Your employees are part of your brand image—remember that when you’re hiring
A few days ago I wrote a post about a college student being verbally attacked by an angry mob of commenters on LinkedIn. Yeah, I said LinkedIn. I was completely disgusted.
When I saw the comments I began clicking through to see the profiles of the people who were saying such horrible things in a public forum. There were entry level folks, managers, directors and even VPs. I also got to see the name of the company where each commentor worked. My perception of and respect for those brands tanked instantaneously.
PR and brand image isn’t made up strictly of corporate announcements, business interactions and corporate social media discussions. They’re also built up or torn down by personal interactions that customers and potential customers have with your employees.
The thought process goes something like this: If this company is willing to hire and allow their brand to be represented by someone as awful as person X, then the company must not care at all about customer experience. Therefore, I don’t want to do business with that company.
Negative experiences with brands stick for a much longer length of time than positive ones do. A person may have 10 great experiences with your company in a row, but if they have one horrible one, it may take 50 more positive experiences to regain their trust.
Your employees, whether you like it or not, are part of your brand image. They project to the world what your company considers appropriate representation.
The next time you’re hiring, and you hear someone say, “I know the person is kind of unprofessional, but he/she is really great at what he/she does,” remember that that person will be part of your company DNA and your brand image the very second they sign their contract.
Want to maintain a positive brand identity? Don’t hire jerks.