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Hiring Strategy 2016: How Recruiters Can Improve Your Brand

Over the past 10+ years I’ve had the pleasure working with some of the country’s most recognized brands: Microsoft, Target, Best Buy, and UnitedHealthGroup, to name a few. I’ve worked with startups and venture backed organizations, including local brands like LeadPages, BrightPeak Financial, Optimine, and Zenith Education. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with less-prominent brands like Zebra Mats, Fastest, and King Technology.

What do they all have in common? They all hired me, and Versique, because they trusted us with their brand.

Here in Minnesota the competition for talent is everywhere, and not just in corporate careers. In such a competitive market, one sentiment always rings true: All organizations need to take a good, hard look at their employer brand and assess if it’s accurately reflected in their talent acquisition and retention practices.

What does your employer brand mean to your employees? Your prospective employees coming through your front doors? The talent exiting your doors? The general public?

We are hired to do more than just fill an open position. We are tasked with spreading the story of a company, an opportunity, or an idea to the marketplace. We win business because we give our clients much more than the very best hire in the marketplace – we are consultants and ambassadors of your organization.

So how do we make ourselves brand ambassadors to represent our clients to the candidate market?

  1. Craft Customized Talent Acquisition Strategies
    Companies are beginning to understand the importance of tailoring their talent acquisition strategy based on type of role they’re recruiting for. Good talent isn’t on the market long and, in a candidate-driven market, working fast to hire top talent is a must.
  2. Manage Perception vs. Reality
    Sometimes the perception of our client in the marketplace differs from the truth. We have a responsibility to share with our clients those perceptions and explain to candidates what they can actually expect from working at that organization.
  3. Put the Job Description to Work
    Think in terms of selling vs. screening. After reading a laundry list of qualifications and must-haves, would you spend 30 minutes applying to your role? If not, it might be time to re-work the job description to attract top talent.
  4. Guide Next Steps
    Once we’ve established what they’re looking for, we walk organizations through what they need to do to land the person they want. Gone are the days of employers having the upper hand; the market has shifted drastically – and it’s a candidate driven market.

Our job as recruiters is to help you find the very best person for your firm. We hold up our end of the bargain, do you hold up yours?

No matter what your talent acquisition strategy, I’d challenge you to ask for feedback. You won’t know what needs to change until you identify if there’s a problem. For example, if a hiring manager keeps telling you that you aren’t finding the right person for an open req, but he/she has seen at least 20 people in person, what is happening? Have you done a thorough debrief with those any of those 20 people? You might find the problem isn’t the prospective talent, but the hiring manager is looking for something that isn’t reflected on the job description. In fact, what’s advertised vs. what the hiring manager describes might be two completely different things. Take your time, slow down, and start with the basics to set yourself up for hiring success.

Liz Ryan says it best when she states, “If we applied the most basic usability or quality standards we value in other business processes to the simple act of hiring a new employee, we’d be horrified to see how foolish and destructive our recruiting processes have become.”

So how will you improve your recruiting and hiring practices in 2016? For information on how our team can help, contact us today and stay tuned as we take a look at emerging recruiting trends of the year ahead.

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