It seems like “help wanted” signs have become part of our national landscape. No matter where you go, companies are struggling with understaffed teams and high turnover. While there may be some signs the labor marketing is starting to loosen, unemployment rates are still low, and employers are still scrambling to fill their bank of open positions.
What does this mean for you? With nearly twice as many job openings as there are available applicants, you have to change the way you find and hire candidates. If you don’t, you’re going to be stuck with that help-wanted sign for a lot longer.
Here are 5 ways you can change your hiring process to help you find the right candidates and shorten your search.
1. Create an employer brand
We’re all familiar with the concept of an external, audience-facing brand for your company. Simply put, it’s how your audience perceives and interacts with you. From typeface to testimonials, it’s likely you’ve worked hard to create a brand that inspires confidence, loyalty, and action.
The same should be true about your internal employee-facing brand. How you talk to and support your current and potential employees matter. An employer brand covers your mission, vision, culture, and communication with your employees, showing both how and why your company is a great place to work.
Not only does a positive employee brand motivate potential employees to want to work with you, it also has a positive effect on your current employees, inspiring job satisfaction, loyalty, and a better quality of work. It makes sense, doesn’t it? You want your team to love where they work–enough that they’ll stay with you…and tell all their friends why.
2. Highlight your employee value proposition
Going hand in hand with your employer brand is the idea of an employee value proposition–a clear communication of how working with you will make a candidate’s life better. With the tight market comes the reality that candidates have their choice of where to work–they’re not going to choose to work with you because you really need them. They’re going to choose where to work based on what is going to benefit their lives.
That’s not to say that you need to throw over-the-top monetary benefits or incentives at the candidates. It means that you need to pinpoint how working with you is more than just a paycheck every two weeks. How your company aligns with their lifestyle, their personal goals. How your company complements their values and gives them a higher purpose.
While that may sound lofty and unattainable, it’s really not. You just need to show your applicants that you SEE them. You understand where they’re coming from, what problems they have faced with previous employers, and how working with you can solve those problems. Compensation will always be important, but just as important is the candidate’s need to feel seen and fulfilled.
3. Stand out from the crowd
Have you scrolled through the job posting sites lately? It’s one big landscape of BLAH.
No matter the position, practically every posting looks, sounds, and feels exactly the same. Just like everything else in life, you get out what you put in. If you post a blah job call, you’re going to get blah applicants.
Using your employer brand and employee value proposition, create a job posting that doesn’t just list what you want, but speaks to what your candidates want. Lead with how your open position is a solution to their problems, not the other way around. Yes, you’ll still need to denote education, skills, experience, etc. But if you can paint a picture of a different, better life, you’ll be head and shoulders above the competition.
4. Improve the candidate experience
For better or worse, today’s landscape of immediate gratification has taught us all to walk away if a process takes too long. (When was the last time you waited more than 3 seconds for a page to load before clicking away in a huff?) The same goes for your candidates. If they feel like the application process is taking too long or there are too many hoops to jump through, they’ll look elsewhere.
This means that your company needs to look for ways to smooth and expedite the candidate experience as much as possible. If you’re annoyed that it’s taking too long to fill the open position, the applicants are feeling that way, too. And don’t forget–if an applicant has a negative experience, they’ll likely share their experience online, hurting your employee brand.
5. Communication is key
Nobody likes to be kept in the dark. From your first job posting to your final job offer, you need to stay in clear, consistent communication with your applicants. Acknowledge receipt of application materials. Give timelines. Follow up on interviews. Clearly explain your needs and the requirements of both the application process and the job itself. The more open and transparent you can be about the experience, the better.
We know you need don’t just need to fill open positions–you want to gain employees that will stick with your company long term. Following these five steps will help you not only attract more, well-qualified applicants, but also help you fill your position faster, and help you build a company culture that values your employees and encourages them to stay with you long term.
If you need help building your employer brand, creating an employee value proposition, or writing a job posting that stands out from the crowd, Moxie Tonic Marketing can help. Our Hiring with Moxie service uses StoryBrand’s proven methodology to help you create employer brand messaging, write a knock-out job posting, and even design hiring landing pages and social media posts. Sound enticing? Learn more about Hiring with Moxie today.