By Jessica Miller-Merrell

We’ve all been there. Quarterly layoffs or some bad PR that really impacted your organization’s employment branding or kept you from getting a really great candidate because of a bad review on sites like Glassdoor and even a referral gone wrong from someone who used to work at your company.

There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by where a brand or organization isn’t negatively impacted by something happening in the news. Someone from marketing tweeted something inappropriately or a scandal broke that sent a rival company scrambling. For recruiters and those in employment branding who are competitors, this is an opportunity for you to really shine and engage those job seekers combining a number of tactics including online, in person and digital storytelling.

Share your strengths.
I don’t recommend mentioning the rival organization that is in question, just focus on the benefits and perks to working with you. When something negatively happens with a competitor stay positive and focus on why your company has a better culture. Taking advantage of a competitor’s mishap will allow your company to shine brighter. As I said earlier don’t mention that company, but use what happened to your advantage by strengthening your position in the market.

Focus on the positive.
No one likes mudslinging, and you don’t want to damage your own employment brand. Reach out to a targeted group of job seekers who may be looking for new careers with you. Target those ads using Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks to engage those job seekers driving them to your TalentCircles talent network. A little targeting can go a long way. Focus on what makes you stand out and why the environment you offer in your workplace is positive.

Use Traditional PR.
This helps increase the virility of your message. Work directly with your PR and marketing team to help branch out into avenues you might not have access to. A strong PR and marketing company will have connections in the industry that you don’t necessarily have as a vendor. Use them to your advantage when dealing with negative news against your company and employment brand. These companies are designed to help reach a broader audience in a shorter amount of time due to the number of connections that they have and the face paced nature they’re used to in their everyday work life.

When a competitor is facing a scandal it’s time to skip traditional recruiting tactics and put all hands on deck to recruit stronger candidates that might’ve choose them over you. No one wants to start at a company that is going through a scandal and being able to snatch up the strong candidates at your competitors’ time of weakness will help strengthen your workforce. Use these three suggestions to help expand your brand beyond what you’re used to and start guerilla marketing when it matters the most.

Have you ever dropped traditional recruiting practices to hire more aggressively against a competitor? Let us know.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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