In looking for the next step in my career 4 years ago, I distinctly remember being quite conflicted since it is always the case of facing the unknown. Some can transition easily between jobs, others take longer to decide. A large number of factors come in to play, various motivations and very often, completely different paths lie ahead depending on the ultimate decision. One thing that is common in these decisions is however the perception you may have of the company you are invited to join.

This type of perception is created by different experiences or journeys throughout our working life. The manner in which a company portrays itself is very often the main contributor to these perceptions. Whilst external factors, such as the industry a company operates within, may have a bearing on a company’s image, it is mostly the company itself which is responsible for the reputation it builds and the image it projects.

As specialists within the recruitment industry, we very often find ourselves in a situation where we need to guide the recruiting company on the simplest things to maintain their professionalism and standing within the recruitment market. From a candidate’s perception, it is often not the content of the company’s website or an aggressive marketing campaign that prove to be the deciding factors. It is more likely to be the passing comments that would have circulated within their circles, the way they are treated in an interview, the human element in their meetings with potential employers and the promptness of feedback being provided, which would portray a company’s culture.

The best benchmark we at Konnekt can relate to is Konnekt itself. Although my background and experience were completely different from the world of recruitment, my move to Konnekt was a fully conscious and well-thought choice. It wasn’t simply because I wanted to do something different and did not know what to do. It also wasn’t a simple process to be recruited for Konnekt. I was pleased to go through a rigorous process however, as it helped me to understand whether I was making the right choice and to actively pursue it. It was also clear from the start what values Konnekt embraces and the company culture one would expect. Almost 4 years later, certainly no regrets. Konnekt strongly promotes a culture where initiatives taken are encouraged and appreciated. A strong emphasis is placed on taking the right course of action and not the easy way out. This is true for our dealings with clients, candidates as well as internally. As with any other business, we strive towards reaching our goals and finding the right solution for every situation. What is different in Konnekt’s methodology is that it is our dedication and integrity that drives us towards the end result. These values were apparent from the start of the process and remain so till this very day. I knew at that time that I was joining a company which stood by its values.

Much is said nowadays about different perks and benefits being required by candidates in order for companies to remain competitive within the recruitment market. Whilst there is an undisputed element of validity in this, generally people look beyond. A new employee wants to feel that the company they join is an extension of the values they themselves endorse. An employee needs to be given the space to think and operate freely within those values. And this is where the importance of branding your organisation emerges. Potential candidates today are probably more discerning especially since they are in short supply and so, can afford to pick and choose which type of company to work for. To attract the best candidates, an organisation must stand out, both in the way employees are treated but also in how this is being communicated - this is why employer branding cannot take a backseat.

Konnekt is an easy example due to the company’s foundations being cemented in this modus operandi. A number of other companies genuinely value and respect their employees. These are the companies who require little effort in terms of employer branding. People feel they belong or that they want to belong. Employer branding starts from within the four walls of a company and grows with the externalisation of those values. Underestimating the importance of these foundations can have catastrophic results from a recruitment perspective. To compound the damage, a bad impression on any entity takes a long time to be corrected.

In essence, it is the management and leadership of a company which is responsible on a day to day basis for the image it presents. No amount of advertising will serve this purpose better than having the people already working for your company being true ambassadors of your values. Every employee is an asset in championing your company. Every experience will travel far and wide and will spread a message on who you are.

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Caroline Muscat

Finance & Legal Assistant Recruitment Manager