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How to Attract Talent

In a sea of job postings, what makes your organization stand out? Whether you’re in a dense market where competition is fierce, or a thin market where talent is scarce, the first challenge for HR professionals is getting candidates to apply. From the initial job posting through the offer, hiring the best talent available relies on HR pros who understand how many options job seekers have; have the best to offer in their area; and are at the top of their candidate experience game.

Your company can be the first choice for job seekers: you can be the organization in your area that receives unsolicited resumes from people who are waiting to be a part of your mission, if you understand the marketing aspect of recruitment, and leverage its lessons with every step you take to hire. When you look at hiring from the job seekers point of view, the process is exciting, easy and welcoming.

It starts with the posting

Do your job postings read like legalese, or do they set a tone for a dynamic workplace that values each and every staff member? Job postings that provide a long list of demands and details of every minute of the employee’s day translate into ‘this is who you need to be and what you need to do for us.’ Unless the job or its title is totally unique, the best talent knows those basics: they’re looking for ‘this is who we are and what we will do for you.’

Postings that boast your workplace, your workers and your benefits attract attention and applications. Outlining your commitment to staff, the community, employee development and advancement, your mission, and the other things that set you apart articulate this isn’t just another job – this is your career. This is where you want to apply – don’t hesitate!

What are the challenges job seekers in your area face? If your posting can address solutions, you’ll beat the competition. Benefits like commuter subsidies can help expand the talent pool outside your near geographic area. Imagine being a parent seeking work and finding ‘we help our employees with childcare’ prominently placed in a posting. Those six words could mean applicants flood to your door. Whatever obstacles you can help talent overcome to be a part of your team, place them at the top of your posting, not down in the boilerplate.

Fast screening and scheduling

Now you’ve got their attention, it’s time to get them into the hiring funnel quickly and effectively. Technology helps screen candidates for qualifications in a matter of seconds, but if you’re not scheduling them as soon as they pass through the algorithm, you can be sure your competitors are.

While they’re excited about your posting and interested in hearing more, they’re most likely to set up an interview. Scheduling software strikes while that interest iron is hot and takes that rote task off your desk. If you’re not using tech to schedule, make sure you respond immediately and put applicants on the books quickly. If you use scheduling software, make sure yours is user friendly, and mobile optimized to set an interview slot as soon as they’re available. Whether you’re doing chat-bot first screens or moving directly to interviews, time is of the essence. The longer they’re out there looking, the less chance you have to land them.

Remote interviewing may have become a necessity during the pandemic, but it’s become a ‘must-keep’ recruiter tool as lockdowns and slowdowns wane. You can schedule an online interview for the same day – sometimes within minutes – when there’s no commute involved. The faster you can get that first point of contact in, the better chance you have of acquiring the talent you need.

Marketing your organization

Now that you have their time, it’s time to market your job and your company. You’ve screened them for qualifications, you understand they meet at least your minimum requirements. Spend some time discussing their background, naturally, but plan to spend as much time (or more in today’s tight market) discussing what you have to offer them as a potential employee.

What benefits do you provide? Expand on those outlined in your posting – everything from health and wellness to career development and advancement and work/life balance solutions like Helpr. Discuss the dynamics of the job and the team, the company’s commitment to the community and its workers. HR professionals know there’s a sales aspect to recruitment. When the talent market is challenging, the sales rep takes the lead.

From posting to placement in no time flat

Do your due diligence, of course, but don’t let reference and background checks slow down the hiring process. A phone call congratulating them on getting the job, followed by a conditional offer of employment letter (or email) gets that candidate off the job market and on to your payroll.

Make sure your offer letter outlines the job is conditional upon verified background information but set a start date for their new position. Make sure your reference and background checks are performed quickly – if you use an outside service, use one with a quick turnaround – and in before the new hire starts. A firm plan, with a  specific start date gets keeps the recruitment energy going.

Onboarding before they’re on board

Build on that new hire excitement with ‘welcome to the team’ emails. As great as it is to get the offer letter from HR, emails and from future colleagues welcoming  them to the team keeps the momentum going until they report for duty. Email addresses are acceptable, but don’t share new hire’s phone numbers for ‘welcome’ text messages.

Some companies send out benefits enrollment information pre-hire to get new hires on the path to making their elections. Others send out company swag – t-shirts and company mugs - to say ‘we’re excited to have you part of the team.’ The more you can do to make sure the new hire is focused on reporting for their start date (and not continuing to look for another role), the better. Keep that new hire excitement going!

Hiring from an HR perspective really means hiring from the perspective of the applicant. It hangs on what you do to entice talent in your posting; how you treat them during the recruitment process; and how you welcome them to the team. If you view the process as you’d like to be treated, you’ll have no problem recruiting the best talent in your area and beyond.