Companies are currently navigating a highly competitive candidate-driven job market, and it has become clear that today’s job seekers want something more than just a job. At the most basic level, candidates want an opportunity to grow in their profession, balance the needs of their families, and take pride in the company they work for.
In order to bridge the gap between candidate needs and the needs of the hiring manager, organizations must look to more than just updated compensation models. Even though competitive wages are certainly important to many job seekers, what sets an organization apart is an ongoing investment in its employees and the ability to create a sense of authentic belonging within the candidate pool.
Showcase What You’re Doing
Business leaders are taking note of the shift in the hiring landscape, so many are developing new programs and benefits, working to modify internal culture, and seeking innovative ways to compete in the talent acquisitions space. This shift is taking place through the adoption of new technologies, alternative sourcing techniques (i.e. TikTok Resumes), expanding employee engagement teams, reworking employee benefits programs, embracing remote work, and much more.
While talent acquisition professionals are getting hints of these changes – from announcements via press releases, podcasts, or a dozen other media sources geared towards our demographic – what isn’t clear is how job seekers are getting this information.
The marketing and PR team’s job is to share information that benefits investor relations, attracts new customers, and gets media attention. It isn’t their focus to connect with candidates and share this information. This is the job of talent acquisition teams.
Your future candidates aren’t going to search for press releases on benefits programs, listen to podcasts about innovative HR programs, and certainly aren’t going to your website unprompted to hear about your new programs. The internal communication that you developed is not going to reach these job seekers, and if it does, it’s going to be lacking the clarifications or information that candidates need. This is why you need to create communication that directly talks to a candidate pool.
Applicant Likely Don’t Know You Exist
There is a lot of information being sent out and absorbed by job seekers each day – from social media, the internet, emails, or many other platforms. A lot of this information begins to blur together, especially as candidates see a plethora of “We’re Hiring” posts.
It’s easy to think that potential candidates know about your company from the information you showcase online. However, it’s important to remember that since so many companies are hiring, the public might wonder what your hiring has to do with them – and that’s if they even see it.
In a sea of all of the “We’re Hiring” postings, how do you begin to break through the noise? First step is to understand that there’s no magic elixir – and that you need to talk to candidates like they are people.
This might seem like a crazy statement to some talent acquisition professionals, but sometimes we forget that our candidates are people. The decision to join your organization is a life-changing and highly personal choice, and many candidates have different needs, backgrounds, concerns, and priorities – and there’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for connecting with them.
Bring Out Your Culture
Formal marketing language has no place when describing your culture. A good candidate will quickly spot any misalignment within your culture, and a great candidate will see that the formal language is just sugar-coating challenges within your organization and look elsewhere for employment.
If you’re interested in reaching a larger pool of candidates you haven’t connected with before, then you need to work to bring the internal values to the external messaging in an authentic and relatable way. Once you get rid of the corporate language, you’ll be able to connect with candidates in a more human and trustworthy way.
Working with your marketing, comms, and recruitment teams to build your culture messages into every public touchpoint is essential. This will help you move past operating in a blind spot and will help bring in potential candidates.
As a talent acquisitions leader, I have to lead the efforts in identifying the gaps in communication. When recruitment, marketing, and comms are all sitting at the same table, you can work together to start thinking like your ideal candidate and work towards bridging the gap between potential candidates and your organization.
Just like how everyone isn’t for everyone, not every applicant is going to be the right fit for your company – and this is okay! By showcasing your culture, you’ll be able to attract job seekers who do fit and allow them to see a place within your organization.