While these certainly aren’t the most conventional titles, the conversation around them just goes to show you: People are looking for new opportunities.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, the American job market has changed dramatically. “The Great Resignation” has seen millions of people voluntarily leave their positions citing stagnant wages amid rising cost of living, lack of advancement, health safety concerns, lack of schedule flexibility, and even lack of respect.
It’s created a challenging labor shortage for businesses of all kinds — and the talent that is available is harder to win over.
Power has shifted from the employers to the employees. Talent can now demand higher salaries, titles, and compensation, and many companies are responding.
But with so many companies vying for a limited pool, how can your organization stand out to attract the best talent?
Zach has helped hire dozens of valuable team members for clients in recent years and suggests thinking of your employees and job candidates as internal “customers.”
They have similar thoughts and concerns to potential external customers. They care about "cost" (salary), the potential problems with signing on, and how you compare to your competitors, among other things. So, be prepared with similar resources and marketing materials.
Market yourself to potential employees the same way you’d market to potential clients.
In this article, we’ll share how we’ve kept the talent pools flowing and growing here at IMPACT and our clients organizations, including:
Why having a strong hiring process is so important
Seven tips for attracting and hiring great talent
How to get started
Why a strong hiring process matters
When I was job hunting early in my career, I remember being really excited about an organization. I thought it would be the perfect match for me — then I went through the interview process.
For weeks, I found myself sitting through several rounds of interviews and completing a three-hour aptitude evaluation (that had nothing to do with the position), only to find out the entry-level role I applied for wasn’t what they were hiring for anymore.
I felt like they got my hopes up and wasted my time and, as you’d guess, I never considered working there again.
You truly need to play your cards right to keep a candidate on the hook and excited about joining your team.
Think about it. Your hiring experience is a candidate’s first professional engagement with your organization, and a poor one will leave a bad taste in their mouths.
For example, if your team is slow to respond to emails or inquiries, is late to or stands someone up for a call, or refuses to disclose information about salary and benefits among other things, you can quickly lose trust and credibility.
That poor experience becomes a reflection of the employee experience and they won’t stick around to confirm that.
7 tips for attracting and hiring great talent
Having the right talent on your team is essential to accomplishing your goals, so these tips are intended to help you stand out and generate a consistent flow of high-quality talent to choose from.
Pro tip: Use a tool like Workable for your hiring. This will essentially become a customer relationship management (CRM) database of talent, housing all of your candidate information. Even if you don’t end up hiring someone now, you can keep a record of them and consider them in the future if new roles open up.
Hiring, training, and onboarding are time-consuming. When you increase the quantity and quality of your candidates with these practices, you’ll save your team massive amounts of time in hiring and recruiting.
1. Tell a relatable story
Just as modern buyers want to know what’s in it for them when buying from you, candidates want to know what’s in it for them when they work for you.
Show them. Tell a relatable story that makes them see themselves working at your company – something that makes them say, “That’s my situation. That’s where I want to be one day.”
Create and share employee testimonials (similar to Customer Journey Videos from The Selling 7) from high performers on your team that highlight different career paths or a day in the life of an employee.
Did someone on your team go from an intern to a director in their time with you? Highlight their progression. Did someone else start in support and now work in marketing? Showcase that mobility. Did someone else get hired with a degree in psychology for a prominent role in sales? Share their success.
Overall, you want to make sure your ideal candidates can see others on your team they can identify with and make them say, “I can be a success here.”
That will make them that much more likely to take action and apply. Zach shared an impressive example from Trinchero Family Estates:
2. Salary transparency
As much as we’d like to think that if we loved our job enough, money wouldn’t matter, the world just doesn’t work like that. Especially with modern employees being empowered to ask for more money, you need to be transparent about what you offer.
Like listing the price of your product, disclosing your compensation, benefits, or pay structure for a position upfront sets expectations early on. It helps someone determine whether or not they are “qualified”; in other words, whether they want to work for you.
A recent Inc. magazine article also shared that salary transparency “...is a display of integrity and mutual respect, which builds confidence and instills trust… It creates a more positive company culture where staff trust that their employer respects them-- and with that, values them and their time. And with that, they are more likely to remain happily employed at their company.”
In this video, for example, a member of their team does a deep dive into how their drivers are paid at the company:
3. Show them a higher purpose
But it’s not all about money.
According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, 70% of employed adults today are currently engaged in a job search, either actively or passively. That means something is missing with their current employer.
For millennials, who now make up the majority of the workforce, 80% want to know they are doing meaningful work if their pay needs are not being met. That means they are looking for work that aligns with their values and gives them a sense of purpose.
When it comes to attracting talent, ask yourself what is your business’s greater mission? What is it trying to accomplish in the world beyond selling its products or services?
For example, at IMPACT, our offering is marketing and sales mastery, but our purpose is to “Create heroes, grow businesses, and change lives.” Everything we do and may want to do in the future will be in this pursuit.
4. Show what to expect from your interview process
Just as a buyer may be reluctant to fill out a form on your website because they do not know what to expect yet, some candidates may be a little uneasy about applying to work for you if they don’t know what to expect from the interview process.
Even if it’s not so much that they are nervous, perhaps they have time constraints or other considerations that make them think twice.
Try sharing an overview of your interview process through an initial email, connect call, or even your careers page.
Pro Tip: Implement a low-risk screening round in your hiring or recruiting process. This could be a phone call or perhaps a video call, but either way, it’s a more casual, short opportunity for you to determine if you want to continue on with this person.
Being open about what they can expect in terms of process and timeline shows that you’re a transparent and trustworthy company, and allows candidates to decide if they’re interested in continuing.
The page offers both quick and detailed information about the steps of their hiring process, but those interested can go even deeper by downloading their “virtual interview guide.”
5. Include a practical exercise/activity
During interviews and on applications, everyone puts forth their best effort, but let’s be honest, not everything is as good as it looks on paper. Some people can be great interviewees and then fail to deliver once they’re actually on the team.
We’ve found the best way to avoid this is by including a practical exercise or activity in your hiring process.
If they’re applying for a customer service or account management position, simulate a difficult conversation with a customer. If you’re hiring a videographer, have them shoot and edit a short video. If you’re hiring a content team member, have them write an article.
Overall, you want to include something that will give you a glimpse into how the candidate will actually perform on the job rather than relying on gut feelings, references, resumé, or carefully curated portfolios.
From their perspective, this will also give them an opportunity to see what kind of work they will be involved in and the standards you’re looking for.
Another small, but important piece of attracting and hiring great talent is casting a wide net by distributing your job listing. In addition to your own website, consider posting your available positions:
On social media. LinkedIn and Facebook both have options to post jobs on your company pages. This also enables people to easily share them to their networks, further expanding your reach.
On job sites such as Indeed.com, CareerBuilder, and Monster. These sites are popular for job hunters and should get your listing in front of a wide audience.
In online communities and forums. If you’re in a niche industry, sharing your job posting in relevant communities and forums will give you a direct line to a more qualified and interested audience.
Overall, do your research and due diligence to get your job listing in front of the audiences you seek. This is also something to keep in mind if you are trying to diversify your team.
Though many options mentioned will reach underrepresented groups as well, dedicated groups or job boards (i.e., Power to Fly, Black Jobs, and Diversity Jobs) will broaden the focus even more.
7. Stay true to your company
This last point is more of a reminder than anything: Stay true to your company and its values.
Don’t simply include benefits or flashy language because you think they’ll catch the fancy of the job market.
Make your job listing, career page, interview, et cetera, a true reflection of what it’s like to work at your company, what you believe, and what you expect from the role at hand.
At IMPACT, for example, our CEO Bob Ruffolo always makes it a point to say, "IMPACT is a challenging place to work, and it's not for everyone." This kind of candor is the only way to truly find someone who is the right fit for your company and your goals.
Finding your next best hire
With these tips in hand, you’re well equipped to start shaping a hiring and recruiting process that will attract great talent in this competitive market.
But remember, while these can help you get more people in the door, they’re only worthwhile if they’re the right people.
Before you start implementing them, make sure you know what you really need to be successful in your hire from the get-go.
To uncover this, start by forming a hiring committee.
Everyone has biases and blindspots. Having a small group of leaders from different backgrounds and different areas of the company (e.g., someone on the team hiring, the prospective manager, someone from leadership — the CEO, if possible), helps you cover all of your bases and capture many different perspectives on what this role needs to accomplish.
Once you’ve assembled your hiring committee, get them aligned on what a great hire looks like. Make a list of the traits and skills they should have and what they would be responsible for. From here, create your job description and listing and get to work on the tips we shared.