6 Ways to Attract Better Talent to Your Company

Hive City with beesBest-practices from leading marketing and HR professionals in 2019


Everyone wants the best people. But, how do you attract them? It’s still a misperception that all one needs to do is write a job description and throw it on Indeed or post it to your social media. You might think or know that you work for an amazing company, but the number of people who might think this or know this might only include you, the CEO and a handful of other strong and vocal advocates. But, to the world at large, you are unknown. Even the largest companies in the world have this problem with brand awareness and perception. Leaders sometimes believe that their brand has a reputation better than it really is in the public mind. And many companies ignore the wise and true brand/advertising strategy that what matters most to strong brand engagement are brand messages that cut through the commonplace and clutter, and the frequency and reach of those engaging messages. Most company social media is woefully under populated to include only a few or a few hundred, or if you’re lucky, a few thousand followers. Using the strategies of advertising and marketing to improve your hunt for top prospects not only makes sense, it really should be at the forefront of your attraction strategy. If you are settling for putting out text-based ads, not promoting these properly, and not monitoring the growth you see through channel by promoting them properly, then you are losing, not winning.

The days of the yellow pages are long behind us. Today we are in the era of the ever-evolving yellow pages, where search takes rank, relevance matters, and difference matters to attracting the top talent to your brand and your company. I always remind our clients that it’s not all about you, but it is all about you, in the end. It’s a kind of arrogance to assume that people will be attracted to your company just because you have some brand awareness. If this brand awareness isn’t powerfully evocative of difference that resonates with prospects, you are only one of several possible segment leaders that seem equal to them in their mind. You might also have the unfortunate notoriety of having negative brand awareness, either through what you do or don’t do even when it comes to your hiring process.

After consulting media, advertising and HR experts over my career and seeing these things myself, I have created strategies for companies to attract better with bigger effect. I have put together these six ways to get more out of your recruiting efforts. Before you write that next job description and spam the known digital universe, read this.

Build A Strong Employer Brand.
Brands aren’t name recognition. Your brand is a collection of feelings, assumptions, and understandings in the mind of your customer or your next top prospect. The only control you have is to plant that understanding firmly in the minds of those you want to attract to your business. What’s in your head or in the boardroom is NOT the understanding of you that the marketplace has. If you do not have a good understanding of the public understanding of your brand in real time, you need to. Brands are built carefully, they require sustenance, and they require a seasoned hand to guide brand growth that is influential. You need a brand experience that to the customer or prospect is more valuable to them than your competitors’ brand, because, indeed, you are competing for the same talent. Just because you might be biggest absolutely does not mean you are the best or considered the best. You might have all kinds of problems with market perception that you don’t even know about because you drink the corporate Kool-Aid. If you don’t know what the outside world thinks of your brand, try a brand personality survey or a customer or employee satisfaction survey. And be honest. Honest information can help you fix brand perception problems that might be keeping you from hiring the next big talent.

An Office Vibe report says that more than 75 percent of professionals are passive candidates who aren’t looking for jobs but are open to opportunities. Building a strong brand reduces employee turnover by 28 percent, while attracting these passive candidates to your company over other companies. ProFound Productions can help you with these surveys and creating this new brand appeal, for example, giving you brand, marketing, video production, social media, SEO optimization and recruiting expertise all under one roof.

Move Quickly. I have written before about moving quickly and effectively and not waiting for a unicorn to wander in somewhere down the line. Your best candidates, if you use a professional recruiter, will be those that you see first, not last. Think about it as your draft day. Shortlist the best candidates brought forward, have an effective process, and get a decision made. The longer you wait, the longer the process, the more likely that the candidates will get cold feet and move on. They might even speak badly about your company to friends and family about your slow process that went nowhere. You are competing for the best so don’t treat the best like they are the third-string squad right from the start.

Write A Better Job Description. Be concise, tell candidates exactly what you are looking for, and exactly what’s in it for them to join you. Less is usually better so long as it’s descriptive. Too many job descriptions are too wordy, abstract, and undifferentiated. If you indeed have a “great company to work for” it’s better shown than said. Show don’t tell is an old advertising and movie-making mantra and you need to put this perspective into practice when you write that next job description. It’s why, at ProFound, we take time and care to write compelling job descriptions (the tell part) and create recruitment videos (the show part) while optimizing these assets for wide digital distribution. If you are only writing long job descriptions that could be written by any of your competitors, you aren’t’ standing out. If you aren’t optimizing these assets by way of digital marketing techniques, you can expect to have far fewer eyeballs on your next new job and you won’t attract some of the top talent you might have attracted if you took care to optimize your recruiting efforts.

Run A Job Fit And Personality Assessment. This is not only essential to fitting the right personality to the job, but it’s informative for you and the candidate about where their strengths and weaknesses are. Candidates find this enlightening and even fun to do as they find out things about themselves that they might not have known otherwise. Our job profiling tool provides you with candidate insights you can’t do without. Resume and gut can get you part way, but the assessment tools give you a full view of any candidate and how they will fit into your organization and the job at hand.

Run Better Two-Way Interviews
. A recent study by Leadership IQ reports that 46% of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months, while only 19% will achieve unequivocal success. To blame? It’s not technical skills it’s their interpersonal skills that top the list for failure. This is precisely the reason to run a behavioral assessment as it will give you clear insights into personality and interpersonal skills that are hard to capture in the interview process.

The three-year study involved 5,247 hiring managers from 312 public, private, business and healthcare organizations. Together these managers hired over 20,000 employees. 26% of new hires fail because they can’t accept feedback; 23% because they’re unable to understand and manage emotions; 17% because they lack the motivation to excel; and 15% because their character isn’t fit for the job.

Take Control Of Your Social Networks And Reviews. This includes reviews on Google Storefront, Yellow Pages, Yelp, and forums like Better Business Bureau, Glassdoor, and others. Many people will go looking for what others say about you before they apply, and you can manage many of these reviews by being more active where people are looking for honest reviews. If you have a great company culture and treat people well, you can improve popular opinion from past employees. In other forums, such as Google Storefront or Yellow Pages, you can actively influence and promote a positive image that’s also real. If you don’t control the message, the messages people make up about you control you. So be in control of what’s being said or going to be seen about you in public places. In monitoring and managing your outbound marketing and recruiting efforts you will also arm yourself with useful information that can help you adjust, address or neutralize potential negativity or ambivalence.

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