Use feedback to strengthen your brand

Although for many businesses hiring and spending in general is on hold while we deal with COVID-19, we can use this time to put the processes and procedures in place to ensure, when things pick up again (and they will), you’re well placed to harness the power of feedback in the pitching and interviewing process.

It’s worth it, as it can really empower your brand, and change the way your business is viewed by the wider community.

Imagine this. You own a thriving wholesale business, and you invite several agencies to pitch for the opportunity to manage your social media marketing. You put the word out, get several decent applications, and then invite your top three in to present their pitches.

You listen to all their ideas, and look at the samples and strategies they have taken the time to prepare for you, whilst you sit back and nibble the doughnuts and fancy biscuits they brought along. Then, you make your choice. Great. You now have an exciting new partner who is going to help your business reach further online.

But this article isn’t about that. It’s about how you deal with the other two applicants who weren’t successful on this occasion, and why handling that situation well can play a big part in strengthening your brand reputation.

A chance to show who you really are

I often tell my clients about the importance of brand identity and having a strong culture in their business. But it’s important to remember those values of honesty, transparency and open communication don’t just apply to your own staff and customers, they also have a powerful role to play in your recruitment and pitching strategy too.

And that really comes into play during the feedback process. Here is why I think being prepared to take the time to offer feedback can strengthen your brand, enrich the pool of people who you can recruit from, and make a powerful impression on people in your industry.

Applicants have long memories… and even longer lists of friends

Have you ever gone for a job interview or an agency pitch, given it your best shot, and then spent the next several days scanning your emails… only to hear nothing? This happens. And how do I know this? Because people tell me. They mention it to me and anyone else in earshot if the name of that particular company comes up in conversation. They take the time to mention it on social media. They remember what happened, and they tell their friends, family and professional contacts. Essentially, they become anti-brand ambassadors, floating around, nipping away at your credibility.

Of course, most decent businesses will at least take the time to write a polite thanks but no thanks kind of email, and there is nothing really wrong with that. This approach at least lets the candidates know you made a decision. But that’s about it.

Feedback for the win

Taking the time to offer honest and constructive feedback may take a little more effort, but it’s a great way to show that you value the time and commitment a person or group took to apply for, prepare for and ultimately pitch for that job. It leaves a positive impression in their mind of who you are, and what you stand for. Plus it can help them to adapt and improve.

They will tell their friends and contacts about how well you acted in that situation. It will play a part in spreading the message that your brand means what it says. It will help to strengthen your reputation as a top employer and improve your ability to attract the best talent in your field.

After all, when you are recruiting people or agencies for niche roles where there are only so many with the relevant skills and they tend to talk to each other.

So make sure they say nice, helpful and respectful things.

What nice things should people be saying about you right now? Need help spreading the word? We’re here to help.