Recognise This! – Your reputation as a company precedes you as recruiting picks up. Make sure it’s a help, not a hindrance.

In the last three years of blogging, I’ve tended to focus primarily on employee recognition as part of the performance management process and employee engagement, with occasional posts on other elements of the talent management spectrum. With my new blog, I plan to address more regularly all areas of talent management and how employee recognition can play a crucial role. This week I’ll attempt to do just that.

Two articles in the news recently seemed to have conflicting points about the state of the job market. CNNMoney points to the best three-month gain in private-sector employment in five years as proof that employers have pushed whatever employees are left after layoffs to the limit on productivity and therefore need to start hiring again.

USA Today, on the other hand, argues it’s precisely those productivity gains that are now stifling job creation.

My take? Both are right. Yes, companies weeded out the poorest workers and wrung maximum productivity out of the remainder. But it can’t last. Employees are at their limit, and jobs are being created as demand increases.

That’s the opportunity for recruiters in the recovery. IF your company has managed to treat employees with respect, and give them the recognition and appreciation they deserve even when raises, bonuses or other actions were impossible, then you’re well positioned to sell your company to highly desirable recruits as one that follows through on the employment value proposition.

As you recruit, are you operating from a deficit position as you try to overcome the bad reputation your company may have earned in the recession? Or are you constantly closing where your competitors only fail because recruits want to work for your company where they know they will be recognised and appreciated for meaningful work?