The signs are everywhere, telling a brief but moving tale, at times with questionable grammar and non-standard spelling. Help Wanted. Closed due to Lack of Staffing. Please be Patient, We’re Short-staffed. It seems like every business, everywhere, is trying to hire.
There is “One Simple Trick” that can help any employer with this problem: make sure you’re offering a competitive salary and benefits package for the talent, experience, and position you’re trying to fill. But if you’re already doing that and still having problems staffing up, read on!
As a business, you’re used to competing with other companies to sell your products or services. You use your website and other means to market, promote, and advertise your business. Now you have to start thinking of new hires as a competitive market, too, and proceed in a similar way as you would selling your products or services. In short, you need to create and nurture a recruiting pipeline the same way you would a sales pipeline.
A Balanced Website
Having a Careers page on your site is an excellent place to start. The rest of your website is devoted to developing clients and promoting your products and services, so devote this one page to attracting talent. This is the place to market your company as an employment destination. Think of this page as a place to promote your company as an employer. Talk about what’s great about the company: the culture, benefits, team, the general experience of working there. If your site has a live chat function and your HR needs support it, a live chat on this page, focused solely on answering questions or providing specific information to prospects, can be a huge help. This also allows you to collect contact information for future follow-ups.
The same thinking applies to your site’s local SEO, just with a focus on potential employees. If your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are incorrect on one of the indexing sites or elsewhere online, you might have only yourself to blame for someone missing an interview because they went to your old location. The Career page shouldn’t just be focused internally. Make it about more than just the positions the company has open. Show how you welcome and train new hires and how you help them develop their skills and careers. Again, you want to market your company as a great place to work.
None of this is to say you shouldn’t include posts for specific job openings. Do that! Be sure to include in the descriptions a summary of the position, the main objectives the employee has day-to-day, and a list of the responsibilities and minimum requirements for the position. Then—and this is critical and often overlooked—make sure it is extremely easy for candidates to apply.
Social Media Necessities
As it is for your website, the same goes for social media, but in this case it’s what social media was (theoretically, at least) invented to do: connect people. Use your company platforms to promote more than just your products and services. Share aspects of the company’s workplace culture on social media: highlight events, employees, and charitable efforts. You can use social media advertising to target specific demographics based on profiles such as job title, education level, personal or professional interests, geographic location, etc. You can deliver ads via social media to people who match the categories you’re looking for. This is a place where video content can be extremely effective. Post short, on-camera interviews about what it’s like to work for your company, give virtual tours of a facility or office, anything that quickly encapsulates something that makes your company special. It gives potential hires a look behind the scenes at what the daily work life is like at your company.
Go old-school with social media, too: have your current employees share information about open positions on their own social sites, if they’re willing. It’s a great way to leverage social networks that you might never reach just through a corporate page, and you get the benefit of a personal introduction from the current employee.
Reviews Matter (Same with Responses)
Treat your brand on employer review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed the same way you do on product/service review sites like Google or Yelp. Promote glowing reviews, and treat negative ones seriously. The great thing about responding to employee reviews, even if negative, is that you can actually become a better workplace and showcase your organization’s response in a positive way.
If you earn recognition as a Best Place to Work or similar award, make sure to publicize that across all your platforms, just as you would if your product or service were recognized for excellence. Even if the message mostly reaches clients who purchase your products/services, it helps keep your business in front of them, and enhances your reputation.
Be a Place People Want to Be
Take an honest and clear-eyed assessment of your company. Is it a place people want to work? An objective review of your organization’s strengths and weaknesses as an employer might go a long way. How do you compare in terms of salary, benefits, values, and culture to other workplaces? These are all things companies can do something about as they seek to recruit and retain top talent. It won’t be easy, or much fun, but look at your company from a prospective employee’s perspective: is your team one they want to join? In the end, this process could be just the thing to shift the way your company works for the people who work for it.
Hook ‘em Early
Leverage the local institutions of higher ed. Post notices of internships (especially paid ones) or positions for new or future graduates, then be flexible working with their schedules. A little bit of accommodation can build a lot of loyalty: one of our best long-term employees started as a paid intern while still in college. When he graduated it was a seamless transition to a full-time employee. We didn’t have to compete with anyone for him, because he was already here.
Finding and keeping great employees is hard work, but worth the effort. If you think of it as pursuing potential employees in the same manner you pursue potential customers, you’re well on your way.
If you need help building and launching a recruitment campaign, contact SOULO. We’ll help you attract and find top talent who will want to come work for you.