Talent Acquisition Specialized for Today’s Swipe-Left WorldDarrell Crumling
Talent acquisition was described as a major problem for companies by 71% of businesses in a recent poll conducted by San Antonio Business Journal. One doesn’t have to look much further than the 3.9% unemployment rate in San Antonio to understand why talent acquisition is such a huge obstacle. Some industries, like information technology, are among the hardest hit by the low unemployment rate.
This is beneficial for candidates, but for a company, you may feel pressured with lost productivity when having to deny work due to lack of skilled personnel. If you further consider the frictional unemployment rate, you could be inclined clone your employees, because now the rate is in the basement.
Well, maybe cloning your employees is a bit extreme, but what can you as a business owner or CEO do to be competitive for talent? Your culture is awesome, you offer benefits, and your average salary is competitive, right? Why wouldn’t the best and brightest want to come work for you? Furthermore, why are some companies doing a better job at attracting candidates?
Before You Start Your Search, Define Your Message
Your message is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle. Understanding how to be competitive in this market starts with understanding who you are as a company. Before you look externally, you must look internally. What makes a person stay there after three, five, or even eight years? This key information is the foundation of your purpose for why people will be loyal to your brand and stick around.
You further build your message with what makes your company unique, where the company sees itself in five years, what is your innovation and culture. Salary and benefits are important to be sure, but the best candidates are not going simply be attracted by higher salary or better benefits. I would recommend against hiring anyone that was influenced by a higher salary. You are almost guaranteed that person is going to leave you as soon as they become distracted by a higher figure from another company.
The Key to Talent Acquisition is Finding the Right Messenger
Gerard Butler in “Family Man” makes a profound statement::
I’m in the purest form of sales, I’m a headhunter.
No truer words were ever spoken.
A good recruiter is a business, marketing, sales, and psychology expert. They are going to look deep into your organization and uncover your message, delivering it to the right market segment, and cultivate the best candidates. There have been many times when I encountered businesses who did not understand what their message. I had to essentially create a message for the company to attract the right candidate.
A recruiter sells an idea, not a product. What distinguishes a great recruiter from a resume carrier is their effectiveness in communicating an idea to the right audience. 20% of the recruiting force will always outperform the other 80% combined. They are simply better orators of the message.
Your messenger is as important as the message its self. Think about it in terms of the products your company offers. A corporation may spend hundreds of thousands to research their target market: who is likely to buy the product and what is the best medium to market said product.
Most companies don’t take the same approach for searching for candidates. Rather, they will spend thousands of dollars sourcing candidates in a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Unfortunately, some staffing agencies take the same approach. Simply posting on a job board or LinkedIn just doesn’t cut it anymore. Candidates are burned-out by the telemarking. That means your recruiter must perform a targeted search for an individual that already embodies the goals and values of the organization, coupled with the right skill set.
Develop Specialized Attraction Strategies for Talent Acquisition
A great messenger understands where this person is likely to be found. He or she segments the appropriate medium to attract the ideal candidate incorporating the best attraction strategies. The right strategy is not simply making a hundred calls; an outdated and counterproductive activity practiced by recruiters from coast to coast.
An average software engineer gets three calls a week from recruiters, let alone emails/InMails. Candidates are starting to make their profiles or job titles hidden. It is likely that your job postings are only producing marginal results. Instead, the messenger will create an environment where great candidates come to them.
When searching for a candidate, develop an attraction strategy that would appeal to you or employees like the candidate you are searching for. Define where you can find the candidate: networks; social media; employees; and, job boards. We are talking about diversifying your outreach to get a robust candidate field.
Once you have planned your road map, execute your strategy. Implementing new strategies in sourcing candidates will save your company tens of thousands in future turnover, not to mention the myriad of complications that come with that turnover. In short, focus on retention to power recruitment.