One of the biggest challenges companies have when they recruit is getting enough candidates to choose from. In addition, they also struggle to attract the correct sort of candidate. The flow on effect of this is feeling forced to spend significant amounts of money advertising jobs and engaging recruitment agencies, which can result in lost productivity.

Ask a business development person or marketing professional when they start looking for their next deal or customer. The answer will be that they never stop looking. So why do companies not look for employees until they have an urgent requirement!

Never stop recruiting

The act of recruiting a person often starts with the financial approval of a particular position. If we take a leaf out of a sales/marketing persons’ book, then the act of recruiting would never end and you would always be looking for your next employee. This begs the question, what if you are not recruiting?

Employer branding for sustainability

To ensure sustainability in your recruitment efforts, you need people to learn what a career with your company actually looks like. One of the greatest costs for a talent acquisition team often comes from employment advertising or using recruitment agencies. The challenge here is that both of these actions are often reactive; you only use them when you have an immediate need and neither support your employer brand ventures. Sure, they promote your jobs, but what about your reputation as an employer?

Building a reputation or employer brand takes effort. The right behaviours and cultures within your organisation have to exist, and you then need to spread the message about what a caree rwith your company entails.

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” Henry Ford

To build an employer brand you cannot just shout from the rooftops when you desperately need to recruit people. You need to tell the story of your business and if your story is genuine, people will start to believe your story and will follow your business. Your followers become your talent pools, your talent pools become your employees. Your future employees will have understood the culture and behaviours of your business long before they start and will often stay for longer than someone who had not experienced your brand beforehand. The best part is, promoting your employer brand can be extremely cost efficient, if not free!

It’s all about content

In everyday business, there is a huge number of opportunities for you to create engaging stories about your employees, careers and successes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Employee profiles
  • A day in the life of
  • CEO’s blog
  • Live speaking events
  • Social responsibility efforts
  • Graduate program stories
  • Employee career stories

Now we just need some channels to promote our stories:

Social media

Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are by far the biggest… but be careful not to intrude on peoples’ personal space. Many people see Facebook as a personal social network and will be reluctant to engage with their current employer, never mind a potential future employer. Talk to your employees, find out which networks they use and understand how they could be engaged and which networks would be suitable/unsuitable.

Offline media

Offline media like newspapers and TV are much more likely to pick up on good news stories like contract awards, the creation of new jobs and social responsibility efforts. Consider submitting articles to local newspapers and your local chamber of commerce to begin with.

Email campaign

With a few well-placed calls to action in your content, you can grow an email list of potential future employees. Once you have this you can engage them with content which will help the learn about your company values, culture and behaviours along with promoting your jobs.

Future talent

Long term success means you need great talent now and in the future. To ensure you have great talent in the future you need to start engaging tomorrow’s talent today. Consider engaging with university students and possibly even younger school kids, there are lots of opportunities to do so if you look for them. Programmes like Developing the Young Workforce are great ways to engage the next generation of the workforce.

People who WANT to work for you

By engaging your talent pools you are ensuring that in the future you will be able to recruit the people you need to continue your businesses a success. Attracting people into your ATS or talent pools is not enough, you need to engage them. By engaging with your talent pool you will help them WANT to work with your company instead of just applying for a new job.

About Iain Hamilton

Iain is the founder of People Traction. Based in Aberdeen Iain works throughout the UK. People Traction provide recruitment strategy consultancy, in-house recruitment teams and recruitment project delivery. Connect with Iain on LinkedIn.

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