Talent acquisition strategies and processes have a tendency to outlive their usefulness. This is particularly true in the revived war for talent. Many companies are still operating out of their recession “crisis” mode and have not fully realized that it’s time to reinvent themselves to candidates and current employees.
It’s never a good time to rip the Band-aid off and change, especially if what you are doing still seems to be working. But the danger with this tendency is that the longer you wait the further behind you fall. In the meantime, your competitors get ahead.
What can you do to update your employment brand? How can you demonstrate why your company is the best place to work today? Here are four easy, often overlooked updates that can create a big impact in a short amount of time – they also require minimal buy-in and so are “easier wins”:
1) Update your career website:
This is the first impression you make. It needs to be up-to-date aesthetically, functionally, and in content.
Today’s candidates have short attention spans and demand easy access – when they don’t get it, they click on the next search result. Your site needs to engage viewers within the first three seconds to keep them from clicking off the page. You need to look like a 21st century employer, speak to candidates as real human beings, demonstrate that you care about their success, and build a case for why they should choose you as the best place to invest their careers.
- Feature real employees in videos to demonstrate your culture.
- Talk about career paths and trajectories – what their career could look like down the road.
- Create job-specific microsites to address specific candidate populations.
- Make it insanely easy to join your talent community and stress a clear value proposition for what they will get in return – job postings, career insights, invitations to company recruiting events, etc.
2) Consistently leverage social media:
Go where your ideal candidates are in the social world. Find the niche sites, blogs, discussions, and forums that they participate in and engage as an active voice in those communities. You cannot afford to have a reactive mindset. You must go out and connect with candidates who are not actively looking at you as a prospective employer.
People are open to being actively recruited where they live and play, and they value employers who maintain a current, active presence in the online conversations that matter to them.
- Dedicate resources to maintain a steady presence on social media.
- Create a well-thought out content strategy to regularly post content that offers value to your audience.
- Be personable, respectful, and honest. Candidates know that every company has pros and cons – if you are not open to discussing the challenges they can read about on company review sites like Glassdoor.com, they will not take you seriously.
3) Update your hiring programs:
Most companies have intern programs, diversity initiatives, veteran hiring programs, and other specialized initiatives – unfortunately, these are often neglected and outdated.
With careful examination, you can revamp and revive them to appeal to the current generation of candidates who are seeking these programs. Student employees are the future bench of your company, but most students have a tough time “breaking in” to jobs that provide the experience they need to build their careers. If you can make “breaking in” incredibly easy and appealing at your company, you will quickly become the employer of choice for young talent.
Likewise, veterans are an under-tapped pool of talent – most need help remapping their military training to civilian skillsets. If you can make this process easy, clear, and provide the orientation/mentoring needed to adjust to a civilian workforce, you can draw on a strong pool of dedicated talent.
- Look at your current programs. How are they outdated? What changes would make them appealing? If you don’t know, seek guidance from external resources.
- Brand your company as the “employer of choice” for the specific talent demographic that you are targeting by creating an easy process that supports them.
- Actively engage in the communities these candidates frequent.
- Build trust by having current employees from these talent pools interact with potential hires.
4) Automate and simplify:
Even with today’s technologies, many companies cling to outdated processes because change is costly and perceived as too disruptive. Purposefully look for areas where your processes can be automated and simplified. This saves you time and money, and also helps your company build its “We’re a 21st Century Employer” brand by utilizing current technologies.
- Ask employees for their input. What would make their work easier? What currently takes too much time? Are you using old school spreadsheets? What could be moved online?
- Where can you cut out steps without impacting the integrity of the process?
- What small changes would improve the hiring experience for candidates and hiring managers?
It may seem daunting at first, but taking the time today to update your TA strategies and processes will help you stay at the forefront on the war on talent. With competition as it is, you can’t afford to be left behind.
Author: James Holt is Business Development Manager of RPO Services at Seven Step RPO, a recruitment process outsourcing firm based in Boston, MA and Denver, CO.