Corporate branding has grown as an area of importance for businesses and the way hiring takes place is evolving to match. Rather than a "post-and-pray" or “fire-and-forget” method of recruiting, where generic job descriptions are cast like a wide net, many businesses are beginning to understand the value of more specific recruiting efforts. Instead of pulling in dozens of different varieties of candidates, they catch a few select prize winners.
Joel Capperella of Capperella Strategies, LLC., touched on this evolution earlier this year in his presentation “The Employment Story.” For many businesses, it’s no longer enough to list the job requirements and expect the highest level of talent to walk through your doors. Job candidates – especially millennials – want to know more than the hours and salary they can expect from a position. Candidates want to know if the job will “vibe” with their lifestyle and if they will find a satisfaction in the work they perform. Without this knowledge, applying to your business will seem like a roll of the dice.
Many companies are well on their way from transitioning to a recruitment method that speaks, engages, and connects with potential candidates. Do you know if your recruiting methods align with the branding you portray to the world? Capperella recommends review of a few key areas as a leaping off point for determining whether your recruiting process resonates with the candidates you want to employ.
Related webinar: Employment story - the future of recruiting and employer brand
Review Your Job Descriptions
Update the language of your job description to tell the story of your company. Your job descriptions contain the whole of your business in one document. A candidate is not necessarily going to view your website after filling out the application – in some cases, the application will be the extent of their experience with your company. Your job application needs to convey everything about your company, from the importance of the work performed to the type of culture cultivated. What story does your job description tell?
The language of your job description also needs to speak to the type of candidate you are hoping to recruit. Patty Silbert, Director, Innovation and Market Development at Newton Talent, stresses the importance of beginning and ending your job description with focus on the candidate. Detail what they will do, what responsibilities they will have, and the benefits they will reap, all with the language of “you.” This language speaks directly to the candidate, making the advertisement feel tailor-made for that individual.
Assess Your Application Process
Log on to your company site and try filling out a job application. About how long does it take you to complete the application from start to finish? One of the simplest ways to improve your recruiting process is to ensure it doesn’t ask too much from a candidate, advises Capperella.
Requiring candidates to create an account and login before even beginning the application process not only adds time to the overall application process, but presents a part of your brand story – one that implies a corporate, serious nature. An application process that takes upwards of twenty minutes risks chasing away candidates that might have otherwise been interested in your company. And for those that do complete the application, the long or detailed nature might induce expectations of a payoff, such as a phone call or further communication.
If you do require more than the very basics of a candidate’s background (such as their resume, work history, and cover letter), you should have a good reason for collecting that information. Otherwise, you are increasing the burden on candidates without any sort of benefits for the applicant or your company’s recruiting process.
When hiring, reach out to all types of candidates – not just those actively seeking. Pete Hannigan, Director of RPO Services at Hueman, notes that many businesses only direct their hiring efforts at one type of candidate, when in reality there are four: active, semi-active, semi-passive, and passive. Though not all four types of candidates are in immediate need of a job, advertising to all four in a proactive fashion can get several great candidates in the pipeline. Additionally, keep applications open for positions within your company that aren’t in current need of additional workers – you never know when an opportunity will arise for growth, and having strong candidates on hand will help you fill those positions fast.
Document your Culture
When you think of your business, do you have a clear picture in your mind of what your business represents? There are times when the actions of a business and the desired brand aren’t in alignment. In this case, it helps to write down exactly what you believe your company culture entails.
As part of this documentation, ask your current employees their opinion of the company culture. Do they believe it to contain the same values that you wrote down? If not, you can begin the process of moving the realities of your brand and culture closer to your idealized vision. After all, if you update your job descriptions, you need to ensure they represent the reality of working at your company. Otherwise, you risk leaving candidates feeling they were misled when applying.
Bottom line: if your recruiting efforts don’t tell the story of your company and engage with the type of people that best represent that culture, you won’t attract the brilliant people you want working for you.
You can learn more about company culture and how you should define it by joining Hueman’s June 7 webinar “Culture Fit Disrupted.” Hueman CEO Dwight Cooper and Vice President of Marketing Sarah Palmer will explain what HR means by company culture and how to hire for it, netting you a larger bottom line.