A common complaint across industries and businesses of all types and sizes, is the inability to attract and retain great employees. In light of this, many of those in management find themselves having to re-examine their hiring practices. The entire process, from advertising to job offer, is subject to change. This pressure to find and keep talented employees is motivation for looking beyond traditional hiring policies and strategies.
Key Strategy #1: Know the Audience
Knowing what prospective employees are looking for from a job and their employer is a key step towards attracting great employees. This may vary according to their age/generation, and a diverse workforce will include employees from different generations. Your workforce could potentially include persons from the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials.
Millennials are one of the largest generations entering the workforce and will continue to grow in their share of the workforce. This generation tends to seek out employment with companies that align with their personal values, where they can be led by someone who is more of a coach than a boss, and where they can experience democracy within the workplace. These types of goals within a company can benefit all employees, not just the Millennials.
Having a clear understanding of your organization, who you are, what your vision is, and what makes you different, goes hand in hand with understanding your audience. With this clarity you are able to address the mindset of your audience by showing how your organization fits with their employment goals.
Key Strategy #2: Update Recruitment Tactics
Social media is one strategy that is an important recruiting tool. A vast majority of companies already use social media for recruitment, and this is only going to grow. However, this popularity means that an organization must plan to stand out from the rest. To get your organization noticed, you should generate regular posts describing what it is like to work there, providing information about your industry, and engaging with readers. Creating a social media presence that gets attention requires an active and ongoing effort.
Beyond social media, it is important to realize that websites, such as glassdoor.com, indeed.com and others, provide potential applicants with a glimpse of what current and former employees are saying about your organization. Posts on these sites can affect your organization’s reputation as well as morale. Regular visits to these sites and google searches to see what people are saying is important to protect and manage your organization’s reputation.
In addition to this, your organization’s own website cannot be overlooked. Make sure that your website is optimized for smart phone viewing, since an increasing number of people are using their phones when job searching. Pay careful attention to the career and job site pages so they are easy to access and use, whether on a smart phone, tablet, or pc.
Finding applicants should also be done using networking and relationships. People currently working in your industry may be found through industry organizations, events, trade fairs, LinkedIn, etc. These are qualified people who may be looking to transfer to another organization, or may have someone they know who is looking to get into the industry.
You should also provide a hiring process that is streamlined, efficient and within an appropriate time frame. Evaluate your hiring process to see if there are areas where it unnecessarily bogs down. A hiring process that is meant to be deliberate and cautious may be interpreted by a potential employee as reflecting an inactive and unresponsive management. The most sought after applicants may likely have other offers and won’t wait long for a decision.
Key Strategy #3: Think Outside of Salary
Applicants look at more than just dollar signs when they are considering employment. An organization can promote other benefits (such as flexibility, teamwork, health care, or values) which set it apart from others. If your organization can offer flexibility, this is something that appeals to many employees. Flexibility can take many forms, including hours/scheduling, casual attire, or time off policies.
A team environment within the workplace is one of the biggest reasons for an applicant to be interested in a job, as well as staying in a job. The feeling of being respected and a part of a team is vital in the employee/supervisor relationship. There are many reasons why teamwork is beneficial on the job, including fostering creativity and learning, promoting a broader sense of ownership, improving working relationships, and increasing job satisfaction. When employees work within a team they can support each other, learn from each other, and accomplish more.
The values of a company, and actions which go along with those values, can also help to attract top talent. There should be policies in place which reinforce the values of the company. For example, the value “community involvement” could be reflected through policies that support or reward those who take time to volunteer in the community. The value “employee development” could be reinforced through policies supporting continuing education or self-improvement.
Key Strategy #4: Standardize the Process
The process involved in hiring, all the way from advertising to making an offer, should be laid out in written form. Whatever the process is, it should be clearly documented. Along with this, there should be proper training for those who assess and interview applicants. Clearly written instructions keep everyone on the same page and help to keep the process within legal guidelines.
Organizations would do well to understand who the job seekers are out there, and to make themselves stand out from the rest by highlighting what is unique and valuable about their company culture. In evaluating their hiring practices, organizations can implement reform and strategy which will enable them to draw in additional talented applicants. These applicants will respond to an organization which can demonstrate that it understands employee motivations and which offers more than just a paycheck. Fostering this kind of company culture can also improve moral and employee retention, all of which makes your organization more successful.