How to Protect your Employer Brand in a Social World

It can take years to build an employer brand and only a few seconds to destroy it. Social media has thrust its way into the recruitment industry and has revolutionised the way in which we source, attract and recruit candidates. Used correctly, social media forms part of your overall employer brand and helps you to attract a better calibre of candidates. One mistake, however, and you could send your reputation into free-fall.

From the candidate who painstakingly completed an application form, only to never hear from you, to the unsuccessful interviewee who was never notified, a would-be employee can so easily tarnish your reputation (sometimes in 140 characters or less!). We’ve listed the top five mistakes to watch out for if you want to avoid destroying your employer brand:

An unclear job advert

A vague job description is likely to gather interest from applicants who are not necessarily qualified for the job. This means you could be saying no to hundreds of applicants or even completely ignoring them. That’s a lot of people coming away with a negative experience. Explain what the job is with specific requirements, avoiding vague terms, such as ‘being a team player’ or ‘ability to think outside the box’. Use bullet points and have a clear list of ‘must have’ attributes.

Long-winded application forms

There’s nothing quite as soul destroying as filling in a 12 page application form, requiring candidates to painstakingly list every exam from 1992. If the application process is too complicated, many won’t bother to apply and that could include the most talented candidates who are in no hurry to change jobs.

No salary details

It takes considerable time and effort to apply for a role. Discovering that a dream role is £5k less than the industry average, it’s likely to send the best candidates running for the hills. At the very least, a salary range is better than nothing.

Ignoring applicants

Anyone who has taken the trouble to apply expects a prompt response. If they are not suitable for interview, tell them so in a polite way. Ignoring applicants is a sure fire way to create bad feeling. This can even be automated using your applicatant tracking system.

Failing to communicate with unsuccessful interviewees

Even worse than ignoring an application is an abject failure to acknowledge an unsuccessful interview. This is the ultimate form of bad practice and is likely to send your employer brand plummeting to a new low. A phone call is best, but if you really don’t have time, an email will suffice. Do be sure to personalise it and to offer feedback if requested.

It can take just one disgruntled job seeker to damage your reputation and with social media at our fingertips, everyone has a voice and that voice has the capacity to make or break your employer brand.

Our list will hopefully give some useful insight into how your recruitment process can be more candidate-friendly. While most of it boils down to good manners and treating others with courtesy, it’s surprising the number of employers who are guilty of at least one of the above infractions. Ultimately, candidates should be treated in the same way in which you would treat a client or sales lead. After all, that person you rejected after fluffing every interview question, might just end up as the CEO of a major player in your industry in a few years’ time.

Edward Hendrick
Ed holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness & Rural Development and a Higher Diploma in Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship.

Since founding Sonru in 2007 with the vision of introducing Video Interviewing to mainstream recruitment, Ed has established the organisation as a global leader and one of the top recruitment SaaS companies worldwide.

With numerous accolades to his name such as the Sunday Business Posts ‘Top 40 Under 40’ and IIA Net Visionary award for innovation, Ed is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in video recruitment technology and is a renowned industry speaker.

With a passion for new technology and how it can be used to make life easier for people in the real world, Ed has been instrumental in shaping the current landscape of the Video Interviewing industry.
Chris Horan
CTO at Sonru
Chris graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Computer Science and went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science in Physics and Computer Science as well as a Higher Diploma in Enterprise Development.

With almost 20 years’ experience in the software engineering and computer science space, Chris has worked with leading technology companies such as Accuris, CAPE Technologies and BearingPoint.

Chris has been at the forefront of Sonru’s product development since the company’s inception in 2007.
Daniel Richard
Managing Director EMEA
Sonru’s Europe MD, Daniel Richard, graduated from Queen’s University, Canada with a Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational Science.

A trained Occupational Psychologist with more than 15 years of sales and consulting experience in multinational recruitment and HR services companies, Daniel leads Sonru’s sales efforts within EMEA, helping to grow its rapidly expanding customer base.

Prior to joining Sonru, Daniel spent 10 years at Oracle Taleo helping to build the company from a small regional start-up to a true industry leader. Daniel has held a variety of sales and consulting positions on various continents, including the US and Europe.
Fergal O'Byrne
Non-Executive Director
Fergal holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering from Dublin Institute of Technology and is an experienced Internet industry entrepreneur.

Since founding Interactive Return in 1998, Fergal has been a member of the Board of Directors of, WINC, and CCD Limited and was a previous chair of the Project Advisory Group for Fáilte Ireland’s eBusiness Support Initiative.

A recognised influencer within the industry, Fergal has served as CEO of the Irish Internet Association and has published four books including ‘10 Online Marketing and Search Engine Essentials’ and ‘10 Technologies Every Executive Should Know’.

In 2015, Fergal was inducted into the IIA Internet Hall of Fame in recognition for services to the internet industry.
George Pennock
George holds an MA in History from Oxford University and is a previous Partner and Head of Saphir UK at Saphir Capital Partners.

George spent several years with the Goldman Sachs Group as a mergers and acquisitions banker before moving into private equity where he has spent most of the past 15 years. He has served as a Senior Investment Manager and COO at Pi Capital, and worked with Botts & Company Ltd where he made private equity investments in the leisure, publishing, branded goods, retail, and technology sectors.

Having spent the past two decades working with a myriad of talented and unconventional entrepreneurs, investing in everything from online employee benefits platforms to river boats and book publishers, George is passionate about backing exceptional people and interesting businesses and believes that while a mediocre management team can ruin even a great plan, a great management team can make a success of almost any business opportunity.
John Penning
Currently, I am a Director of Sonru, the leading Online Video Interviewing company. Previous career highlights include; CEO of the Irish Internet Association, Chairman of and Founder and CEO of Interactive Return. In 2015 I was very honoured to be inducted into the IIA Internet Hall of Fame in recognition for services to the internet industry.
Rodolphe Verhaegen
Non-Executive Director
Rodolphe is currently an Operational Advisor with Digital Ventures in Brussels having previously worked in Ebay, most recently as Director of Customer Innovation.

Rodolphe is an innovative and creative business leader, with a strong interest in technology and agile software development practices. He holds an Masters Degree in Business Information Management and a BA in Business Economics from the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels.
Georges Schmit
Non-Executive Director
A native of Luxembourg, Georges graduated with degrees in Economics from the University of Louvain, Belgium (BA) and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MA). Besides his native Luxembourgish, Georges is fluent in French, English and German.

Georges served the Government of Luxembourg from 1981 to 2016 and throughout most of his career he focused on innovation and technology policy, economic development and trade and investment promotion.

During his time with the Government of Luxembourg, Georges served as Secretary General of the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and was a member of several European Union high-level advisory bodies including the European Commission's "Enterprise Policy Group”. He also served as both Vice-Chairman and Executive Chairman of the National Credit and Investment Corporation (SNCI) of Luxembourg.

Georges has served on the Board of Directors of both listed and private companies including the world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal, the Luxembourg-based global satellite operator SES, the Luxembourg Post and Telecommunications Company, and the Luxembourg State and Savings Bank, among others. Most recently, he contributed to the design and launch of several major Luxembourg Government innovation policy initiatives and sits on the Luxembourg Government’s Advisory Board on Space Resources.
Clément Helinckx
Non-Executive Director
Clément is a member of the Saphir Capital Partner's Team. Clément worked at PwC Luxembourg for 6 years in Private Equity Audit and then as Manager in the Corporate Finance practice in Valuation, Buy-side and Sell-side advisory. He holds a MSc from IÉSEG School of Management.

Patrick Sweeney
Non-Executive Director
Patrick holds a Bachelor of Business Studies Degree in Accounting, Management, Human Resources, Marketing and Economics from University of Limerick as well as Masters of Education in Management, Human Resources and Training and Development from University of Sheffield.

For 25 years, Patrick held the position of Human Resources and Public Affairs Director for Aughinish Alumina where he was involved in change management, restructuring and international mergers and acquisitions.

Patrick also undertook many other leadership roles including operations management, training and development and employee relations management. In addition to sitting on the Board of Directors at Sonru since 2011, Patrick has operated his own strategic management and human resources consultancy firm for the past 8 years.