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Recruit Like You Sell

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How important is Recruiting?

So you want to attract quality candidates, eh? I’ve always found it interesting how many businesses focus their marketing and branding just towards customers and not focusing on recruiting talented team members. You’ve seen it, most career pages are a teeny-tiny link on the bottom of the website that you dig out your magnifying glass to find (or Command/Control+ for you tech savvy types). However, all the greatest business teachings will tell you that you need to “hire the best”, “get the right people on the bus,” and “hire slow, fire fast.” How can you have a great company if you don’t have a great team? So the question remains, how important is recruiting to your business? And subsequently, how is your level of importance relayed to the outside world?

tiny careers link
See that tiny link at the bottom of this website, that’s where they want you to go to see if you can work there. Note that names have been blurred to protect the innocent-ish. Here is a better example:

lifeblue inside view

Now doesn’t that look nice and inviting?

What if we spoke to recruits like our customers?

I’ll focus on the web as the primary medium of communication, because, you know, thats what I’ve been doing for the last 10 years. However these concepts can be extended to other mediums as well.

Give Recruiting Some Space

How much real estate on your site do you devote to your products and services? In tech industry, talent is everything and we view anything we put on our website as a 50/50 proposition towards recruiting and marketing for customers. In fact the sections of our website we spend the most effort on are our posts and pages dedicated towards recruiting. Ultimately we are confident that better talent will result in more client acquisitions. Its an A to B to C kind of thing but I don’t see any industry where this is not the case.

Create infographics or show pictures of your team in action and having fun. What does your office look like, what type of events do you have for your team? Pictures truly are worth a 1000 words. But don’t do a video, that would be too much (heavy sarcasm moment). Talk about the company, educate potential recruits on what makes your company special. The more info you give, the more a quality candidate can evaluate whether this company is good fit for them and subsequently a bad candidate might run away.

A not so good example of the first page you get when you click on the careers page:
bad careers site

Followed by this example in the same industry and although they did have their careers link at the bottom of the page they are giving a good solid attempt at everything discussed within this post:

decent careers page

Talk to humans, be real

Everyone loves genuine…everyone. Remember you are talking to humans. Talk about the culture of your company like its a story not an encyclopedia article. Write in the tone of the person you want to attract. If you’re a rocket science company then write in rocket science jargon. Want fun, outgoing people? Then write things a fun, outgoing person would relate to. Don’t write generic lists of duties and responsibilities. Write a two sentence story about what each particularly duty would look like. For example, instead of “files and organizes patient files” it could be “you love organization like the cookie monster loves cookies, our patient’s files need your attention.”

Why would someone want to work for you? We tend to think that its just millennials that are interested in the me, me, me. But trust me, everyone is interested in “me.” 75 years ago, for many people, any job was a good job. Now, the options are endless, most people don’t just need a job, they want an opportunity where they can successful and have fun doing it and you should want this for your employees too. What are the benefits, both tangible and in-tangible of working for your company? Talk about it.

Be where they are

As a business we tend to constantly display our billboards, our internet ads, and other promotional means geared towards new customers. Are you doing the same thing with recruiting? Job boards can be a mixed bag. I agree that if your only recruiting strategy is to place a posting the second you need a role filled then you are most likely only going to the unemployed and the unemployable. But if your ads for jobs are constantly available how many more good recruiting leads do you think you might get? Good or even great talent will always occasionally take look at the market to see if something might pique their interest. The question is, are you going to be there when they are looking?

Additionally, that great recruit might not apply right away or maybe you don’t quite have a role thats a good fit for them at the moment. If there is something compelling about your company that they happen to find intriguing, they will follow you.

Give them a path

Like any good website, do they have a clear and discernible path to apply? Are you measuring your conversion rate for applicants? What are the call to actions for a potential candidate? I might assume its to get them to apply but perhaps there is more. What tips do you want to give them and what do you want them to figure out on their own. The bottom line is that you want your candidate experience to be Designed (and I don’t mean pretty). An optimal experience for the optimal candidate is going to be much appreciated and if done in a thoughtful manner, it can even weed out the candidates you don’t want.

Results will speak for themselves

Your website can easily be your recruiter that works 24/7 and for a lot less cost. Think of the time value of effort it takes to onboard and train a good candidate. Doesn’t that make an investment in your website (and certainly other means) to help you do the job quite worth it?

In the end you can start to measure the success of your newly hired 24/7 recruiter on a number of levels. How many passive resumes or applicants are you getting? Is your social media following increasing? You should also start to see an overall increase in the quality of candidates you get as well as hear direct feedback from those you interview. “Hey I really liked seeing your team in action on the website, your culture looks like its a good fit for me,” is something I hear quite often. And who knows, but I imagine your customers will appreciate it to. For myself I think I would prefer to do business with a company that puts effort into finding great employees, wouldn’t you?

Thanks for reading.


Russel "The Backboard"

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