How to Impress Candidates

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words Time to Impress on a white and red clock Recruiters get a bad rap, even when the companies they work for are great. But it can be a tough (albeit rewarding) job to do when you live in a flyover state, don’t have work-flex to offer and well…you’re not the biggest brand in the fun house (employer or otherwise). What do candidates want? Well, you might not be able to offer the perks of Zappos, the fun of Google, or the culture of Amazon, but what can you offer ? That’s a very important question. What can you feasibly offer to candidates to turn heads? Every company wants to be the company for whom people want to work. But that’s not always feasible, if candidates were lining up at your door, your job would get kind of boring pretty quickly. Every company wants to create a buzz, here are a few steps to achieving that:

What’s your policy?

Did you know that a whopping 24 percent of Millennials said that a company’s social media policy would be a key factor in accepting a position? This particular group puts a huge emphasis on their gadget and social media freedoms, so create your social media policies with this in mind and make it known. Until just recently, social media policies didn’t even exist, and now people are accepting or rejecting job offers based on them! Who cares if other companies aren’t doing it, tweet your policy, Facebook it, include it in job listings. Like it or not, this is a major factor today. This is a cost-free and really simple bullet for your recruiting arsenal. Companies like Coca-Cola and Apple make theirs public and so do all these companies. 

Do you offer stability?

In reaching an older audience, your Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, (no, Gen Xers I didn’t just call you older, but face it, you are older than the Millennials) things like work ethic and loyalty tend to carry more weight. These are two things that are harder to relay to candidates. So get creative. If your company has a high turnover rate, don’t tout that, but are you loyal in other places? I recently heard a story about a young man whose apartment caught fire. His employer (an auto-body shop) gave him a $500 gift card to Wal-Mart immediately and a week off. Compare this with a moderately successful insurance marketing agency that requires employees to sign out to go to the bathroom and asked employees to donate their vacation time to a co-worker when his wife died. Other ideas: Perhaps some of your more tenured candidates would be willing to sit down for a short interview that would be featured on the company’s website or social media accounts. Or maybe you could even just snag a few short quotes about what they like about the company that contain or are followed by the number of years they have been with the company. Financial security and stability are also very important to this group. Let them know about your stock plans, your 401Ks and your pension plans. Again, know your audience and deliver on what they want.

Accentuate the Positive

Use social media to showcase your workplace positives. There are so many free sites that can potentially reach a whole lot of candidates. Fun and informative content attracts followers, friends, tweeps…whatever you want to call them. Some guidelines, if I may:

  • Consciously create your social media image. If you’re trying to create a laid back, fun atmosphere, don’t make your avatar a slanted suit and tie wearing comb over with a big cheesy grin. Put concerted thought into the things you post. Have a very clear direction that you’re going, and relay that to your entire social team. Don’t pull a bait-n-switch; if you are a boring workplace, don’t pretend to be party animals. Instead, bill yourselves as stable and serene.
  • If you don’t know how to run your social media outlets, either learn, or have someone else do it. Looking incompetent on social media is professional suicide. If the world sees that you can’t figure out a site that their 8-year old nephew has mastered, that doesn’t look good. Outsource this to someone who knows your industry or find an ambitious internal pro to handle it.
  • Keep your sites updated and consistent. It doesn’t take long to make updating and posting a weekly or even daily task on your to-do list. A few short Vine video links on your homepage, scheduling the tweets for the week on Hootsuite, or some fun inner-office quotes and pictures on your Facebook page. There are countless possibilities for this (again) free and simple way to showcase your workplace positives. Post a picture of Taco Thursdays or the Company Picnic.

Branding videos have recently become a fantastic way to present your company culture to your candidates. You might not have the production budget of branding video greats like IBM, but take a hint from them and others like them. Videos are easy to create and share. A short and simple video featuring interviews from employees is a very effective way of giving candidates a taste of what your company is about. Authenticity and stressing positives are going to be your two main points of focus for whatever type of video you chose to share.

By Maren Hogan