the client organization's brand in the marketplace with its target pool of candidates. Over time, these candidates start to have a more positive impression of the organization and the organization begins to attract the best talent!

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