No matter your company’s size or industry, employers today are up against greater odds than ever before when it comes to hiring the best talent. To start, employees are now switching jobs more often than ever before, leading to an increase in the frequency of vacancies. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, 61% of Canadian Millennials expect to switch employers in the next five years.
Furthermore, while job skills may have been unique and specific to one industry or trade, huge swaths of employees are now able to transfer their skills and knowledge between industries, meaning that competition is no longer industry-specific.
In short, today’s best talent now has an abundance of options, and while bigger salaries and bonuses, more flexible work, and free catered lunches are obvious ways to attract candidates, they’re not always the most practical, at least not from a budgetary perspective. To enjoy a wealth of qualified applicants, organizations of all shapes and sizes now need to consider ways to improve their employer brand.
Here are five simple ways to increase your employer brand’s appeal.
Beware of your social media presence
Just as employers often check the social media feeds of their candidates before extending a job offer, many candidates similarly check out the employer’s social media channels before submitting an application, making it a prime opportunity to gain (or lose) applicants.
For more on why social media is important for your employer brand, check out this episode of Safe for Work, the Workopolis podcast:
No matter which platform you choose and no matter how many (or few) followers you have, it’s important that your company’s channels represent the type of work environment that would appeal to your ideal candidate. Posting employee testimonials, footage of team building exercises and CSR initiatives, or simply showcasing staff accomplishments in any small way tells potential candidates that you’re an employer who recognizes and values its employees. If you want to take things a step further, you can even create a dedicated social media channel for job postings, as some major brands have done.
Focus on the candidate experience
In most cases, your career page will be your first official interaction with the candidate as a potential hire, so it better not drive them up the wall. Asking too much of candidates during that initial interaction, forcing them to wait for a slow website to finish loading, or making them navigate through a terrible user experience is a great way to lose potential candidates right off the bat.
As a non-revenue generating and often-independent website, employers typically avoid putting too much effort into their career pages, causing a lot of frustration for potential recruits. This also, however, provides a ripe opportunity to stand out amongst the competition by providing a better online application experience.
Respect those that do not make the cut
While you can’t hire them all applictoday, you can at least give candidates an experience that encourages them to reapply in the future. Send your rejected candidates a polite email thanking them for their time, assure them that their information will be kept on file, and that they will be notified if a more appropriate opportunity arises.
Even if it’s an automated message, at least it gives the candidate a sense of closure, as opposed to a cold shoulder. After all, they’ve expressed an interest in working for you, and even if they’re not qualified today you don’t want them avoiding you in the future as a result of a negative application experience. Maintaining a professional and courteous interaction can only serve to increase your future candidate pool.
Create a referral program
A referral program is a win-win-win-win, whereby you get to win twice. The candidate wins by getting hired, their referrer wins the referral bonus for pointing them in your direction, and you get to enjoy two victories: one in the form of your new hire with minimal recruiting, and the other in the form of a boost to your employer brand.
While it may seem like a subtle benefit, those who are incentivized to recruit on behalf of the company are also, in effect, incentivized to spread a positive message about your employer brand to their friends and family and on social media. After all, if they want to collect on that bonus, they can’t bad-mouth the company. Creating an employee referral program will just give them one more incentive to tell the world what a great employer you are.
Take your CSR seriously
If there’s one accurate stereotype about millennials, it’s that they tend to care more about what impact their employer is having in the world than the size of their paycheck. In fact, a 2015 survey by Cone Communications found that 62% are willing to take a pay cut in order to work for a socially responsible company, and two-thirds will promote CSR activities on social media.
In other words, younger candidates are specifically looking for examples of corporate social responsibility when considering employers. Having nothing to show just won’t cut it anymore. Furthermore, providing opportunities for employees to give back will inevitably lead to positive social media interactions, which can go a long way in improving the organization’s employer brand.