Recruiting & Reputation Risk

Recruiting & Reputation Risk Hiring Best Practices Candidate Experience

What do a defective credit card, a frayed shirt sleeve and re-called beef have in common? They represent potential reputation risk for the companies who produce these items. Companies today are more risk conscious than ever before. Yet the very folks who worry about financial risk, operational risk or regulatory risk often overlook the possible adverse impact of their recruiting processes out in the marketplace. A poorly managed recruiting process can be a real source of reputation (brand) risk for any company no matter the size.

Whether an internal staff member or external agency partner, a recruiter touches the marketplace each day talking with prospective candidates on behalf of the companies they represent. These conversations are almost entirely evaluative in nature – the company is measuring the candidate for a potential fit. The mistake often made is assuming that the recruiting dance is a solo effort – that market conditions or the company’s “SND Factor” (Special & Different) always give them the upper hand in herding top candidates into their fold. Not so.

Here’s the reality – top candidates evaluate the companies they are speaking with just as intently. If a recruiting process is allowed to drag on indefinitely, or if it seems to be disorganized instead of orderly, or if commitments for interviews are frequently changed, the candidate may begin to pose questions: Just how credible is the hiring manager? Can the company make a decision, or is it normal for things to be bogged down with red tape? If the company cannot manage its recruiting process, how well-managed is the rest of the company? And the kicker of a disappointed realization is the desire to tell others that the company is not as good as it seems.

Enter risk to reputation… with a few clicks, insider-info sites like can confirm a candidate’s suspicions about the prospective employer brought on by a sub-par recruiting experience. Even in an employer’s market, top candidates will withdraw from consideration if too many signals create too much doubt about the company seeking their talent. If the candidate concludes the company is “not what it seems,” then game over.

“Our people are the best” can be more than an empty slogan painted on the side of truck or printed on the page of an annual report. To secure the best employees, recruiting & selection processes must be intentional, orderly and timely. For a company to avoid unwanted risk to its local/regional/national reputation, internal processes that extend outside to the marketplace such as recruiting must be well-managed. Remembering that your prospective employees are also prospective customers will help your recruiter to close the deal and to enhance – not diminish – your company’s reputation.

And, a few more customers never hurts as well!