If your company wants to sell its product, it must first sell itself to prospective employees and leaders. While the national unemployment rate currently stands at 6.7 percent, it’s about half that for candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree and two to three years’ experience. Competition for talent in the top 15 percent of their field is as fierce as it was during the boom years of the 1990s.
A-level candidates often have the luxury of choosing between multiple offers. Make sure their career path leads to your organization by positioning and selling your company as a leader.
Focus on Your Employment Brand
This is the image you present in order to optimize the value of working for your organization.
- Assess the marketplace and know how your brand compares against the competition. Develop and deliver a message that emphasizes your strengths. For instance, if you’re a smaller employer in a suburban or rural area competing against a bigger player in a metropolitan location, focus on the positive flip side: ample parking, an easier commute, less pollution and other benefits. If your company’s starting salaries don’t stack up, emphasize your growth opportunities or bonus programs.
- Tailor a branding message for each candidate. Gather as much information as you can on each individual’s needs and motivators. Then highlight the aspects of your employment brand that suit them. Ask if they’re interviewing elsewhere so you can get an understanding of what you’re competing against.
Optimize the Candidate Experience
Your interview process – starting with the first phone call, email or other point of contact – should be candidate centric. Treat top prospects like your number-one customers – because they are.
- Prepare your team in advance. Make sure it consists of true ambassadors who champion your company, its mission and vision, and the position itself. Hand pick managers, peers and those who will work with the candidate when hired. Coach them to deliver a consistent message and ask a pre-planned set of questions. Hold a pre-interview team meeting and debrief immediately after the last interview is complete.
- Avoid redundancy. Have different interviewers evaluate different criteria. For instance, your hiring manager is probably the best person to sell a candidate on benefits and growth opportunities. A peer can outline company culture and the workplace environment.
- Make sure interviewers articulate why your organization is better. Be sure they’re well versed on company innovations, developments and advances, as well as on the industry in general. Train them to perfect the process of selling their workplace to top performers, innovators and technical specialists.
- Make it personal. Interviewers should look for candidates’ pain points and define how working for you could make them go away. Are they frustrated with their current employer’s management style or lack of flexibility? Let them know how you can change that for the better.
- Promote your vision. Define where your company is going in the future, in addition to where it is now. Tie the position into this big-picture strategic plan. Talk about what the job will look like down the line and about related promotion opportunities.
Partnering with a specialized recruitment firm can be a tremendous asset as you perfect your strategic hiring plan. To learn more, contact the team at the Select Group, Inc., today.