How do my competitors attract such outstanding talent? Why do they want to work there, but not here? How do I draw in the brightest and the best to build a specifically outstanding team? Is it possible to attract applicants that have the exact qualities and skills I’m looking to hire?
I’ve heard these questions asked by multiple clients I have worked with. There’s no doubt in my mind that attracting and recruiting applicants is a challenge for many businesses. This is particularly true for smaller companies with less of an immediate corporate brand name (Target! Louis Vuitton! ConAgra!) or who are in an industry with a smaller applicant pool than say, journalism.
For small businesses who believe in what they do, it can be difficult to understand why someone wouldn’t want to hop into their talent pool and go for a swim. There’s more to the game of recruitment than just money and benefits, though.
When Forbes made their list of the happiest jobs in America, they included criteria like workplace happiness, one’s relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work one does on a daily basis. People who were satisfied in those areas were generally happier with their job, and therefore, with their employment at a given company.
Sandwiched in that list from Forbes is the phrase company culture, and it’s more important for hiring purposes these days than ever before. Company culture, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, can be described as the values and organizational systems and norms of your company. On Business Insider’s list of the best corporate cultures in America, companies like Twitter and Facebook made the list for things like “how the 10 core values drive the company to always be better” (Twitter) and “insanely intelligent coworkers at a pleasant office, great free food and perks, lots of autonomy and big problems to solve” (Facebook).
Does your company encourage personal growth among your employees? Strive for transparency and honesty? Value a sense of humor? These are all part of defining a company culture.
And for recruiting, having a clear sense of these values and who your company is, not just what they do, will help attract better, more specifically targeted employees. For my clients who’ve asked about this very issue, I truly cannot be more adamant that social media is vital to establishing an effective company culture that will attract the type of worker you’re looking for.
Behind-the-scenes shots of your office space, blog posts inspired by your employees, notable news and events about what you’re accomplishing as a company and how, insights gained by company retreats, awards that your staff have won that demonstrate their level of expertise and quality, and more: there’s a world of content that can be shared in bite size pieces on social media.
It’s a different tactic than plastering a company mission statement or manifesto in any blank physical or digital space you can find, because it’s consistent, honest, and should still be compelling content. When potential employees have a concrete idea of who they’re applying to work for and already feel as if they know the company like a friend (after all, you’ve been appearing in their Facebook page for months), the next time they’re looking for work? You will be their first call.
Image Credit: CC by Jacques Froissant