You might hear that it is a cluttered and competitive talent market for job seekers today. But if you look at the statistics closely, you will find that it is really the employers who have it hard. According to this survey by Ernst and Young, employee churn remains a concern in the service industry and it takes about six months to fill vacant positions. Almost half of Indian employers report challenges filling in vacancies and the percentage of employable engineering and management graduates remains in single digits even in the times of internet enabled upskilling.
So how do you attract smart talent then? Interestingly, hiring in the times of social media is not too different from engaging and marketing to consumers. You need to have an employer brand, and you must come across as fun, interesting, challenging and all things nice.
When I say intelligent content, I really don’t mean the clichéd LinkedIn posts that do the rounds. From interactive videos to social media posts, content catches the eye of smart talent. Find ways to tell your story through “day in the life of” series. Even unique ways like hangout sessions or Twitter and Reddit AMA chats to answer typical questions potential employees might have. Sell your story of raising talent bars within your industry. Give yourself and your workforce an aspirational personality. Look beyond the traditional JD-recruiter-resume-interview-hiring cycle. Times have changed. You have no choice but to market yourself well.
Sure, you can come up with social media flyers when you have positions to fill, but it’s just a flash in the pan at best. Focus on developing your employer brand consistently, so when you do have a vacant position you will not have to look too far and long. A successful brand identity will attract applications on its own behest.
Nothing sells like aspiration. Encourage your workforce to share work stories on social media. Recognize executives with social media influence and work with them to amplify your narrative. As a recruiter, of course, you will have nice things to say about the employer. But existing employees can make your story credible.
We live in a time, where every possible voice finds a platform. So it is no surprise that candidates trust the opinions of the Glassdoor community much more than any collaterals you can provide as an employer. The entire content and narrative aside, if your organization has inherent flaws that impact people - be it sexism, bias, unnecessarily rigid policies or unprofessional behaviour - the first step must be to set them right. Not only is this the basis of organizational behaviour, the absence of corrective measures eventually do make it to social media, impact your reputation and counter everything else you might have to say about your employer brand.
Clearly, the intelligent, industrious and resourceful workforce has the bargaining chips, with employers vying for them. As an employer, evolving hiring tools and tactics to reach the right set of potential candidates is important. The optics matter just as much as salaries and benefits. If your hiring process and online reputation come off as far from ideal, then smart candidates will look away. After all, the options are theirs for the taking.