With millions of jobs to fill in the skilled trades workforce and a short supply of qualified candidates to choose from, the competition is tough in landing prospects. How can your business differentiate itself from the competition and create demand for your open positions?
Create a Positive Brand Image
In today’s competitive marketplace, brand equity can go a long way. Your brand not only explains who you are and what you do, but it is also your promise to customers—and your first customers are, in fact, your employees. We’ve all seen the Best Places to Work or Happiest Employees lists that draw attention for their annual releases. These ratings cover all aspects of the employee experience, from compensation and benefits to attitudes about leadership and job satisfaction.
Two other factors that help to shape your brand are diversity and authenticity. Today’s employment prospects want to be in a diverse environment where ideas and differences such as culture, race and gender are embraced as benefits that create a more enriching work experience. Authenticity, or truth in in how your organization operates in alignment with your brand, is important to maintain integrity that spans throughout the business and flows through the day-to-day operations of employees. These three factors help to create a positive brand image that resonates throughout the marketplace, helping to attract candidate that align with these company values.
Be Aware of Glassdoor Ratings
Glassdoor, one of the fastest-growing job seeker websites, is a go-to tool for researching possible employers. Its database contains more than 8 million company reviews—from current and former employees—that rate the CEO and provide information on salary, benefits, culture and work-life balance. This site provides valuable insight into how employees feel about their jobs and delivers valuable feedback from their perspective of working for your company.
Staying on top of Glassdoor reviews helps businesses to understand what’s working and not working for employees, as well as reveal hindrances to recruiting the best talent. Creating a strategy that regularly evaluates reviews on this site and creates an environment that results in favorable feedback enables you to create competition for job vacancies.
LinkedIn’s professional network reigns as the world’s largest talent pool boasting more than 414 million registered members from 200 countries. Its broad reach can be leveraged to extend your brand reputation in multiple facets – across specific industries, cross-industry, by job roles and titles, and by region.
LinkedIn differs from Glassdoor in that it does not provide ratings and reviews for companies. But, its powerful networking functionality makes it possible for job seekers to connect directly with current and former employees to learn more about your company and the truth of its reputation. It can also be used to generate buzz about open positions throughout company and individual networks to woo top prospects and attract skilled talent who may find a better fit with your company than their current employer. LinkedIn also offers several professional services, including help setting up your company career page.
Publicize Company Perks
Perks work. They are especially appealing to younger generations that crave benefits beyond 401(k) and medical and dental offerings. In many cases, the perks an employer offers are indicative of the company culture, which today’s job prospects review these very carefully during the job hunting process (see below).
In a 2014 poll, Forbes writer Kate Harrison asked employees to list their favorite company perks. Responses included game rooms, on-site fitness centers, free food, gym and spa memberships, company retreats, free magazine and online entertainment subscriptions and services such as pet-sitting and babysitting. Other companies offer college tuition reimbursement, sabbaticals and compressed work weeks. While your company may not to be able to afford multiple perks, promoting those you do have in the job description and throughout career sites goes a long way in attracting candidates.
Offer a Work/Life Balance
Millennials are surpassing the Baby Boomers as the largest cohort in the workforce, and if you want to not only attract them but also retain them, you should know that flexibility in how and where they work is at the top of their list for job requirements.
The highest turnover in the workforce is from Millennials, and work-life balance is the number 1 reason why they change jobs. Unlike the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, they want flexibility in their schedules to enjoy other activities outside of work. According to Ernst & Young’s 2015 Global Generations Research report, Millennials are willing to take pay cuts, forgo promotions and relocate to manage their work-life demands better. If that flexibility does not exist, they have no problem searching for new employers that do provide this flexibility.
Note that Millennials place a high value on paid parental leave, 48 percent of them taking the allowable time given them. However, according to the Families and Work Institute’s National Study of Employers, only 9 percent of U.S. companies offered fully paid maternity-leave benefits of up to 12 weeks. Its worth considering your policies and making sure these benefits are publicized if this is a pool you would like to recruit from.
Define Your Company Culture
Do you know how to define or characterize your company culture? If not, you may attract talent that’s not the best fit for your organization. Your HR and hiring managers will spend more time weeding through prospects that would save both your time and theirs had they better understood the working environment.
It’s easy to take for granted that a field service worker, for example, will know that they may spend hours in the sun or a dispatcher knows they’ll spend many hours at the computer. But what does your business offer to make these jobs worth the dedication? If the company encourages employees to be promoted within the company, provides career education to help them do so and provides rewards for new ideas, put it out there. You’ll likely receive applications and resumes from career-minded professionals who are willing to commit to your company long term.
Finally, the best place to provide prospects with a glimpse of your company culture is your website. Many companies today have fun and interactive sites that reflect their work environments, from dress codes and specialty perks to modern workstations and company leaders. Take the time to review your website and your career page in particular. Doing so will not only help you to attract candidates, but it will also ensure that you hire the right people to fit the open positions you seek to fill.