An article from The Conference Board states that “with the unemployment rate near historic lows, employers are facing significant recruitment and retention difficulties.” This is supported by the January 2020 Small Business Optimism Index. According to their research, 26% of small business owners believe that “finding qualified workers remains the top issue in 2020.” The Conference Board also notes that this year’s labor market is tighter for blue-collar jobs than for white-collar jobs.
Are you finding it difficult to attract and retain talent in your organization? Our previous Astronology® discussed the impact of employer branding. This theme continues as we explore how to become an employer of choice in a tight labor market.
According to Indeed’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, employers of choice are “companies that stand out and are preferred by job seekers for one reason or another.” While many may assume perks and unique benefits are what help set an organization apart, it’s really the combination of the employer brand, the consumer brand, and the perks / benefits that establishes an organization as an employer of choice. CCI Consulting lists the following tips to help strengthen your position as an employer of choice while recruiting:
- Cater Your Hiring Process to the Candidate: Design your interview process for maximum efficiency and candidate engagement. Use technology to your advantage for early stage interviews and to keep in contact with candidates. Personalize responses with candidates’ names.
- Market Your Organization: Make sure your organization’s website and social media accounts clearly promote your mission, vision, values, and culture. Candidates are web-savvy and will be reviewing these items to understand your employer brand.
- Emphasize Your Employee Referral Program: Word of mouth is a treasured marketing tool. Creating or making an impactful employee referral bonus program can encourage positive marketing for your employer brand. CCI mentions that gift cards and even cash have become less appealing to some. Instead, offering benefits such as extra PTO time may be a unique and highly valued referral bonus.
- Focus on Active and Passive Candidates: CCI explains that “posting employment ads and searching job board databases for active candidates is not enough.” They suggest direct sourcing by recruiters and hiring managers. Have an engaging story to draw people into your organization.
- Talk About Salary Early: While many states and cities have prohibited salary history discussion, the discussion on expected salary doesn’t need to be a secret. A recruiter can ask “What are your salary expectations?” to gauge candidate expectations.
Developing an onboarding experience that is welcoming to a new employee also plays a role in solidifying your employer branding, and reinforces for the candidate that they’ve made the right choice in joining your organization. Ron Carucci, in a 2018 Harvard Business Review article, encourages viewing the new hire onboarding process through three lenses: organizational (training / assimilation), technical (well-defined job descriptions), and social (building a sense of community to reduce feelings like isolation). Viewing and adjusting your onboarding experience to address these areas can reap rewards in helping talent to become welcomed and settled sooner.
Has your organization taken steps to be appealing to candidates in your field? Has this included a retooling of your employer brand and / or onboarding experience? Share your comments below!