By Scott Murray, Lead Talent Acquisition Manager


In the world of recruiting, being honest and transparent is the best path to success. While the negative aspects of a company can try to be hidden, the individuals recruited will eventually find out the truth. Money might be made initially, but short-term wins will end up hurting long-term revenue growth. The biggest long-term impact is the damage done to a company’s reputation. When making a decision on where to apply for a job, 84% of job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important (source).

Today, this type of transparency in the recruitment process is referred to as employee branding. Employee branding cannot simply be something that is done to sell individuals to get them in the door. Just as people give negative reviews on products when they feel oversold, the same holds for those who are recruited into a company with a false message about their culture, or role they will play within it. Fifty percent (50%) of candidates who took part in a research study mentioned they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation, even if they were offered a pay increase (source).

Employee branding needs to be an outward reflection of the organization’s culture and how it impacts the associates’ daily work-life. The work-life of associates should be described to ensure the right resources are attracted and choose to stay on board for the long term. Hiding the personality of a company to get people in the door will have negative impacts such as increased attrition, marred company culture, and tainted company reputation within the workforce targeted. A negative reputation can cost companies at least 10% more per hire (source).

Take, for example, an organization with a high-pressure environment, where the associates work a lot of hours. While the environment is challenging for their employees, the associates must typically be well compensated and constantly learning in order to keep up.

Recruiting Group A takes all measures to hide the undesirable facts from the associates they recruit. Many of the people hired leave within six months and are highly dissatisfied to have been misled about the opportunity. Not only is Group A’s reputation destroyed, but the company is also negatively impacted in a variety of ways – reputation deflation, high turnover, and high hiring costs.

Recruiting Group B, on the other hand, is open about the company culture. They acknowledge that not all facets are perfect, but it’s evolving and associates currently with the company benefit from offerings such as education and strong compensation. This group of associates has the visibility to make a decision to be a part of and prepare to adapt to this company’s culture. Group B is rewarded for its honesty about the environment and the company doesn’t suffer adverse repercussions.

Whether an internal or external recruiter, transparency is key. By employing transparency upfront, new hires know what to expect from day one and people uninterested in a particular company culture are eliminated from the onboarding process naturally.