Blink twice if you feel this recruiting pain.
An employee resigns and you need to fill their role. Your team works to put together a job posting. You get a dozen applications and a few of those move on to the next stage. You get them through the interview stage and you’re about to make an offer—when they tell you they’ve accepted another job elsewhere.
Trying to fill open positions can be a draining experience for you and your teams. You invest hours of energy into screening candidates, conducting interviews and preparing an offer for the top contender. If that candidate ends up falling through, it’s incredibly disappointing and can be demoralizing for both the hiring manager and the recruiter.
But money is only one reason that people decide to leave their jobs. According to a 2021 study by McKinsey & Company, the most-cited reason people gave for leaving their jobs—more than compensation, work expectations or leadership—was a lack of career development and advancement. Other studies have shown that people would actually take less money to have more flexible work environments or to do more meaningful work.
If you want to stand out in the tidal wave of companies that are hiring, it’s time to focus your recruiting efforts on promoting what makes you different from other corporations. Culture, more than compensation, can be the difference between a great candidate choosing you or choosing your competitor.
So how do you go about proving you’re the real deal? Here are a few strategies to win the war for talent and increase recruitment and retention.
Use Job Postings as a Sales Pitch
Every company creates the same old job posting with responsibilities, qualifications and corporate boilerplate. Boring.
It’s easy to get lost in the sea of other postings on Indeed and LinkedIn when your job posting looks like everyone else’s. Get creative in your job descriptions and write them in a way that engages a candidate. Better yet, have the hiring manager write a post or record a video describing the position and what it would be like to work on their team. Sharing such a personal element within the job posting itself makes it much more memorable. Just be intentional and authentic when you do so—candidates who don’t want to read about workplace clichés don’t want to watch them, either.
Be Flexible Beyond Working Hours
In many industries, employees and prospects now expect flexible working hours. But there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to flexibility.
The first step is understanding that every individual will have a different priority for their working conditions. For some, it may be a four-day work week. Others may want a hybrid, in-and-out of office workday, while working parents may want to know that their workplace can accommodate child-care disruptions. Being flexible enough to accommodate different scenarios can be a huge selling point for a role.
Showcase the Career Development Path
Career development is a big factor for people who are considering making a move, especially if they plan on staying long-term. A study by Glassdoor found that information about growth opportunities was the second-highest factor that contributed to a job seeker’s perception of their long-term potential at a company.
When you’re interviewing candidates, highlight what the career path for the role could look like and talk about career development being a priority for the business.
At D2L, we provide each of our employees with $4,000 per year to spend on upskilling, continuing education and professional development. It’s a tangible commitment to the ongoing investment in that individual’s career growth, and showcases that we want our employees to thrive long-term.
Focus on Displaying Leadership
Don’t forget that an employee’s relationship with their direct manager plays a critical role in job satisfaction. When you’re meeting with potential hires, tell them what it’s like to be on your team. Talk about your leadership values and ask the candidate about the type of leadership style they thrive under. Begin building that relationship from the first conversation you have with that person.
As much as the candidate may be interested in the company, you as their leader will have the most impact on their day-to-day lives. Treat every interview as if the candidate were interviewing you, too, and listen to the values that they appreciate most in their leaders. As much as they applied for the role, you want to leave them wanting to come and be a member of your team.
Finding the talent to remain competitive is a challenge. Reducing the time and energy spent on recruiting can be a huge win for your teams. While providing fair and competitive salaries is critical for any open role, using your corporate culture as a value proposition could pay dividends in reducing hiring cycles.
Looking to make managing career development easier? D2L Wave is a free-to-use upskilling education platform that simplifies how employees find, request and register for professional development opportunities that align with the business’s skill needs.
Jacki Ross is D2L Wave’s Product Marketing Manager, specializing in product launch and go-to-market strategies for new and emerging technologies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and a Business Administration – Marketing Diploma from Conestoga College.
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