by Leslie Rothman
HR and Company Brand
HR has a tremendous opportunity to contribute to their company’s success, both in finding top talent to support organizational growth, and maintaining a strong positive company brand. More challenging than ever, it all starts with the process of recruiting talented people.
At the January 2015 Mainebiz forum, Five on the Future, the predominant theme mentioned across industries statewide – there are more jobs than people to fill them. We heard loud and clear that attracting talent is the #1 concern of Maine employers. Talent shortages exist for many skilled positions.
Talent Shortage #1 Concern
Driving this talent shortage in Maine is demographics. We see an increasing number of people departing the workplace and smaller numbers entering it with a well acknowledged aging population, as many young people move out of state during their prime work years. These factors all combine to make finding top talent increasingly difficult.
Who Is Out There?
Examining the talent pool can help HR hone its recruiting approaches. The mix of generations in the workplace is changing. A clear difference with the earlier generations of Traditionals and Baby Boomers and the and Gen Xers and Ys is that these newcomers to the workforce are interested in different workplace environments and benefits and will be less interested in seeking employment in organizations that don’t match their needs.
As Maine’s supply of skilled talent decreases, employers are looking out of state. Attracting people to Maine is tricky, as Maine salaries have typically lagged behind other New England states. There are fewer employers to support potential applicants’ sense of security in making a move to Maine.
An often sought after group in the workforce is the “passive job seeker”, an individual defined as “gainfully employed but open to new opportunities” who typically isn’t conducting an aggressive job search. Individuals in this group may toss their hat in the ring if an enticing job opportunity presents itself.
This workforce landscape poses many unique challenges. Drawing in applicants from any of these groups calls for paying attention to the critical candidate and new hire touch points at every stage of the acquisition process.
Social Media and Recruitment
As HR professionals we know that a company’s brand impacts the organization’s ability to attract sought after job candidates. The flip side of that is also true, an organization’s recruitment process and track record with candidates also impacts the company’s brand.
In a 2014 survey conducted by Nielsen for Ceridian’s annual The Pulse of Talent, their findings revealed;
- Recruitment policies and processes are critical to building and maintaining a strong company brand
- 44% of surveyed applicants indicate a negative recruiting experience made them less inclined to buy the company’s products and services
- 68% of respondents said that poor applicant communication has a negative impact on their overall impression of the company In many organizations HR is utilizing social media and networks as a vehicle to publicize, identify and solicit talent to their organization.
Social networking sites like Facebook and Glassdoor also wield tremendous power, giving current and potential employees a public voice to share recruiting and employment experiences that can immediately positively or negatively impact an organization’s brand.
So what can HR do to ensure they bring in desired candidates and positively contribute to their company’s brand?
HR Opportunity to Differentiate
With a focus on viewing all candidates and new hires like valued potential customers, HR can dramatically improve their talent acquisition process and positively affect the company’s brand. There is also a significant unrealized opportunity to clearly differentiate an organization’s recruitment process and garner top talent by attending to candidate touch points, the details of recruiting and on-boarding communication in these 3 areas – job announcements/postings, candidate application/interview processes, and supervisor/new hire alignment.
Postings that Pop
If you want strong, qualified applicants to respond to the positions you spend time and money to publicize, you need to catch their attention and reel them in. You won’t do that by simply lifting your company’s dry and often lengthy job description to create a posting. This is especially true if you are trying to entice people who are satisfied with their current employment situation and are passively interested in other opportunities.
By better understanding job candidates critical touch points, and what makes positive and negative impressions you will be able to ensure that the potentially public nature of a candidate’s experience with your organization furthers your brand in positive way – and keeps
talented applicants interested. Put yourself in the position of an applicant, and go through your own entire process. Solicit input from new hires anonymously to gain their recent applicant perspective.
Conduct your own “Focus Group” and randomly sample candidates who weren’t selected and listen to their feedback.
A process to align new hires with their supervisors so they can “hit the ground” running with positive and focused energy will go a long way toward optimizing your recruiting investment and retaining your new hire.
Support your managers in developing a new employee and manager relationship as they would getting comfortable with a new dance or tennis partner. One approach is to just “wing” it and get out there, with the inevitable result of stepping on each other’s toes or bumping into each other because they’re both going after the same shot. Or you can support them in articulating up front how they’ll work together to maximize the talents and efforts of a new hire.
An initial conversation that starts the work relationship out on the right foot is frequently missed. There are two areas that once discussed, can result in significantly improved acclimation to the job and the manager, resulting in getting the new hire productive and up to speed faster.
- WHAT needs to be done
- HOW you’ll work together
With additional insights and techniques, you will be able to critique and approach your talent acquisition and on-boarding processes in new ways, and boost your ability to attract and retain the talented people you are seeking to make your workforce exceptional.
“Differentiate Your Organization and Acquire Top Talent” is a copyrighted publication of Career & Workplace Directions, LLC and cannot be copied or printed without express permission of Career & Workplace Directions, LLC.