Recruiting talent in today’s current climate is a lot like a sales process. With a record 6.6 million job openings in the US, companies are now having to compete with each other to find and attract top-tier candidates.
In fact, it’s likely that there will soon be more job openings than job seekers as the number of unemployed Americans fell to 6.4 million earlier this year.
We’ve entered into a ‘buyers’ market’ for job seekers, who now have a broader selection for employment placement than any time in recent memory. In order to prevent potential employees from accepting other offers, recruiters need to hone their sales skills and put in the extra effort in order to woo candidates.
Personalizing communication with their candidates, showcasing company culture in a positive way, and treating candidates as they would an investor will go a long way to coming out on top in this hot labor market. Here’s how companies can step up their recruitment game and land the very best ‘A’ players.
Begin the candidate journey with transparency to eliminate any trust barriers which often pop up between recruiter and candidate. Not only will being open and honest about the company improve the overall hiring experience for candidates, but it will encourage them to be honest in return.
Thanks to an upsurge in social media, companies have been naturally pushed into being completely transparent. Job seekers can find more content online than ever before.
However, companies that are proactive in how they demonstrate transparency in hiring stand out when it comes to employee engagement and attracting new talent. For example, Buffer is a company committed to transparency on the extreme side of the spectrum. The social media scheduling company reveals how they determine salaries for each employee through a publicly available spreadsheet.
For instance, rather than assume candidates know a full background check (including social media) will be run on them, tell them upfront. They will appreciate and respect companies who keep them well-informed and will be more likely to want to sign on as an employee. In fact, well-informed job candidates are 35% less likely to be dissatisfied with their hiring experience.
Smaller, less established companies that may not be able to lure in candidates with their brand name or salary can compete by being transparent in other areas. This includes openly pitching the company's mission or divulging positive results/developments that aren't yet public knowledge. High-level candidates won’t sign on unless they have the proper information, so be honest about the state of business, the requirements of the job, and the direction of the company.
Use hyper-personalization strategies
Just as a sales manager makes clients feel wanted and special, recruiters need to do the same with candidates. Companies need to think about personalizing the candidate experience to show that they care about each job application. If job seekers feel wanted and valued by a company that they are applying to, they are far more likely to accept the job offer.
Rather than sending generic, automated emails, tailor communication to fit each applicant. This extra effort will give them a glimpse of what it would be like to work for your company. A personalized email after an interview or a direct message from the CEO gives the candidate a better glimpse into the general working environment and will make them feel wanted. Studies indicate that 80% of candidates choose one job offer over another because of the personal relationships they form during the hiring process.
A great step to take hyper-personalization to the next level is to demonstrate authentic curiosity about a candidate's experience. For example, start the interview with a question directed towards an intimate detail unique to that specific candidate. It could be something they listed at the bottom of their LinkedIn, or a tweet about one of their achievements from last year that was not included on their resume. Expressing this interest in them will win their attention and show that they are sought after.
Allowing candidates to meet hiring managers face to face, or even visit the office, is another way to show they are valued. Unilever, which has 170,000 employees worldwide, invite second-round candidates to a Unilever office to experience a day-in-the-life scenario, where they are treated as employees. Unilever found that the acceptance rate of offers to these candidates increased from 64% to 82%.
Use current employees to act as company reps
For companies targeting Millennials, pouring efforts into current employee experience is crucial. Younger candidates pay close attention to company culture and who currently works there. Treat current employees with exceptional care, and new talent will want to join.
Companies such as Apple are way ahead of the game when it comes to this. Employees are armed with Apple gadgets and perks, and their genuine enthusiasm for the brand is enough to make anyone want to work there.
Recruiters can also benefit from using a sales-like referral program within the company to find future employees. The Big Four accounting firms (Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG) are famous for having very robust and effective referral programs, and pay a substantial bonus to employees that successfully refer talent.
Not only does implementing a referral scheme save time and resources on finding “new leads,” but candidates will be more likely to apply for a job and eventually accept an offer if they already know someone working there.
Moreover, if current employees have a good work ethic, then there’s a high probability that the people they know and refer will too. For this reason, a referral program is an excellent source for candidates.
Talentify can help with this by utilizing our text to apply feature, which inverts the application process to go from offline to online. It makes it easy to make referrals and is a mobile first approach to applications, ensuring more engaged applicants.
Now more than ever, with the job market as hot as it is, companies need to approach recruitment as a sales strategy. With this attitude, hiring managers can convert candidates into hires, just as sales convert leads into customers. Not only will this help companies attract top-tier talent, but it will lead to an improved culture and a stronger company brand.