You have less than 12 seconds to engage a candidate when you interact with them, so please, stop with the long introductions and emailing of job descriptions.
Top talent typically isn’t looking for work, but when their interest is piqued, candidates have choices. The unemployment rate in the United States sits now just under 6 per cent, compared to almost 15 per cent at the end of April 2020. And the recent economic recovery comes with the rise of a candidate driven market.
To attract top talent today, and in the post-pandemic new world of work, employers must provide compelling reasons for candidates to join their teams. In other words, they need to sell the opportunity. However, this is a major challenge for most companies.
Organizations are obstructing their own recruitment process
Typically, most HR professionals will email the job description to candidates along with the compensation and a link to the company website. And while these things are nice to send, job description statements like ‘BS degree, 5 years’ experience and excellent communication skills’ aren’t very exciting.
Often, the compensation piece is no more than what they currently earn, and most company websites require job candidates to click through cluttered information to find what’s of value to them. These inefficiencies halt the process, as passive talent is busy with their current job or already considering other opportunities and, if not immediately engaged, don’t feel compelled to click around for more information.
Focusing on the phone
So, let’s focus on engaging talent on the phone—these candidates want to know why they should consider the job and organization you’re calling about. That’s why, when you have them on the phone, it’s critical for you to have compelling reasons for why they should want to work for you.
Why is this so important?
- Top talent is employed and rarely actively looking. Compensation is not always the top factor as these individuals are going to be paid well regardless. Attracting these individuals is a sales job. You need to sell to them that your company has a better upside than their current employer. Your sales pitch MUST change per candidate.
- Examples of Compelling Reasons:
- DISRUPTION: You have a product, service or technology that is revolutionizing how something is done.
- PURPOSE: Why does your company exist? What is the value to its employees and customers?
- CULTURE: Depending on the generation you are seeking to hire, culture plays a large part in selling the candidate. Here are some key items to address:
- Flexibility: What is your policy? How do you address work/life balance?
Social/Environmental Accountability: For millennials and Gen Z in particular, this is very important.
- Professional Development: Share your training and development philosophy for employees. Do you have an educational reimbursement program?
- Environment: Do you have areas for lunch, exercise, rest, entertainment, sports? If staff is going to work a long day, how do you accommodate this? Is there an area to blow off steam?
- COMPANY GROWTH: Did you win a new contract or acquire a company in an expanding industry?
- CAREER ADVANCEMENT: Show a defined career path. Discuss succession planning. Rather than having advancement to a higher job title as the main focus, highlight the duties and responsibilities (along with compensation).
- VOICE: Many jobseekers look for new positions as they feel their voice/opinions are not being heard by their current employer. Share how this is possible at your company.
- WORK/LIFE INTEGRATION: The pandemic showed us that work can be completed at home. Most employees have family considerations that can impact their work performance. How does your company address this? Do you allow flexibility? Are you a firm 9 a.m to 5 p.m. employer?
Compelling reasons are key
When engaging the passive talent, remember: Candidates need to be sold on compelling reasons to join your organization - which isn’t compensation, a link to a website or a simple job description.
My recommendation to employers is to be able to define at minimum three compelling reasons when engaging a candidate and to ensure your entire team involved in the hiring process is consistent with stating these compelling reasons.
Written by Chris Beckage, Vice President at Procom Services (www.procomservices.com). Chris has ~25 years of talent acquisition experience.
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