Using social media in recruitment attraction campaigns

Using social media in recruitment attraction campaigns

Making the most of your employer brand on social media

The heart of recruitment is still rooted in human connection and interaction, despite being increasingly based online. Initial conversations are frequently taking place over digital mediums such as LinkedIn InMail and messenger apps. However, the emphasis is still on people themselves. If anything, using social media in recruitment can make this connection even easier.

Thanks to social platforms and individual profiles, qualified candidates can now be contacted and sourced with relative ease. At the click of a button, a recruiter can access a candidate’s entire work history and qualifications. Similarly, the candidate can access the employer’s social media profile. So, if your company is scanning candidates profiles, you can be confident they’re doing the same to your company.

The moral of the story

Apart from your company’s website, your social media is the best representation of your company a candidate will find. According to research, 59% of candidates use social media to research companies they are interested in. So, not only should it accurately represent your company, but it should also do an excellent job of communicating your employer brand and company culture.

Your social media pages are essentially a recruitment marketing tool. In this candidate-driven market, no company can expect to neglect their online presence and not feel the consequences when it comes to recruitment. Active candidates have plenty of choices when it comes to their next role. Passive candidates need to be persuaded to leave their current position for something else.

So, your social media presence should be treated as a representation of your company’s values. If utilised well, it should place your company ahead of the competition.

How should you use social media?

The benefit of social media is that it’s a relatively affordable way to communicate with candidates. One post can reach a vast amount of people.

So, it’s crucial that your company has something to say that makes you stand out from the crowd. The message your social media puts across can be the defining factor that secures you an interview with a candidate or not. Therefore, it’s important that your company has a clearly defined employee value proposition and tone of voice.

This means that when utilising social media to promote your employer brand, you need to write as though you are speaking directly to candidates. This is just one of the ways in which you can utilise social media as a tool for connecting with talent. After all, communication isn’t just about direct messaging. Sometimes, communication is subtle.

For example, when celebrating an employee’s birthday within the office, use your social media to document the day. This can indirectly communicate to potential applicants your company’s commitment to celebrating and valuing each employee. Instagram is a fantastic tool for delivering a fly-on-the-wall perspective into your company culture. As they say, a picture can speak a thousand words.

The art of social media is in keeping your message beneath the surface

If candidates can see through your words, they are less likely to pay attention. However, if they are genuinely intrigued and interested in your content, they will ultimately take in your message.

So, social media can be used as a great way to build up a relationship with potential talent and earn their trust. If you practice what you preach in your employee value proposition, then your social media should be a place to document and celebrate this.

For example, sharing the progress of your staff members is a great way to tell prospective candidates that the same opportunities could be available to them.

Then, when it comes to posting your job openings on social media, your audience should already be on the lookout for opportunities within your company. By doing the majority of the work before a vacancy goes live you can help to make sure that the right people see your job postings.

How often should you use social media for recruitment attraction?

Recruitment attraction campaigns should not just start and end with specific vacancies. Rather, recruitment attraction is a constant campaign. Developing a trusting relationship with potential talent takes time and consistency. One post here and there won’t cut it. Instead, make recruitment attraction a consistent part of your social media strategy.

So, don’t just wait to chat directly to candidates and applicants. Make connecting with all potential talent a priority. After all, great talent is worth the time and effort. According to research, “almost half of recruiters utilising social media recruiting strategies report improvement in both the quantity and quality of candidates.”

If you invest in a consistent social media recruitment strategy that portrays what your company has to offer, you will inevitably attract the right people. Talent attraction requires a recruitment strategy that goes above and beyond a job advertisement. Every post counts, so get started now.

To inspire you, here are some examples of other companies who utilise their social media platforms for recruitment attraction:

Marriott

Microsoft

Salesforce

Dell

Optimise your content to attract talent

Content marketing is used by some of the most prominent organisations in the world, for both digital marketing purposes and talent attraction campaigns.

Content is integral to the future of digital marketing. It can be defined as “marketing that tries to attract customers by distributing informational content potentially useful to the target audience, rather than by advertising products and services.”

Examples of content marketing include blog posts, infographics, videos, vlogs and podcasts.

Content marketing is gaining in popularity

Content marketing works by gaining the trust of the audience, providing relevant and valuable media on topics which benefit them. As a result, the audience learns to consider the company a trustworthy source of information. So, when they need the services your business provides, you are already at the forefront of their mind.

As such, content marketing can also be used as part of your employer branding strategy. Candidates put in significant research into employers before they even apply for a role. As the current market is candidate-driven, job seekers have every reason to do their research. The pick of the market is theirs. So, employers need to build an audience over time, not just when they are actively recruiting.

This is where a content marketing strategy comes in.

Why is content marketing so powerful?

Trust is the key here.

Content is powerful because, if it is consistent, it builds a relationship between the audience and the company.

For example, blogs that discuss different elements of your industry with knowledge and precision indirectly promotes your company’s expertise. Similarly, posts which discuss your employer brand and company culture which are not specifically attached to any live vacancies indirectly promote your company as an employer.

So, content can be a great way to build up a relationship with future talent. The more content you produce, the stronger your relationship gets. So, when they’re ready to look for their next opportunity, they are already aware of the opportunities available with your company.

How can you optimise your content?

Ensure that your content is high quality

This might seem obvious, but the topic, research and writing should be engaging and thorough. Simple mistakes such as typos and grammatical errors could put your reader off.

Keep it concise

Great content is aware of its audience. So, keep it to a reasonable length. Your content should convey the message but not turn the reader off by being too long. The aim should be to make it as easy to read as possible for your target audience.

Research your topic thoroughly

If content marketing is all about creating trust, then it can also be just as effective at creating a lack of trust. However, this will only happen if your content isn’t up to scratch and doesn’t utilise research properly. Candidates want to be reassured that you are a leader in your field. So, make sure you cite research to back up your content.

Often, it’s better to publish nothing at all than to create content which contains errors or isn’t adequately researched.

Utilise formatting

Several techniques can be extremely effective when making your content easy to read. For example, bullet points, headers, short paragraphs and short sentences. Your content should be easy to scan, for readers who want to find the information they need quickly.

Make sure you have a voice

When discussing a subject with different viewpoints, take up a position and give your content purpose. However, back it up, and discuss the other position just as thoroughly. Research shows that candidates want to know about your company values before applying.

Keywords are your friend

You can use social media and email campaigns to promote your content.

However, for the best optimisation you want to target people who have a question and need your company to answer it for them.

Imagine, someone googles “women in tech companies.” They want to find information on tech companies who have a high number of female employees and compile a list of those they’re interested in working for. If you have a back catalogue of content on women in tech, filled with the relevant keywords for that topic, you will rank highly on Google and be easy to find.

Better yet, create a piece of content on a topic that has not yet been widely discussed. Not only will you rank highly as there is little competition, but you are more likely to capture attention.

So, to sum up

Ultimately, while keeping the above points in mind, what matters most is that your content is high quality. Write your article first, then make sure it contains the relevant keywords for optimisation. Writing it the other way around will make for a clunky, poorly written article.

Use headers and formatting that makes it easy to read but use these tools to optimise the article itself. Don’t write an article around these rules. Instead, let them improve what’s already there.

Most importantly, answer the candidate’s question. If you provide an answer, your content will be relevant and engaging. Should it do a good job of providing that answer, it is likely to rank highly because it is, quite simply, quality content. Everything else is a bonus.

Content is important as a marketing tool. However, it’s more important that your content is executed well. It’s not worth creating a bad relationship with potential talent. So, give your content the attention and time it needs to make a positive impact on your employer brand.

Interviews: Which questions should you be asking?

What information do you need to hear?

So, you’ve invested heavily in your employer brand. Your marketing and social media strategies are attracting the candidates you want. Now, it’s interview time. However, they are also interviewing you. This is a two-way street.

While you need to find out if they are the right candidate for you, they want to know if this is the right role for them. Due to high employment levels, the jobs market is currently candidate driven. This means that candidates are more in demand than jobs are. Therefore, candidates can be highly selective when choosing their next role. The interview is probably the most important part of their selection process.

What sort of questions are good questions?

Many job interview questions are now so common that candidates can google “interview questions” and find a list that they can prepare themselves for. While some of these might be valid, if your interview technique utilises only these frequently asked questions, you will struggle to make an impression on your candidate.

Some questions might have the right intention behind them, but the response they illicit won’t tell you anything unique or specifically interesting about the candidate.

For example, questions that ask about a candidate’s “strengths” and “weaknesses”. While these are common, they tend to produce very similar answers as candidates try to find the best way to answer while painting themselves in the best light. Instead, try asking questions that engage the candidate, provoke conversation and encourage them to be honest.

What sort of questions should be avoided?

Steer away from closed questions. For example, questions that only illicit either a yes or no response. Rephrase to engage with the candidate’s thought processes.

On this note, avoid questions that ask far too much. “When are you planning to have a family?” is asked more often than you’d think and is both entirely inappropriate and illegal. These days, with social media, disgruntled candidates can share information and experiences extremely quickly. Any question which probes too far into a candidate’s personal life will land your company in hot water and ensure you turn the candidate, and other potential candidates, right off.

Instead of focusing on the question itself, think about what you want the question to reveal. Then, craft the question based on what you’re trying to understand. Essentially, a bad question is shallow. It is easy to answer and doesn’t require the candidate to think.

For example, “what makes good customer service?” This is an overused question which is likely to produce a similar answer from each candidate.

What can be asked instead?

Surprise the candidate and provoke a much more honest response by saying, “tell me about a time when you were disappointed by the service you gave.”

This defies expectations because typically, interviews are supposed to be used by the candidate to portray themselves as well as they possibly can. However, by asking them directly about a time they’ve failed, you can gain an idea of how comfortable they are being honest. As well as this, questions they are not expecting actively test their initiative, tenacity and ability to think quickly.

The fact of the matter is, nobody is perfect.

When candidates try to portray themselves as such, it is a façade, and everyone knows it. So, instead of looking for how well a candidate can present themselves, seek to understand how they might address their own shortcomings. Ultimately, a culture of honesty promotes growth. A culture of denial stunts progression for everyone.

The questions you ask should aim to provoke authenticity to get the most accurate picture of the person. A question recommended in The EQ Interview by Adele B. Lynn asks the candidate to describe a time when they were “lost in their work in a good way.” If the candidate describes key elements of the role being interviewed for you know they could be a great fit.

Similarly, questions such as “how do you find meaning in your career?” will shine a light on what motivates them. Knowing what motivates an employee can enable a business to tailor their rewards and benefits schemes.

The answer might be as simple as “it enables me to provide a wonderful life for my family.” Or, it might be more role-specific if the candidate is particularly passionate about the work itself. Either way, a motivated employee is an excellent addition to a team.

So, what makes a good interview then?

Essentially, a good interview avoids the pitfalls hiring managers have been falling into for years. To make the best quality hire, an interview should be used as a tool to get to know the real person, rather than testing who can present themselves best.

Ultimately, if they’ve made it to the interview stage, they should have the relevant skills and experience. So, the questions you ask should go deeper than their work history and ability to perform the role if you want good answers. If the candidate shies away from questions that probe at their authenticity, that’s a red flag for hiring managers.

After all, plenty of candidates can say the right things in an interview to make them seem perfect. What makes a truly great candidate and employee is the ability to self-assess and continuously improve.

So, move away from common interview questions and answers and engage the candidate in conversation that gives you an accurate picture of who they are and how they work. Utilise a semi-structured interview to make sure that you get the information you need with questions that dig beneath the surface. However, a relatively informal set-up leaves time and space for the candidate to articulate their intention in a comfortable environment.

This is the third blog in our interview series. You can check out the previous two instalments on our blog page to get more interview tips and techniques.

Open-plan offices: Productivity winner or killer?

According to research, “the UK has twice as many open-plan offices as the global average.”

The conversation surrounding open-plan offices is widespread and often conflicting. Depending on who you talk to you get a different viewpoint. Some people say open-plan offices are the ideal environment for collaboration and creativity. Others say open-plan offices are the antithesis of productivity and it’s time for something new.

One theory as to why open-plan office designs don’t work is that they only provide their employees with one choice of working area. If a person only has one option, they will naturally want what they don’t have. So, perhaps the problem with open-plan offices isn’t the layout itself. Rather, while the design seems to provide an abundance of space, it doesn’t leave room for different preferences and ever-changing people sitting behind the desks.

Often, we need something different from one day to the next. One day, we might need the stimulus of conversation. Other days we might have a workload we need to fire through quickly and need a quiet space to concentrate in.

At Talent Works International, we recently moved into our brand-new office space in Northampton. For this space, we adopted a mostly open plan style, but with sections and break out areas.

We have small and large meeting rooms, booths for both individual and collaborative work, and desk areas for people who need screens. This means that our employees, no matter their personality type or job role, can choose to work in the space that best suits them at that moment. We felt that this was the best way to provide a space that works for everyone.

However, we wanted to discuss both the benefits and the pitfalls of open-plan offices.

Are they really the most productive workspaces?

The most obvious point against open-place offices is that they can tend to be noisy and distracting. On the opposite end of the scale, an environment in which everyone can hear everyone else might be more likely to promote quiet. Research has found that “open architecture appears to trigger a natural human response to socially withdraw from officemates and interact instead over email and IM.”

In an attempt to avoid this scenario, most offices have music playing in the background to provide consistent background noise. However, this provides a whole host of problems all on its own. People’s ideal music to work to can be a point of contention and a significant distraction. As a result, many workers in open-plan offices end up wearing headphones to provide their own background noise and block out the sounds of their colleagues.

What are the consequences for employee wellbeing?

Research shows that workers in open offices “took 62 per cent more sick days than those in fully enclosed offices.” It’s inevitable, with lots of people sharing a space, that germs will spread.

To counteract this, a flexible working policy is ideal. This enables people who are infectious yet well enough to continue working while not carrying germs into a shared space. If employees feel able to work from home while sick, they are more likely to rest, recover quickly and avoid sharing their illness with the rest of the office.

So, if everyone’s using them, why are open-plan offices so popular?

Open-plan offices, of course, save both money and space. They are ideal for an expanding workforce as room can always be found for new employees. If the atmosphere created is positive, impromptu meetings can become commonplace without the need for back to back meetings in the diary.

The collaborative atmosphere can also promote casual conversations between colleagues, creating a friendly atmosphere and encouraging healthy relationships between colleagues.

As well as this, an office which is not segmented by hierarchy or importance promotes a feeling of equality. It “knocks down the metaphorical walls between employees,” preventing some employees from shutting themselves away and levelling the playing field. So, it can be said that companies which implement the open-plan office are making a bold statement about the internal workings of the entire company.

Of course, all these factors depend on the design of the office itself, the company and the people. Each of these elements can influence the success of an open-plan office. So, while some companies might love it, some will hate it.

The best way to find out is to ask the staff. After all, happy employees are up to 20% more productive. So, it makes sense to check in and make sure the space they’re working in works for them.

Overall, however, the consensus drawn from research is that open-plan offices “stifle rather than encourage productivity.” To implement a workspace that works for everyone, perhaps a combination of open-plan with breakout spaces for quiet and privacy is the way forward. Or maybe, in a few years, we’ll all be back to cubicles and offices. Somehow, though, that seems unlikely.

Check out some images of our office in Northampton taken by Aiva, one of our talented recruiters.

Interviews: Structured, unstructured or semi-structured?

No matter your method, the candidate should always come first

In our previous blog in this interview series, we discussed the difference between competency-based and emotional intelligence interviews. In this blog, we’ll be discussing the difference between structured and unstructured job interviews, and how you can utilise both.

Interviews are not just a process during which a company gains an understanding of the relevant candidates. Rather, interviews are also an opportunity for candidates to gain insight into your company. Too often companies take their position for granted. They fail to understand that a candidate can reject your company just as easily as you can decline them. So, treat candidates the way you want to be treated.

An interview should strike a balance for both the company and the candidate. While an interview needs to assess the candidates’ capacity to fulfil the role, it should also give them a good depiction of your corporate culture. The candidate wants to be reassured that they will be accepted as part of the team and be supported.

Why does your interview style matter?

These days, businesses cannot afford to lose out on talent. The jobs market is currently 90% candidate driven. So, candidates can have their pick of employers. Therefore, the interview process is an opportunity for your company to promote itself.

This means that an entirely structured interview could come across as unwelcoming and may not be the best approach for the current climate. However, the value of a structured interview doesn’t have to be lost. Similarly, while an unstructured interview is commonly known to be free-flowing, it doesn’t have to be entirely void of purpose.

The value of a structured interview is in its capacity to provide quantitative data. This makes scoring and comparing your candidates relatively easy. The value of an unstructured interview is in its ability to provide you with an accurate assessment of the candidates’ personality and cultural fit.

While both these assessments are equally valid, a combination of the two is perhaps the safest bet.

Enter: the semi-structured interview

The semi-structured interview places both the candidate and the company at the heart of the process. To prepare, the hiring manager creates a list of interview questions they wish to ask. However, unlike structured interviews, there is no scale on which a candidate’s answer needs to fall. While this means the data gathered will be qualitative rather than quantitative, it also means there is no right or wrong answer.

This takes the pressure off the candidate and allows the hiring manager to respond spontaneously. When a structured interview relies on the candidate ticking boxes with their answer, it can sometimes result in a wrong hire. This is because the hiring manager is swayed by the data. So, they hire the candidate who said the right things, rather than following their instinctive, initial feelings.

When there is no right answer, it is not possible for a candidate to fail. This provides a safe space for the candidate to be truly honest. It also makes room for conversation to occur in the moment.

So, to semi-structure, or not?

Well, the biggest flaw with both unstructured and semi-structured interviews is that they are less objective. This is a problem if your company would like to keep strict records of interview processes. However, if this is not the case, the semi-structured interview may be the best way forward.

While some companies do utilise the entirely unstructured interview, you can’t assume that a lack of structure will enable your candidate to be comfortable. Some candidates are much more comfortable with a sense of boundaries in place.

Of course, your final decision of which interview style you land on depends on your objectives. However, Amanda, our Lead Resourcing Partner, recommends the semi-structured interview for companies who can see the benefit of both interview styles. She says the format allows for the most efficient, yet friendliest candidate experience while gaining the company the information they need.

Effectively, the moral of the story is not to stick all your eggs in one basket. Spread them out, take a little of what works from one approach, and a little of what works from another. Pay your candidate as much attention as your objectives, and you should find the happy medium you need.

This is the second blog in our interview series. Keep an eye out for the next blog in the series. We’ll be going into more detail about the type of questions you should be asking.

Interviews: Techniques to get the best from a candidate

How the right approach to interviews can help your business attract and retain talent

There is no single best way to interview a candidate. Ultimately, all the factors that come together depend on who is conducting the interview, who is being interviewed, and what the job role is. Preferences are entirely subjective. However, there are techniques which can be applied to the process to make it more effective for everyone involved.

So, which are the most effective interview techniques?

Recruiters conduct interviews with prospective candidates every day and, therefore, have invaluable experience in getting the best from candidates. So, we spoke to Talent Works’ own Lead Resourcing Partner, Amanda Harrison. She told us about the interview techniques she uses and how best to implement them into the process.

There are two main interview techniques Amanda discussed. These are competency-based interviews and emotional intelligence (EQ) interviews.

Competency-based Interviews

Competency-based questions are designed to test the candidates’ skills and, of course, their competency. These questions should give hiring managers an idea of the candidates’ ability to complete the role in the future and predict how they might react in certain situations. Competency-based questions ask candidates to reflect on how they’ve approached previous situations they’ve encountered in the workplace. They aim to assess their ability to work in a team, communicate and organise, amongst other things.

As a result, competency-based questions do tend to be generalised towards skills that are required for all jobs. However, they can be honed and made more specific depending on the job role.

Emotional intelligence interviews

Emotional intelligence (EQ) interview questions are designed to assess a candidates’ ability to understand themselves and the people around them. This gives the interviewer insight into whether the candidate is a cultural fit.

People with high emotional intelligence are more likely to be better team players, thus enhancing work relationships and performance. To assess this, an interviewer might ask who the candidate is inspired by. Or, what they have achieved that they are proud of and how they deal with stressful situations. For questions such as these, there is no right answer, but answers should give an insight into who the candidate really is. The candidates’ ability to self-assess should be a reliable indicator of emotional intelligence.

So, which method is best?

Both methods of interviewing have their downfalls. For example, competency-based questions can sometimes put the candidate on the spot or result in pre-thought out responses. Questions designed to assess emotional intelligence don’t gain the interviewer insight into the candidates’ skills and abilities. So, Amanda recommends a mixture of both techniques to obtain the best understanding of the candidate.

Alongside both types of interview technique, Amanda recommends an informal interview set up. Too much formality tends to put the candidate on edge. Uncomfortable candidates never perform their best or show their real personality. Unless, of course, the role is highly pressured and requires the successful candidate to be able to perform in stressful situations.

Should you be asking candidates to complete a task?

Alongside the interview process, many businesses ask the candidate to complete a task. However, Amanda recommends that tasks are only required when vital for a role. Even then, she suggests that what you ask the candidate to do is kept to a minimum.

When asking candidates to complete skilled work on behalf of your company, you are, effectively, asking them to complete work for free. It is entirely possible to ask candidates to complete a skill-based task which does not take up a significant amount of their time. By not respecting their time and capabilities, you risk putting them off the role and losing out on qualified talent.

Ultimately, the purpose of an interview is to get to know your candidate better and establish that they can undertake the job role effectively. So, utilising interview techniques that allow them to be themselves, while also gaining insight on their skill set, is the most effective way to find the best talent for your business. An interview which combines these techniques to produce the desired result is the best outcome for both your business and the applicant.

Candidates want to feel supported throughout the process. These days, businesses need to implement talent attraction techniques to secure the best people for their roles. A good or bad interview can be the deciding factor for a candidate when choosing whether to work with your company.

So, ensure your approach is both welcoming and comfortable, while also getting to the heart of who the candidate is. After all, you’re not just interviewing them. They are interviewing you.

This is the first blog in our interview series. Keep an eye out for the next blog in the series. We’ll be going into more detail about the benefits of structured, unstructured, formal and informal interviews.

Entry-level positions: how to ensure longevity

Retention strategies for early-career employees

Expectations that entry-level employees are only looking to join a company for the short-term can ultimately cause a self-fulfilling prophecy. If employers see no need to invest in people because they expect them to leave, those employees will inevitably leave. Often, this expectation is false, making the outcome avoidable. When workers are happy in their workplace, with plenty of scope for career development, they are more likely to stay with a company longer.

Adversely, some employers may not incentivise early-career employees because they underestimate their options when moving on in their career. However, employers need to consider the current candidate driven market. As it stands, candidates are choosing employers and not the other way around. So, employers don’t just need to attract the best talent to their workforce. They need to have a plan in place as to how to best work with and retain each employee.

Evidence shows that “the most difficult employees to retain are those in entry-level positions.” However, recruitment is costly. According to research, the US retail industry lost “approximately 9 billion dollars to entry-level turnover.”

As such, employers should be implementing retention strategies targeted towards their entry-level employees. After all, a happier, more committed workforce provide a better service to clients, are “more productive and stay longer.”

Making the most of your early-career employees is clearly a win-win situation. So, we’ve put together some ideas of strategies you can implement to incentivise and, ultimately, retain your entry-level employees.

Set out a development plan

Implementing a development plan sets clear goals for employee growth. This gives the employee a set time frame to work within and gives their manager a method for supporting them in this development. It might be that the employee needs to upskill in certain areas to meet these goals. In this case, the company may be able to provide training.

Supporting employees in this way gives them the capacity to step up to greater responsibility when the time comes. It will also mean that you haven’t left it too late to train and upskill them to the correct standard. In turn, investing in your employees gives them a sense of being valued. It also increases productivity as “people are generally motivated by self-development“.

Implement a mentorship scheme

Mentorship provides a safe space for employees to go to for advice, development and encouragement. Knowing who they can go to when they have questions means they don’t have to risk feeling awkward and remaining silent instead of speaking up. Research shows that “employees who experience mentoring are retained.”

These 1-2-1’s, in turn, create a culture of honesty and openness. As a result, individual employees feel able to thrive and have their voices heard. Mentorship also provides a positive framework for giving constructive feedback, enabling workers to improve in their job roles.

Create a positive work environment

A negative work environment permeates the entire workplace. Cultivating a company culture defined by openness can help to create a positive environment. However, there are other benefits you can implement to make sure that your work environment is somewhere employees want to return to every day.

Many companies are now implementing flexible working schemes. For example, flexible start and finish times, time off in lieu and the capacity to work from home. These benefits encourage job autonomy, trust and better work-life balance. When employees aren’t micromanaged, and their personal life is respected, they feel they have the freedom to take ownership of and do well at their job.

Provide opportunities for career growth

If the entry-level jobs in your company are stagnant, employees will be forced to move on so that they can grow and expand in their career. Providing them with opportunities to take on more responsibilities gives them the space to grow within your company.

Creating a plan for the growth of a role can occur before a vacancy even goes live. This approach allows the hiring manager to encourage candidates during the interview stage that this is a long-term position. When candidates know from the start that you plan to develop them you are likely to have a much better pick of candidates. As well as this, the successful candidate will know on starting the position that the company has a long-term strategy in place.

Compensate employees effectively

Compensating employees who are doing particularly well will let them know that they are valued. If you do not compensate them, they will gain their experience in your company. Then, they will take what they’ve learned somewhere else.

Small companies may not have the budgets of larger ones, but there are still benefits that can be implemented. For example, competitive rates for overtime ensures that employees feel their contribution is valued, especially when they work late.

Not all benefits have to be financial and providing your employees with a generous healthcare package can give them a sense of security. Or, a sponsored holiday can help build camaraderie and teamwork.

To encourage longevity from your early-career employees, you must provide them with a workplace which enables them to envision the rest of their career. If they are assured that their next steps will be taken care of within your company, they will have no need to look elsewhere.

As the saying goes, you only get out what you put in. Employees you invest in will invest back into your company. So, avoid the presumption that entry-level workers are looking to gain experience and move on. Value their contribution and make them want to stay.

Ethical attraction for top choice employers

These days, ethics are powerful. The market is candidate rich, so, employers have tough competition. Therefore, a company which stands for something can cut through the noise.

Think about how negative press attention can damage a company’s reputation. Well, the opposite is true as well. Implementing an ethical philosophy and strategy within your business will keep your reputation exactly where you want it to be and promote sustainable development.

With unemployment “estimated at 3.9%”, a strong employer brand is hugely important. Managing your employer brand is all about communication. How you communicate with your workforce, your clients, and your prospective candidates about what your company has to offer.

Sometimes, companies make the mistake of thinking that what they have to offer only benefits their employees. However, businesses are increasingly being held accountable for their principles, and their responsibility to give back.

Who’s demanding this change?

This is partly due to the influx of millennial talent shaking up the workplace with a culture built on emotional intelligence. We are in a time of increasing engagement with, and awareness of the world around us. Research shows that millennials are more likely to choose employment with “workplaces with social purpose.

As well as this, in society, there is an increasing cry for action on topics with environmental impacts, such as climate change. This is especially true for large organisations. Such businesses are more likely to be asked to take responsibility for being part of global change.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is defined as the ethical principles that ought to govern the relationship between the corporation and society. Of course, it is valid to question whether corporations really do have a responsibility to their communities. However, CSR benefits, not just the local community in which an organisation is based, but the corporation itself.

So, what are the benefits of incorporating a CSR programme for your employer brand?

Attract high-quality candidates

According to Talent Economy, millennials have high expectations for the actions of business when it comes to social purpose and accountability. They want to work for companies that uphold these values. Therefore, CSR strategies are an integral part of any company’s employer branding and talent attraction campaigns. This is especially true if they want to appeal to new, up and coming talent entering the workplace.

Millennials may be leading the way on social action. However, across the board there is an upward trend toward enterprises that place ethics and ethical business practices at their core. Candidates want to gain a sense of purpose from their work. This may even be the reason they are looking to leave their current position.

As such, you can beat the competition for high-quality candidates. Your employer branding should communicate, before they even interview, that your company is a frontrunner when it comes to giving back.

Establishes your voice

Maybe you want to fund extra-curricular classes for young people in the community, or you want to sponsor a local event. You could donate the time of your employees to local charities. Or, you could focus your CSR efforts on environmental sustainability and focus on reducing waste.

Whatever your company chooses to do establishes your company’s voice. Establishing your voice can be a fantastic way of engaging prospective candidates and giving a sneak peek into your company culture.

Providing job seekers with this look inside your corporate culture allows them to assess whether they share the values of the company. Therefore, they can analyse whether they are a good fit. This can lead to much more quality hires and better retention rates.

Engages employees

Research has shown that millennials would take a pay cut and be more loyal to a company which provides them with the opportunity to contribute to social and environmental issues. By being a responsible business, which actively engages its employees in CSR initiatives, employers can engage employees and increase morale.

The benefits of a happy workforce are well known, promoting productivity, creativity, retention and boosting profits.

Generate positive publicity

Patagonia has had a remarkable employer brand for many years. In a candidate-driven market, Patagonia has their pick of the talent pool. They are leading the way with paid environmental internships and incentives for travelling to work in a way other than driving. Having such a strong employer brand with an emphasis on environmental consciousness results in just a 6% voluntary turnover rate among full-time employees.

CSR and ethical initiatives are not new concepts in the workplace. However, they are increasingly gaining relevance. More and more employees want their employer to take responsibility, to play their part in sustaining the environment and creating social change.

Your company doesn’t have to be an expert in a topic to play a part in advancing the cause. As well as the employment and economic benefits, being an ethical, forward-thinking employer feels good all round and creates a great atmosphere.

The best candidates have their pick of the top companies. So, let your reputation in ethical issues precede you. As a result, when it comes to the crunch, your company should already be at the top of the list.

5 steps to building a multi-brand EVP

What is an EVP?

Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) defines why your company is different to others you might be competing with for candidates. Katharine Newton, Head of Insight at Talent Works, defines an EVP as a compelling description of the most defining and differentiating aspects of what an organisation offers, and what’s expected of employees in return.

TWI has spent years supporting companies throughout their recruitment processes. This includes helping them develop their EVPs.

Why can developing an EVP prove difficult?

Your EVP should be easily understandable for candidates, but also something employees across the whole organisation can relate to. It should communicate what the overall organisation stands for. However, it should also show them what to expect day to day within the specific sub-brand that they are considering working for.

Large organisations, with multiple sub-brands, can find developing an EVP that works for all especially challenging. Yet, it’s these employers who are struggling the most to find the talent they need.

Defining an EVP is a product of multiple components, which include:

  • The internal positives of working for an organisation
  • The rewards & recognition offered
  • The internal positives that set the business apart
  • How employees are expected to contribute
  • The values and ways of working
  • Senior stakeholders aspirations for the employee experience

Why is a good EVP so important?

Globally, 45% of organisations are struggling to find the talent they need. This is the highest global talent shortage in twelve years and means that we are in the middle of a talent crisis. Research links the shortage to a rise in technological developments and economic prosperity.

Technology is transforming the way we work. Therefore, vacancies require new skills that the workforce isn’t fully equipped with yet, and many markets are nearing full employment. As well as this, organisations in a wide range of countries are buoyed by a steadily strengthening economy. Resultingly, they are increasing their headcount, adding further pressure to the talent shortage crisis. Hardly any country is immune, and companies of all sizes are struggling.

Candidates are in the driving seat

67% of large companies report hiring challenges. Nearly a quarter of businesses say they’re having more difficulty hiring now than a year ago. 35% of businesses cite a lack of applicants as their biggest challenge. As a result, it’s not employers choosing candidates anymore, its candidates choosing employers. According to research and HR professionals everyday experience, the job market is 90% candidate driven. As such, just-in-time recruitment no longer cuts it.

Nowadays, for firms to catch the eye of appropriate candidates, they need to market their offering. This means nurturing their employer brand and work environment, which shapes the candidate’s perception of the entire employee experience. They need to promote their company culture, career development opportunities and provide compelling stories about what it’s like to work for them. The days of simply posting job vacancies are over. However, in terms of employer marketing, a significant gap between a promise and the reality is a sure-fire route to new hire disappointment, and reduced employee engagement.

A 5-step guide to building a multi-brand EVP

So, drawing on our experience in supporting companies with their employer brand management, we have developed this 5-step guide to developing a strong EVP.

  1. Identify, through an extensive and engaging programme of employee research, what’s common to the different brands within your organisation, and what’s unique.
  2. Define the overall corporate brand.
  3. Using the common themes identified during the research phase, and your corporate purpose, develop an overarching statement. At this stage, keep it simple. Don’t try to be all things to all people.
  4. Define each individual brand and sit these definitions alongside the overarching statement.
  5. Test the EVP with the target audience. This can be either at a rough concept stage or near execution. It can also be done either through qualitative or quantitative research. An EVP that’s been informed by a thorough programme of research should work for 90% of the target population. Then, test it again after launching to ensure it has accomplished what you set out to achieve.

This process will produce a balanced EVP which is broad enough to incorporate all the brands, with a clear higher-level narrative at its heart. Developing a multi-brand EVP that works for candidates and existing employees is challenging. However, with these five building blocks, it is not impossible. A strong employer brand is, however, vital to stand out while the current talent shortage continues to cause businesses hiring problems. Therefore, a thoroughly researched and well communicated EVP can enable you to attract the right talent to work for your company and help promote employee retention.

Katharine Newton is Head of Insight at Talent Works International (TWI). TWI is a global talent communications firm that helps organisations around the world build effective and efficient talent strategies through our research, sourcing and creative teams. For more information, contact: Katharine.newton@talent-works.com