The employer brand and the need for transparency

Unemployment rates are at an all time low, and the competition for candidates is heating up.  It is no longer enough to just say you have a job and wait for a line of people to want to fill it.  Job seekers are looking for reasons to consider your company that go beyond a job title.

The job and consumer market are very similar.  Up until recently it has been a game where the buyer/applicant has tried to get information, and the seller/employer has danced to hold back as much as possible.  The latest generations (Gen Y, Millenials) have been breaking down this model seeking greater sources of information prior to making decisions.  The consumer market has reacted faster, with most companies selling their brand identity, reviews, and transparent pricing along with their products.

If you want to reach the younger upwardly mobile workers you need to converse with job seekers on their level.  Build a digital presence that includes your culture, work atmosphere, detailed information about your positions, and realistic estimate of income.

salary, advertise or not?

Publishing estimated salaries on job ads is a very contested subject.  There are two major reasons employers avoid posting them.  First, employers worry that it puts them at a disadvantage in negotiating compensation.  The advertised salary becomes a starting point for the candidate to negotiate.

The second reason, if the posted salary is average for the position employers fear missing out on the best candidates looking for top pay.  They do not want discourage people from applying.


Here is why you are better off posting the estimated salary.  You will lose a lot of candidates that are unwilling to go through an application process, including interviewing, without knowing that they would be willing to accept what you intend to pay for the position.  If you have lots of no show interviews it could be because they are unsure what they can earn with your company.  You also run the risk of getting to the interview stage with a candidate, only to find out they want $$$$ more than you ever intend to spend to fill a position.  This creates a lot of animosity and can lead to poor reviews online from candidates, claiming poor wages and dishonest hiring practices.

Average salary ranges are being posted by sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and soon ZipRecruiter.  If you do not set your ideal pay rate, the sites that carry your job postings are going to create an implied salary range anyway.  Recently spoke with an employer that lost a person they intended to hire in the last interview stage because they assumed the salary range Glassdoor posted was what the employer intend for compensation.  It was shown right next to their job ad, like it was part of the post.  This trend isn't going away, the Gen Y and Millenial job seekers want the information, and this is who the job boards are catering to.

Last note on salary.  If you are hiring for a commission position post a realistic average earning potential  Take your pay plan and calculate what an average performer will earn.  Create a range by using a plus or minus 10%.  Advertising the highest possible income that can be earned, when it historically never happens, is sure way to alienate job shoppers just like lowballing a customer on price.

work atmosphere and culture

The demand for information, prior to applying for a job, goes beyond income.  Candidates want to know who they might be working for, and how well they will fit in with management and coworkers.

There are a number of companies that sell workplace culture well, and leverage to sell their products and motivate people to apply to work for them.  One great example is Enterprise Rent-A-Car.  Every commercial is about a well dressed college aged person making someone's day by picking them up for their rental.  Employment ads highlight promotion from within, and understanding the needs of near college graduates.  Enterprise picked a target audience and is getting young highly educated people to apply for a relatively low paying position based on identifying with them.


Starbucks hires well above their pay grade.  There have been a number of articles chronicling the low pay and long hours for their baristas.  Yet they still are able hire and retain quality employees.

It boils down to candidates feeling like they are applying to be part of a very accepting community.  Every image portraying Starbucks is one of diversity, both in their customer base and employees.  The jobs are branded as being a cut above the other fastfood contenders by calling the workers baristas.  When you walk into the coffeehouse there is cool indie music playing and a relaxed atmosphere.

If you want your company to reach beyond the low end of the employment pool you need to give them an atmosphere and identity to strive towards.  Add in pictures and descriptions of company events, cool customers, and engaged employees.  Shoot a video of a day in the life of ........, whichever employee type you want to profile.

be authentic describing work

Are your company's work schedules more of a minimum suggested hours, where the reality is employees are almost always working past the end of their shifts?  This is an example of workplace reality that should be shared with anyone that interviews.

Many employees are lost in the infancy of their tenure over differences in the advertised job description, and realities of the job.  Job ads are short, and cannot contain all the information needed to ensure an applicant truly understands your expectations of an employee.  Have a document ready for candidates you meet, and review the job in full.


A good example are sales representative positions.  Most time responsibilities described include; present products, determine customer needs, meet quotas, etc.  These are just the tip of the iceberg.  Successful salespeople have many more tasks to complete daily.

A decent salesperson spends half their day on the phone, you should specify 40 to 60 calls to clients daily.  Using a CRM, email marketing, and social media marketing are integral to any salesperson.  Quantifying needed computer skills and telling a candidate that they might be typing for a portion of their day is important in making sure the job is good for them and you.  Does your company carry a lot of inventory, and are salespeople partially responsible for merchandising?  It is always a shocker to new salespeople in the auto industry that they have to clear snow off 100's of cars.  This is just a small sample of the types of activities that are never talked about but are part of everyday work life.

If you need more help putting together a plan to market your company to job seekers just reach out.  We love to help, email for a consultation.