Time after time I find myself sitting in conferences where the speaker is an employment branding pro and shows flashy websites, powerful videos, and expansive social networking tools. It seems that we get enthralled with how to get candidates to notice our organizations, however we forget about them once they apply to our postings.

Attracting candidates through a powerful brand message is important.  However, in light of today’s global reach with social media, what we do with them once we find them is sometimes even more critical. Getting candidates to knock on the door is actually the easier part; how we treat them when we invite them in is much more difficult to control. The experience we leave candidates with once we engage them leaves an everlasting image in each of their minds, and their thousands of Facebook connections.

So how do we maintain a positive candidate experience that virally builds the brand of our organization? Treat each candidate like you want to be treated! Let’s put this into perspective: Say you take your spouse to a high end restaurant that is known to be the gold standard in dining (because they say so on TV, Radio, and their website!). Before you sit down the maitre de asks you how much money you are going to spend on dinner, drinks, and the tip. You are then informed that what you are willing to spend dictates the level of service that you and your spouse receive from the restaurant staff. In other words, if you do not provide immediate value to the restaurant staff, you are treated at a level lower than if you bring them immediate value. Poor service will ultimately lead to you leaving the restaurant and telling all of your friends about the horrible experience.

The same often happens in recruiting. As recruiters we often get lazy and have no time to appropriately disposition candidates that may not be the best fit for our organizations today, forgetting their experience can be posted on every blog, social network and even YouTube within minutes. This type of poor candidate experience can often cause great and often irreparable harm to an employer’s brand, causing the millions spent on external branding to be rendered ineffective.