The talent shortage is real. Folks don’t have to accept just any job anymore. Now, they need to feel compelled to leave their current role. Prospective candidates look for a company that shares the same values, culture, and that support professional growth and development.
How do you put any of that into practice?
For starters, recruiters need to reinvent themselves and become a hybrid between a recruiter and a marketer. Think of a role as a product, not just a job. And companies need to establish themselves as a brand, just not an entity.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s first understand what all this branding and marketing mumbo-jumbo means.
To think like a marketer involves putting yourself in your audience’s shoes. You have to think about their wants and needs. What would make their life easier? How can I talk to them in a language that resonates with their agenda--not my own (but that also actually supports my agenda)? The way you communicate all of these things to candidates will become the bones of an employer brand.
Culture largely influences strong employment brands… and people influence company culture. The companies that prioritize (and market) employee experience, or who take advantage of the following strategies, will see the most success.
Write compelling job descriptions
Forget what you know about writing a traditional job description. We live in a time now that disrupting the norm will attract—not repel—talent. Now, don’t get me wrong: you can still write responsibilities and qualifications, but don’t bore anyone to death. Take a look at this job description for a recruiting consultant
here at Qualigence:
You can see that the format is that of a traditional job description, but the meat is different. We swapped out snooze-y and conservative adjectives and replaced them with non-traditional ones. The tone is upbeat, welcoming, and lax—a direct reflection of the culture and types of people we want to join the team. Candidates read that job description, and within seconds they get a feel for who we are.
The next time you write a job description with employment branding in mind, ask yourself:
- Why would someone want to work for your organization? What do you value? Think bigger than free coffee, beer, and catered lunches.
- How does the company express its appreciation for employees?
- How is the organization innovative? Don’t limit yourself to just the product or service. What are the primary people differentiators?
- How do you want to be perceived? What's the demeanor around the office?
Learn your demographic
As a marketer, I can confidently say that no project ever begins without targeted demographic intelligence. Demographics add another layer to your branding, but it’s one you can’t ignore. Certain demographics of people have commonalities regarding communication style, hobbies and interests, and professional goals and prioritizations. It’s your job as a recruiter-marketer to learn what those are for your target candidate and master them.
This isn’t to say that you can’t experiment.
If your candidate demographic is mixed, find a balance in your messaging. For example, millennials value flexibility and social impact. Folks in generation z value health care benefits and mentorship programs. If you’re actively recruiting for candidates in both of those gens, post relevant articles on LinkedIn. Candidates you connect with (or who creep your profile) will notice. Nod at those values in job descriptions and InMails (as long as it’s natural).
Start communicating like it's 2018
On average, Americans text twice as much as they call. It’s actually the single most used data service in the world
. Smartphone users reported that texting is 97% of the reason they even use their phone every day. So to say that recruiters should up the ante on communication methods is an understatement.
Just think about how seamless it would be if you could just snap some pictures of the office when a candidate asks about the look and feel of the workplace. If candidates inquire about team outings or culture, you could effortlessly send photos of the last time the company volunteered.
So, what does texting have to do with employment branding? Um, everything.
This type of communicative fluidity says “hey, we prioritize people (i.e., you) above all things.” Yes, it might be easier for us to send emails because we're at the desk all day, but this isn’t about you anymore, my friends. And you want candidates to know
that your job isn’t about you.
Plus, just think about all the other recruiters who are afraid to stray from voicemails and emails—who are scared to do something different. A simple text proves that you take risks and aren’t afraid to shake things up. Again, a reflection of the brand.
Use social media on the reg
LinkedIn has 467 million users. How many of those are active? Who’s to say, but I do know that, despite the talent shortage, 3.4 million peeps have enabled the Open Candidate feature this year.
It’s safe to say that tons and tons of people are going to creep your profile, work history, and then go scope out a company’s profile that you’re recruiting for. What are they looking for exactly? Real people—personalities, passions, values, commonalities. You can give the people what they want by plastering your pretty mug across social media in the form of video content.
You’re already super good friends with your camera, just be honest. Use it to record upbeat, knowledgeable, and relevant content that candidates will appreciate. Gary Siegel, one of our very own, recorded this video and posted it on his personal LinkedIn:
We posted this video of another team member, Grant Hubbard, on the company LinkedIn profile:
Our videographer filmed Grant's and Gary just used his cell phone, nothing fancy. They're both less than 2 minutes, equally, showcase real people behind the business, and give folks a window into the company's vibe.
Just like texting, social media use lets people know that you’re doing relevant shizz. You don’t live in the stone age. You know what’s important, you’re a strong communicator, and again, all great things when you’re building an employer brand.
I could drone on about different employer branding strategies, but I’ll just leave you with one last tidbit: monitor your efforts with analytics and continue to tweak your approach
. You could do everything I just said and see disappointing results. Another significant component of marketing is trial and error. Different tactics work for various companies, but use these strategies as a starting point toward one heck of an employer brand.