Recruiting new employees is a crucial element of any successful business, but it’s not just about bringing on potential hires. It’s also important to garner top talent and those with a propensity for moving the business forward.
Of course, it’s no small feat enticing new candidates to join your operation, especially in today’s market and in certain industries where labor shortages are a reality. As if that wasn’t enough, everyone has to contend with the pandemic and the new distanced way of doing things, particularly through remote work.
How can you market your business to the next generation or an up-and-coming wave of new hires? What are some changes you can make to create a more welcoming and desirable workplace?
Mind Your Reputation
Like it or not, your business and upper management, including you, are going to develop a reputation. That reputation will be visible both inside and outside the company, and that’s true no matter what an organization does to stem the flow of information that’s shared.
This information could be shared openly through social media and professional communities like Glassdoor, Quora, Crunchbase, Indeed, LinkedIn, and many others.
Some 86% of consumers across all age groups read reviews for local businesses. Furthermore, 95% of millennials read them, and 91% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. People tend to base their decisions upon reviews, and they also have an impact on SEO (search engine optimization) ratings.
It’s important to acknowledge that a reputation can and does form, and also how the information is disseminated internally and externally. You must remain conscious about this information, as well as your public image. Negative details are always going to surface at one time or another, but you should be doing everything you can to put forth the best your organization has to offer.
Regular updates from a CEO, founder, or upper management can help turn the tides, as can community-oriented and social movements, particularly those that give back to local communities and support the environment.
Encourage Innovation and Growth
Unique ideas are challenging to embrace because they can either turn out to be positive or negative events. When they are negative, a business can take a hit financially and to their brand image.
The point here is just that change can be frightening, especially for executives who have been doing things a certain way for years, maybe even decades. However, a business cannot continue to grow when it stifles innovation and change, including among employees and top talent. Potential new hires can see this, and they understand what’s happening within a company’s ranks.
If you are not allowing your employees to enact change or make a difference, a lot of candidates are going to walk away. Many from the younger generations are chasing opportunities where they can truly make an impact.
Reward Your Team(s)
When an employee goes above and beyond, are they ignored, do they get a pat on the back, or are they rewarded handsomely? The reaction can significantly impact productivity, ambition, and morale within your company — and, by proxy, it will affect new candidates, too.
Discover and establish new ways to reward your employees for their hard work and successes. There are the tried-and-true methods, of course, like bonuses, promotions, and trophies, but there are also unique opportunities. You might host a live event to encourage and support your best earners. You might offer an all-expenses-paid vacation or a pre-paid dinner out with their family.
New hires will see this happening or hear about it, and it will draw them into your available opportunities.
Parallel to providing rewards and opportunities for growth is the creation of additional perks. These are beneficial things that often align with the office dynamic, improving things like productivity, social interactions, and employee wellness.
Issuing standing desks to an entire department is one example. Offering creative and shared spaces for various teams to work is another. Smart lighting, with the option to fully control scenes, colors, and brightness, is yet another.
Perks might also include on-site cafes or eateries, amenities like a gym, pool, or day care, and much more. Everything from air quality to room color and beyond could be considered a perk, depending on the workplace. Benefits for a family, such as a spouse or children, can also be excellent perks. Even something common, like life insurance, could provide some welcome peace-of-mind for team members with loved ones to think about.
New hires are always interested in these perks and what it means for their overall experience. The more perks, the more likely it is they will sign on, especially if they believe it’s going to improve their workdays and lifestyles.
A colorful job description is one way to attract talent, but it’s not a valid strategy for retaining it. After signing on with the company, people will realize quickly whether you presented a truthful representation or something more fantastical.
It’s better to be genuine and honest. Remain candid about the growth and opportunities available, but be clear about responsibilities and work. It’s always a good idea to mention the amenities and benefits available, but just because they exist doesn’t mean they are accessible. Someone with a 70- or 80-hour workweek is not going to have time to visit the on-site gym.
Establish Top-Notch Training
In a perfect world, finding the ideal candidate is always possible. More than likely, that’s not going to happen often, if at all. Instead, you should focus on a foundation or baseline, which can be improved through solid training.
It then becomes critical to provide that training and continue building on what’s available so that teams and employees grow stronger and more skilled over time. This has the added benefit of giving back to potential candidates. Yes, they might be signing on with a company to work and provide support, but they’re also gaining invaluable knowledge and skills.
Leverage and Encourage Team Bonds
It never works well when you try to force relationships or put forth the idea that your teams are “like family” when they are not. After people sign on, they realize almost instantly how the dynamic is within the office or workplace.
Building strong bonds and relationships is key to having a reliable and productive team. Create spaces that are conducive to creativity and collaboration, and then find ways to encourage these genuine human interactions.
Host a happy hour every Friday night, for example, after work has finished. Host regular events, field days, gatherings, or even celebrations that include the various teams and departments. Competitions can also be a lively and fun event, with proper rewards for the victor.
Many organizations have also found that buddy or ambassador programs help boost new hire and onboarding program proficiency.
New hires and potential candidates will relish the opportunity to participate in these kinds of events and experiences, and they’ll want to become part of the dynamic.
Don’t Forget Your Biggest Asset
While many of these strategies are important for improving the hire rate of new and potential candidates, there is one weapon in your arsenal that will always be the most important: your existing employees.
Word-of-mouth buzz and employee satisfaction can help frame the positivity and success of your brand, both internally and externally. The happier your employees are, the more positively they’ll speak about your organization, its products, and their own responsibilities. This creates a wave of positive information that can significantly impact your brand’s reputation.
Of course, the strategies laid out here are also important, including perks, rewards, the company’s reputation, regular innovation and growth, and team relationships. Focus on all of these things to develop a happy and productive workplace and a desirable opportunity for potential candidates.