How Managers Can Attract The Job Candidates That They Want

What does it take to get the right people to want to work for you?
What does it take to get the right people to want to work for you?
Image Credit: Francisco Anzola

I’m pretty sure that most managers realize that getting the right people to want to join your team has become more and more difficult over the past few years. It turns out that people seem to have a lot more choices than they used to. With the ability for many people to work from home now, they can get a job just about anywhere. What this means for managers is that we are going to have to up our game. We need to come up with creative ways to get people to want to join our teams.

How Big Of A Problem Is This?

Most managers know that somewhere around 47 million people quit their jobs last year as part of what was called the Great Resignation. Hiring trends this year are beginning to mimic those of last year, causing many managers to wonder: will this year bring a sense of déjà vu? As managers across the U.S. continue to struggle to attract, hire, and retain employees, surveys are being done regarding attitudes toward hiring. A company’s workforce can make the difference between their success or failure. The vast majority (92 percent) of managers say their organizations will not meet their goals without the hiring right talent this year.

What It Takes To Attract The Right Candidates

If managers want to land the best candidates, then they are going to have to take steps to evolve the interview experience for their candidates. Let’s face it, in today’s job market, the candidates hold virtually all the cards. Managers must rethink how they showcase their team to job candidates and how to enhance their experience at every touchpoint in the company’s hiring process. What we need to do is to look at the candidate journey the way that we do our consumer’s journey. Just as a business would track their consumer’s metrics (including satisfaction) and create an engaging experience, managers need to do the same for job candidates. We need to understand that this starts before a candidate even applies for your job. What is the thinking about your brand as an employer right now? How are your current employees talking about your organization?

Managers should be taking a fresh look at their employer value proposition and consider how to bring it to life more authentically. Note that appealing to job seekers goes beyond any first impressions. With record-setting numbers of jobs currently open, people are now looking for places they can call home. You are going to want to dig into your entire recruiting workflow and identify all of the candidate touchpoints. Every touchpoint in the process is an opportunity to create a “wow” moment.

Even more importantly than landing new talent, you are also going to want to take steps to retain the staff that you currently have. One way that you can go about doing this is by implementing internal mobility strategies. We all have to realize that bringing in new talent is only part of the equation. Retaining and growing your existing employees is essential to offset any staff shortages and address challenges caused by resignations. Unfortunately, many managers are not doing a good job of leveraging the potential of their existing workforce. Team members are looking for advancement and managers need to empower their employees by providing visibility to career paths and arm their H.R. teams to support team member career advancement.

Historically, at most firms external talent acquisition has been treated separately and distinct from internal career mobility. This distinction can result in entirely different experiences as one moves from being a candidate to being an employee. Top-performing employees are being courted by other companies every day; we need to make an effort and turn our external hiring strategies and experience inward. With the right tools, we can have the opportunity to help people successfully navigate their careers with our organizations instead of leaving and going to a new one.

As important as it is to everyone, managers need to keep in mind that money isn’t everything. The survey that was taken revealed that most managers (96 percent) are planning to increase salaries to incentivize retention this year, with nearly a third of the managers reporting increases of 10 percent or more. While money is a key element to retaining team members, for many, it’s not enough to retain talent alone. Candidates are looking for other benefits that are becoming mainstream across the corporate workforce, including mental health resources, work/life balance, flexible work schedules, and a diverse and inclusive work environment. When we are thinking about tactics to retain our talent, business leaders should consider the total holistic offering.

Finally, managers don’t want to lose sight of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Over the past couple of years, managers made a number of commitments to address bias, root out inequitable processes and increase the diversity of their teams. But the big question is are they following through on these promises? The majority (85 percent) of managers agree that it is difficult to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion goals/strategy because of other competing recruiting priorities. I think that we all know that a diverse workforce contributes to better business outcomes and gives companies a competitive advantage. However, nine out of 10 HR professionals are concerned that their organization’s HR technology is not helping them meet their diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. We need to view diversity as being a journey. Managers will want to analyze their diversity, equity, and inclusion analytics in order to understand where they may want to focus their efforts. We have to review our recruitment approach with a diversity lens to ensure there is a fair and equitable hiring process.

What All Of This Means For You

Managers are aware that there has been a lot of team members who have been leaving their jobs for new opportunities at other firms. Additionally, we want to be able to hire new people to join our teams and fill in any openings that we have. The challenge that we are currently facing is that there are more jobs than there are candidates. We need to understand what job seekers are looking for and how we can attract them to our company.

In order to attract new workers, we are going to have to revamp our hiring process. Our goal should be to make sure that every touchpoint in the hiring process convinces the candidate that our company is the one that they would like to work at. As we work to attract new talent, we also have to make sure that we are taking steps to retain the team members that we currently have. As attractive as money is, when we are trying to attract new people to our teams we need to understand that candidates are looking for more. Things like work / life balance can play into the equation also. Another feature of our company that potential candidates will be looking at will be our diversity, equity, and inclusion. We need to make sure that what we’re doing in this area is well known.

Making sure that our teams are staffed with high quality workers is a constant task for every manager. We have to simultaneously deal with the challenge of finding new candidates to fill openings while at the same time taking steps to make sure that we don’t lose the people that we currently have. In our current job climate where there are more jobs than there are candidates, this has become an increasingly difficult job to do. However, if managers understand what needs to be done, then we can both staff our teams and keep the workers that we already have.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: What’s the best way to show off your company’s diversity to a job candidate?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As though we didn’t have enough to do, now managers are being asked to help the company to once again reopen our offices. The Covid-19 pandemic send everyone home for a year or more. As the vaccine becomes available and the pandemic seems to easing, more and more companies want their workers to once again return to the office. However, nothing will ever be the same. Just exactly how are managers supposed to go about helping with the reopening of the workplaces that we used to call home?