3 Steps To Hiring Success (Nearly) Every Time
The hiring process is undergoing a radical transformation. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels provide an exponentially increased opportunity to promote your brand.
But few HR managers and professionals realize that internal behavior must align with the new strategic directions to implement successful tactics. That’s a mouthful of buzzspeak to make a simple statement: Our processes need to be reevaluated to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.
The biggest (and most important) revolution is for HR to learn to sell. I'm not talking about selling your products or services. I'm talking about actively selling your organization and its employer brand.
These simple steps will help you effectively sell your brand to even the hottest talent.
1. Physician, Know Thyself
When is the last time you went through your own website? How about your application process? Does your company have official social media channels? If not, how are you participating in the conversations that are happening online?
The forthcoming generation of job seekers expects your hiring process to be as simple as purchasing an item from Amazon. How does your employment application process stack up against the ease of Amazon’s one-click purchasing?
Identify and work to eliminate any pain points in your hiring process. This will improve the brand experience for everyone who interacts with your company.
Quick Tip: Google Alerts are your friends. Set up an alert with the name of your organization and automagically receive a notification any time anyone posts something about your business.
2. Insert Awesome Training Montage Here (80’s Rock Anthem Optional)
Training hiring managers on key company and product differentiators is an essential step in attracting the right candidates for your organization. A focus on ongoing training initiatives is just as important as compensation packages to keep retention up. Do your training managers know your organization’s vision statement? Your benefit statement?
Your team needs to be able to convey your organization’s brand and commitment to its employees inside and out. Consider regular training classes to make sure your team can articulate the values.
3. Get Busy Selling or Get Busy Dying
One of the most common mistakes I watch companies make is not taking the time to sell their brand in the easiest way possible: through their hiring process.
Social referrals are key to both building your brand and ensuring quality applicant flow. 79% of job seekers use social media in their job search, according to Inc.com. What are you doing to help build a positive brand experience through your application process that people will want to share with others?
Are you contacting every applicant (hopefully not manually) to let them know the position they have applied for has been filled? Are you offering qualified candidates any sort of incentive to either show your company patronage in the future or share their experience socially, regardless of whether they got the job or not?
Let’s give an example: in marketing, there is a technique called a Call To Action (CTA). We use this when we want a person interacting with you to do something. The CTA might be to download a book or white paper, or to click on a social media icon to share content.
If I am a company that makes widgets, perhaps as part of my marketing/branding budget, I allocate X dollars for brand promotion. When I send that denial letter to qualified people who went through the process, I offer them a sizable discount on my widget and encourage them to follow our social channels. If you aren’t a widget company, what kind of budget would you have for a small gift card for qualified candidates?
The point is simple: We are HR executives, but we are also salespeople. We have to build not just messaging, but also experiences that leave people feeling so good about our corporate brand that they want to tell others.
Crafting Brand Champions
HR departments need to push for progress rather than treading water by walking through three steps:
1. Analyze current processes and identify weaknesses.
2. Coach and train staff to be consistent and on-point with the company brand and message.
3. Sell, sell, sell (and find ways to iterate).
In our evolving marketplace, it’s not enough to simply provide an OK experience. Instead we must craft our HR strategies with forward-facing tactics and shape our hiring process to create brand champions.
Want more hiring tips? Download Mark's ebooks: The Future of Hiring and Hiring Software FREE eBook and The Top 5 Hiring Questions Hiring Managers Need to Ask.