The Reach Blog

How corporate reputation impacts recruitment and retention

May 27, 2016

While there may be significant debate over whether “hiring seasons” truly exist, there is no argument that hiring and employee retention is one of the most critical areas of a business’s operations. Success for any company, whether an emerging healthcare practice or a maturing engineering firm, is tightly tied to what CEOs and business leaders refer to as their most important asset — their employees.

However, a March 2016 Harvard Business Review article (A Bad Reputation Costs a Company at Least 10% More Per Hire), shows that companies with poor corporate reputation will pay employees a minimum of 10% more in salary to make up for that lack of standing. Companies will often overlook the impact their public perception has both with prospective hires and with existing employees.

In addition to the overt challenge of attracting applicants to a company with a less-than-stellar reputation, consider what goes into the hiring process. Fast Company reported in a July 2015 article (Why the Hiring Process takes Longer Than Ever) on why hiring and selection windows are getting longer globally, which outlined significant increases in interview process, background checks, and screenings. Add to those initial costs the investment in training new employees and you see how cost-intensive the human element of a company becomes.

Now add to the mix the premium an organization pays to make up for a reputation as a lousy place to work. Or a public perception that the company is unethical. The top prospects in the job market are looking for quality of life, flexible work schedules, and companies in which they can believe.

Addressing an organization’s reputation, whether maintaining a good one or repairing one that’s …sagging… takes time and dedication. It takes leadership and sound human resources decisions. And more, it requires that people know about the good work and the changes the company is making.

Unfortunately, this isn’t accomplished just by coordinating publicity opportunities or conceiving a new ad campaign, though they can help. Communicating the changes an organization is making requires a multi-dimensional strategy that starts with your existing employees and establishes a consistent, demonstrable message.

Corporate reputation is built over time, as the organization keeps its promises, delivers on its mission and earns the respect of its employees, customers and community. The right public relations partnership can help communicate that image and raise the company’s image by identifying and engaging credible third parties to tell the story, capitalize on award opportunities, and position your leadership for strategic speaking engagements.

Create a company culture that your employees can be proud of and your public relations strategy will help attract and retain the top talent to take your company to the next level. And if you’re unsure whether your employees are proud of the company, it may be time to take stock. 

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