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  • Optamor

Talent Attraction: 3 questions to ask yourself when you’re not getting the talent you need.

empty chair at a desk with laptop, notepad and water

As you’re likely aware, talent is scarce right now: the world of work has evolved in such a (relatively) short period of time, the pandemic accelerating new ways of working. Candidates have the luxury of choice, with employers scrambling for a voice in a crowded market. And with job advertisements and boards increasing their costs, it’s becoming even more costly to find the right hire.

Today we’ll talk about the key considerations when it comes to talent attraction, and how you can reclaim control of your talent acquisition efforts.

1) Do we have a defined culture and set of values?

Before, when employers held the power and pick of the bunch, a considered culture was seen as ‘nice to have’ and saved only for those elite corporations with cash to spare. Now? It’s a must-have for any businesses looking to grow.

It’s no shock that we spend a LOT of timeworking (regardless if it’s remote or not!) So, now that talent has the luxury of choice, the reasons for saying yes to a job offer (or even to apply) centre more around the right ‘fit’ and with a company. Candidates can no longer be convinced by a swish office location– even less relevant now–or a comfortable salary. The vibes need to be right.

Core Values

Back in the day you’d have a role to fill, circulate a job spec and the talent would have two questions: Can I do it? Is it commutable? Tick and tick= great I’ll apply. Now, with the potential to work from wherever they want, employers need to think outside the box a little, in order to become more attractive to potential hires.

A considered culture, or developing an employee value proposition (EVP), involves your current workforce, yes, but also takes into account who you want working for you in the future. Put simply, if you know your strengths and weaknesses you can use them as leverage to help retain and attract new hires into your business. Your EVP is more than your benefits package; it’s your culture, your values and the promises you make as an employer to your employees.

Creating an EVP that resonates with current and future employees makes talent attraction easier, giving recruitment teams (whether internal or via an RPO or MSP provider like ourselves) a framework to work from. AND, if you go one step further and sync your marketing department up with an employer brand, you’ll reap the rewards of how a strong visual and written message can help to reach and engage with your audience.

2) Am I thinking like a marketer?

A job role advert, a social post, a post on a careers website or a telephone call; every time you engage with a potential candidate you have the opportunity to ‘sell’ to them– why should they join your business? In marketing the best way to sell to someone is to really know them, to create something called ‘personas’ in order to better understand their motivations and thus what they’ll resonate with.

Imagine, for example, that you’re hiring for a highly technical role. You write out a list of things this person must be, the experience, the qualifications and the day-to-day duties. But, stop to consider…

  1. Who is currently in this role, what type of person are they?

  2. What are other people within this type of role like?

You may have to make some assumptions, but the best thing is to actually ask questions. Ask your valued employees about their interests, their motivations for choosing your company, what matters most to them (salary aside). Don’t get us wrong, not every financial advisor will be the same, but there are likely to be some connections, and by building this ‘persona’ you’ll have a starting point.

Ask me a question Instagram widget

You can use these insights (even going so far as the types of TV show they like, if you fancy) to tailor the type of language you might use, or the parts of the job spec to place emphasis on. For example, a senior leader may feel motivated by the idea of more autonomy, or the ability to lead an innovative project. In contrast, someone who likes remaining within the bounds of their comfort zone may prefer the opportunity to operate within a team as a specialist in one particular aspect of the business.

By thinking like a marketer across all touchpoints, you create human connections based on the type of person typically best suited for these roles. Now of course, we’re not saying you should discriminate or only target those, but speaking the language of those most likely to be successful can help you attract more talent.

3) Am I just thinking about myself?

This one is hard. It IS about you. It’s your role, your company, your money, your business goals. But there’s a line - the best in the talent attraction game know how to structure job adverts and careers sites with the right ratio of me : you.

Dice with the letters About us and me on them

Consider what a candidate really cares about. Too much ‘waffle’ or self-indulgent talk can feel out of touch (depending on the persona) but also risks the chance they won’t reach the content that will convince them that your role/ business is worth their time. In this digital age of the ‘scroll’, businesses need to be mindful that every word is grabbing attention, or risk losing the candidate to the next post on their LinkedIn feed.

Syncing up HR with your marketing department, if not done already, has success written all over it. The shared goal of talent attraction should be a key content pillar within their marketing strategy. By working with them to create and facilitate the EVP, Persona Mapping and Content optimisation you’ll find your job adverts will start to gain more traction.

Feel like you're solid on the above? We've got some tips on how to deal with a candidate sparse market here.

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