Recruiting: If You Keep On Doing What You’ve Always Done…

bang-head-hereThe recruiting tactics that worked when employers held all the cards are losing their effectiveness as the Talent War intensifies. Unfortunately, as recruiting gets harder, most employers are operating under the misconception that they simply need to invest more time and energy and finesse in yesterday’s tactics.

There are at least three reasons that turning up the volume on yesterday’s tactics is an ineffective path at best. Before I drill down, what’s the alternative? I’ve written extensively on LinkedIn about a variety of ideas, but the most important is developing and leveraging a powerful, effective employer brand. Since a good, authentic employer brand is really their cosmetic face, your company culture and employer value propositions also have to be exceptional.

Here are the three reasons new tactics are called for, and what can go wrong with simply putting extra muscle into old techniques.

  1. If you simply crank up your sourcing and recruiting activities, and you lack a strong and attractive employer brand (specifically online), all you are likely doing is scaring away a increased quantity of candidates. Why? Because you’re reaching out to more candidates, or they are seeing your postings, and the first thing they are doing (at least, the good ones) is research. Online. On your website. Looking for the answer to the question “why would I want to work for you?” Anything less than an authentic, relevant & attractive message will scare away candidates … specifically the good ones.

  2. If you hone a great employer brand, but it doesn’t really reflect your culture (especially if your culture isn’t powerful, well-defined and attractive to employees and candidates), the most likely long-term impact will be a significant increase in your turnover. Your extra recruiting activities and newly polished employer brand may help increase hires, who will bail as they realize that your company isn’t what they expected.  This isn’t what we typically think of when we hear about “the cost of bad hires,” but it still counts!

  3. The final problem with simply turning up the dial on old tactics is that they really aren’t scalable. For example, sourcing twice as many candidates generally takes about twice as long, and doubles the time and effort that goes into processing all of those additional candidates. Posting your jobs on twice as many job boards costs twice as much. So at best (particularly in light of the last two points) extra muscle is a costly and inefficient approach. Besides, how many extra hours do you have in your day?

A better culture and employer brand is the only sustainable, efficient approach to winning the Talent War. And a website that promotes your culture, your employer branding propositions (EVP), and how you invest in employees and the things that matter to them (the WIIFM) is probably the single most important, efficient component of an effective Talent Acquisition strategy. Aside from magnifying the effectiveness of everything else you do, it becomes a powerful beacon, attracting high quality candidates 24×7. Not just any candidates — the discerning ones. The ones who take employment decisions seriously. Passive candidates. Millennials, who are often characterized as being all about the “what’s in it for me?” and research everything online. Furthermore, it will attract candidates who understand your culture and WIIFM and align well.

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