I’ve heard my friend, Tim Sackett, share on more than one occasion that the ability to find good talent has never been better. That’s not the issue for companies. The issue is how to get that talent interested in being a part of what an organization is doing. For as many databases and online search opportunities for finding talent that there are, there are similar opportunities for candidates to research companies. What do you think they’re finding out about yours?
In the upcoming movie, Second Act, Jennifer Lopez plays a hard working 40-something woman who is full of street smarts but can’t get her foot in the door of some great companies with open opportunities that she’ll crush. That is until someone helps her with an entire new social media profile and history of experience (most of it untrue). She has the world open to her, but now she has to live as someone she isn’t in order to make it work. And herein is, also, the premise of many organizations in our country.
We’ve decided that companies should function in “expansive and appealing” ways. We’ve introduced yoga, ping-pong and ax throwing. We’ve brought in nutritionists, horticulturists and phlebotomists. And while there is nothing wrong with options, is what’s being projected authentic? Is there alignment to the real culture versus the advertised culture? You know what they say about lipstick on a pig.
Dig deep and figure out what makes your company special. That’s not to be trite or condescending, but rather to push the conversation towards core identity. What do we do? How do we do it? Why would customers come here rather than somewhere else? Is there a truth that current employees have to share about working here? These questions will get the conversation started with leadership, HR/TA and marketing.
The “sell” of the company is part of the marketing effort that should be tied into recruitment and branding. It makes sense for marketing to be included in these discussions. Their expertise in crafting language and messaging is a skill that should be leveraged as we work on the appeal of our organizations.
It will, also, take some training with hiring managers. They will need to know how to craft questions and responses in keeping with our core identity. Far too often, candidates interview with crabby, over-worked, tired hiring managers. Would you want to work for someone like that? I think not. Invest in messaging for the recruitment process. Give these managers tools they can use.
One final thought: don’t apologize for what you do. Some areas of work are not sexy. It’s hard to make things look better than they really are. Although, Dice.com has done ads for finding “the hottest tech talent” with scantily clad hardware engineers; that’s creative (Google it). However, not every company can do that. Be unapologetic, but also be willing to craft a new approach to the realities of work at your organization. Give those job seekers a reason to find your company appealing.