“selling” your organization to attract new talent

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If you’re looking for a job in the United States, now is the time. It’s a job-hunters market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5.5 million job openings in September. Predictions show that trend will continue in 2016.

On the flip side, for those of us who might need to hire new talent in 2016, we must be very clear about how we’re attracting the candidates we want to join our organization. If we don’t focus on selling our organization to potential hires, we’ll be forced to fill open positions with the candidates who are available, rather than with those people who are ideal for the position.

With an increasing demand to find talent, recruiting and onboarding strategies often focus on the mechanics behind getting talent in the door. The emphasis is on the what, when, where, why and how open positions are posted, interviews are handled, background checks are conducted; and, ultimately time to fill an open position.

But to find top talent, an organization must also focus on the more subtle aspects behind a recruiting and onboarding strategy that also help “sell” your organization. In order to inspire and engage with top talent during the recruiting and onboarding process, here are four things you can do to sell your organization:

Create the right culture

Before you worry about recruiting new talent, take a look at your culture. Does your culture enhance your recruiting efforts, or does it make it more difficult? A strong corporate culture speaks volumes on behalf of an organization, and serves to enhance your passive and active recruiting efforts. That’s why part of your strategy must address how you’re working to preserve – or create – a culture that sells your organization to candidates.

Represent your brand with your recruiters

When it comes to recruiting top talent, recruiters are your frontline. They’re the face of your organization. Candidates’ first impressions of your employer brand are based on the interaction they have with a recruiter. As such it’s critical that you have recruiters who can engage with candidates and create a positive impression of your organization. Recruiters need to be able to sell your employer brand from the first exchange they have with a candidate.

Let employees tell their story

As we learned during Jason Seiden’s presentation at HR Tech, it’s important to listen to what employees say about working in your organization–in surveys, on social media, and in online reviews. If there are issues, address them. Allowing your employees to tell their personal story about your organization reinforces your culture and provides a trustworthy source to which your candidates will listen.

Deliver on your promises

During interviews, candidates often hear about the amazing things a company provides for its employees. Maybe it’s the promise of stock options, bonuses, or benefits. You might have mentioned rewards, recognition, and training opportunities. Maybe you suggest that career development is a reality, or that work-life balance is the expectation. Whatever it is that sold a candidate on your organization, as a new employee, he or she will be waiting for you to deliver on those promises. Don’t wait for six months or a year to deliver on your promises–start on day one. Onboard employees in a way that supports the promises you used to sell your organization. Top talent is more likely to stay with an organization that delivers on its promises.

All the recruiting and onboarding processes in the world mean nothing if new talent isn’t sold on your organization. Take steps to make sure you’re in a solid sales position and you’ll have more success bringing the people you want into your organization.

By liz sheffield
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