A common thread with businesses is the desire for a pipeline of candidates whom are just dying to work for their company. Every business owner believes their company is unique and special. GUESS WHAT? YOU'RE RIGHT! Every organization is unique and has something to offer candidates, so why aren’t the candidates you desire rushing to work for you?
I would first ask, what is your story or employer brand? Every employer should have a compelling story to attract candidates. One client we work with has had expansive growth, quite a bit of publicity in the region and has a really cool story; which has led them to attract a higher quality and more candidates in just over a year. Their employer brand has become known in our region; thus has given them the candidate pipeline all businesses desire. If you aren’t a P&G or GE, what are you doing to get your story out to schools (from junior high through college) and our region?
Secondly, have you ever stepped back and looked at your hiring process from the candidate’s perspective? Do you give the candidate’s what they would want to know about your business or the role in your job ads or is it just your job description or worse – generic information about a role with the same title? The role of our job ad is to gain interest of the people reading it, so use your marketing 101 skills! Once you have gained their interested and the candidate applies; how candidate friendly is your hiring process? Is it a long and cumbersome process or streamlined to maintain that candidates interest? Does it require them to “jump through hoops?” Is their huge lag time in communication from the point of application, between interviews, etc? And the worst faux pas...do they NEVER hear back from you either way? Each of these practices make candidate’s question the company’s organization skills/abilities, their seriousness about finding talent, and makes them wonder if that is how they are going to be treated as employees. Put your best foot forward with candidates and treat them right; if you do, even if they don’t get the job - they will have good things to say about your company.
Thirdly, what are current and past employees saying about you? Have you ever looked at GlassDoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, Vault, CareerLeak, Monster or Hallway to see your company reviews or rankings? Today’s candidates are tech savvy and will utilize these sites to determine their level of interest. They research and “stalk” companies they have an interest in; so, if you have poor reviews or low rankings – are you going to attract the talent you desire? Don’t get me wrong, every company has at least one employee that leaves angry at the organization so 1 poor review is not going to kill your brand but if the majority of your employees leave angry – you should really look at what needs to be improved upon.
My final piece of advice would be, be honest about who you are! There is no such thing as a bad culture; there are just bad culture fits! If you try to pass your organization off as a Google environment but are a cubical environment; the people you attract are not going to good culture fits. There are candidates out there that are happy in the cubical environment and will be wildly successful but trying a “free spirit” (if you will) into this environment is like trying to cage a feral cat – it just doesn’t work out. Own who you are as an organization and the culture you have or are working towards and work to attract talent that will thrive in that environment.