How to Hire When Everyone is Hiring
If you ask just about any business what their most valuable asset is, you’re going to get the same answer 80% of the time: Their people.
Just about all of us have now embraced the digital revolution, finally coming to terms with the reality that people communicate, congregate, and conduct business more in the online world than we do offline. Why, then, has every brand not put those two ideas together and developed a strategy that attracts and retains top quality talent?
The cause, as far as we can see it, is the fact that recruiting as a digital marketing objective is difficult to quantify in a report. It’s tough to put a ROAS next to our company culture content plan; however, for many of us, our people are our largest cost, and the #1 reason that we succeed or fail with our customers/clients. Yet we pay thousands of dollars to hiring websites, and more to recruiting firms (many of which are simply scraping those same hiring sites).
And then there are the brands that see digital as more than a marketing tool – they look at it as a fundamental part of their businesses and, therefore, a key part of everything that they do. When it comes time to recruit, they have a massive advantage because they’ve got an audience who knows and loves them, one that understands what makes them different, and is excited to share the news that their favourite brand is looking for new team members.
Now, I understand that’s a big shift, so I’ll offer a few pieces of tactical advice that you can implement right now that will make it easier the next time you’re looking to hire.
DIGITAL RECRUITING TACTICS
- Have a Linkedin presence
- Use your existing platforms to talk about why you do what you do
- Your job posts are not secondary content, they are your most important content
- Leverage your network to find people in new places
- Write job postings like you actually want people to read them
As the “Great Resignation” grows, and Linkedin continues to improve its product, the amount of attention on the Linkedin newsfeed has become even more important. It’s literally a place where people are looking to advance themselves professionally, so it only makes sense that your hiring process would benefit from a stronger footprint.
This one may sound like echos of Simon Sinek, but it broadens the idea that people buy why, not what you do, to the truth that people want to know why they should work for you. Companies that use their social, blog, and other content channels to talk about their purpose make it a whole lot easier on themselves come recruiting time to convince people that they are, in fact, a purpose-driven company.
I never understand why companies publish these great blog posts, and then tuck their job posts off to the corner of their website behind some hard-to-find text link. If our people really are our most important asset, then bringing a new one onto the team should be headline news. Write a post about how this signals an exciting time at the company or, if hiring is ongoing, what exactly this crop of job postings says about your growth and opportunities. Post on Instagram about past hires and how much they mean to your business, tell stories on Linkedin about what makes your culture unique. The more you do these things when you’re not hiring, the more impact they’ll have come recruiting time.
You have no doubt built relationships that go beyond your circle. How can you use your network effect to break out of your bubble geographically, culturally, economically, or otherwise? One of the reasons why some employers find it so difficult to hire is because they’re all looking in the same places. Digital technology now means that, without even leaving our desks, we can connect with resources that help us to recruit in Indigenous communities, people with disabilities, professionals who are LGBTQ2+, and many more under-represented groups.
When we look at recruiting as separate from the rest of our digital strategy, we tend to write like we think a recruiter should sound. You’re looking for someone who’s going to love working at your organization, so let them know right up front what that feels like. Just by writing a job post openly and conversationally you may find that you receive that same type of humanity and personality in return.
As a final thought, I do respect the good and valuable service that many recruiters provide. As with advertising agencies, many of us have an opportunity to do a much better job of figuring out our own strategies, making our own investments by putting digital at the core of what we do, and then working with the professionals who can help us to bring those stories to the world. Recruiters, like agencies, are only as good as the briefs that we give them.