Most businesses don’t do enough to attract people.
In a market like this, when potential employees can have their pick of multiple job offers – you need to do even more.
These days we have to look at recruiting like marketing. A business must cast the net wide by deploying multiple recruitment strategies to market for employees in unusual ways.
Whenever you put your company ‘out there’, whether running a promo or posting a job, people form an impression of you. With recruitment, you must convince your audience that what you’re selling—a place in your company—is right for them.
So how do you cut through a noisy job marketplace and draw the best candidates to your business?
Here are eight tips to successfully attract enough of the right candidates.
- Be clear about what you want.
An accountancy firm needed a marketing manager but didn’t clarify whether it was a strategic big picture role or a role combining strategy and the ability to execute the plan.
They ended up hiring someone who was strong on strategy, writing lots of plans and documents but not updating and fixing the website, gathering leads for the sales team and producing regular newsletters and blogs.
Clearly identify what role you need to fill in your business and the key accountabilities in that role.
From these key accountabilities, you can create a detailed job description with the skills and experience that the ideal candidate will need. Do this first before anything else!
- Have a USP
When you’re posting a position, find an angle that differentiates you from your competitors. Search competitors’ job postings to see what they’re saying so you can better decide how to stand apart.
When writing a posting, rather than give a laundry list of duties (the old, “the successful candidate will…”) try to paint a picture of what working in your business will be like. How does a typical day go for someone in that role? What will they start doing, and where could they end up six months from now?
Boring doesn’t work for marketing – and it doesn’t work for recruitment, either.
You need a USP not just for your marketing but also for your recruiting.
- Use multiple lead generation strategies.
In today’s competitive job market, you have to cast the net wide by deploying multiple recruitment strategies to market for employees in unusual ways.
We have a list of around 15 candidate lead generation strategies. For example, promoting opportunities with your customer, supplier & networking contacts, calling back past team members & candidates, referral schemes for existing team members etc.
Most businesses use 1 or 2 strategies at most. It’s not enough.
If you’re seeking a recent graduate, you’ll want to contact local universities or colleges. LinkedIn can be a great source for a wide range of professionals. Depending on who you’re looking for, you may need to try multiple channels.
- Create an employee referral program
Your employees know your company in and out and are most well-suited to refer potential recruits. Creating an employee referral program is an efficient recruitment practice as it brings in highly qualified leads. Although many employees may share open roles with their contacts, offering incentives per successful referrals is a vital strategy to strengthen your recruitment processes.
Using your employees to source candidates can help reduce marketing budgets. Also, it can help streamline your screening process. You can expect candidates hired via employee referrals to stay longer in your company.
- Tailor your pitch
When you’re ready to talk to a candidate, listen for what they’re looking for career-wise. Top performers don’t just want a job—they usually have career goals of their own and want to know how you can help them achieve their objectives.
Don’t be afraid to promote what your company has to offer, but at the same time, be honest. There’s no point promising something you can’t provide because they’ll find out sooner or later and may choose to move on when they do.
- Recruit around your values and culture
Before considering whether a candidate has the right skills and experience, they must match the company’s core values.
Without a values fit, it doesn’t matter how much expertise they have, what their accomplishments are or what brands they have worked with; they won’t fit in and may cause problems, such as disruption and division, for a healthy team who have been working well together.
By interviewing with questions about the company’s core values, you can determine whether a person matches these or meets a minimum standard.
Using the company’s core values provides a black and white view of a somewhat subjective analysis of whether the person will match and fit your culture.
- Leverage social media
A lot of companies post jobs on social platforms like LinkedIn. But you can also turn the search around and use social media to find people who would be good in your company.
If you’re approaching someone on social media, let them know why you’re contacting them, e.g., “I saw on your LinkedIn profile you have lots of experience building apps for the construction industry. My company develops software for the sector, and I wondered if you’d be interested in talking…”
And remember—you’re marketing yourself! Even if the person isn’t interested, thank them for their time and ask if they might know someone. Reaching out this way builds both your network and your brand.
- Make use of your website.
Your website is like a business card for your company. It is one source of information that your candidates will consider authentic. Also, it is one of the first places the candidates will visit to learn more about you.
It should perfectly portray your mission, values, products/ services, and goals. Savvy employers build on all this information to attract the best candidates. You can even try making a dedicated employment section on the website to craft a quality candidate experience.
As I say, in a market like this, when potential employees can have their pick of multiple job offers – you need to do even more. These days a big part of recruitment is marketing.