Hiring Managers Attract Top Local Talent with a Marketing Mindset

Think Like Marketers, Not Hiring Managers, to Attract Top Local Talent

Hiring Managers Attract Top Local Talent with a Marketing MindsetLet’s face it, most job descriptions haven’t changed substantially in two decades or even more. Companies that want to attract top local talent simply must do better than that, and it starts with mindset, not essential duties.

Hiring Managers Must Sell Top Local Talent on Company, Not Compensation

Getting the best and brightest candidates to buy in and accept that job offer comes down to mindset, not more money. Because talented candidates already know that there’s not enough money in the world to compensate for working at a job you don’t like in a company you don’t love. Here are four ways HR Managers need to adopt a marketing mindset in order to attract top talent and get them on board.

4 Marketing Roles Hiring Managers Need to Fill to Attract Top Local Talent

  1. HR Managers Need to Communicate Brand Identity and Vision

In 4 Ways Staffing Agencies Can Attract Top Talent I talked about where candidates are turning not only to look for jobs, but where they are finding their best opportunities. As it turns out, personal referrals – which should arguably be the job seekers most important resource, has lost ground and now comes in third behind internet job sites and direct inquiries as the tools to which most candidates attribute successful job searches.

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What this indicates is that candidates are forced to self-serve brand identity; they’re proactively going after jobs they want in companies where they want to work. They are figuring out where employers are headed and seeking out the ones that will offer them a route to the career destination they aspire to achieve. Hiring managers at companies and at temporary employment, staffing and recruiting agencies need to remember a “marketing 101” idea; you’re not selling a job package, you’re selling top talent on establishing a relationship with the brand, and you’re selling them on where your company is headed.

  1. HR Managers Need to Mobilize Internal Ambassadors

Another takeaway from the same infographic is the fact that personal referrals have lost a lot of ground over the past decade as the job candidate’s go-to resource. For hiring managers, it might be as simple as returning to old-fashioned internal communication and networking in order to get existing employees to help source and attract top local talent.

  1. HR Managers Need to Build Candidate Personas

There’s no faster way to waste money, time and other corporate resources then to “do marketing” without a plan, including defining the “who” that a brand wants to attract. Yet most recruiting processes do just that: throw a position opening ad out into the digital and print universe without (a) focusing efforts on channels where their ideal candidate types are likely to be and (b) defining what an ideal candidate would be like in the first place.

Why does it matter? Post a position listing and you might get hundreds – or even thousands of responses. If you’re honest with yourself, how many of these responses merit any follow up at all? Usually it’s only a handful. Meanwhile, the hiring manager has spent hours and hours reading and discarding applications from people who shouldn’t have applied in the first place. Defining what types of values, skills and background an ideal candidate would possess ahead of the recruiting process can help both candidates and corporates save valuable time, resources and frustration.

  1. HR Managers Need Position Listings and Descriptions to Read Like Ad Copy, Not (Boring!) Legalese

For a lesson in brand humility, read the last 5-10 position listing ads or job descriptions your brand has published. Does anything in these listings sound inviting or intriguing?  The truth is, most of these documents are so dry and detailed that (1) no one would have the ability to do the job and (2) no one would want to.

Try writing your job descriptions and the copy you post on job boards to recruit and attract top local talent as if you were writing for prospective customers, not candidates:

  • Be brief; people can’t remember more than a few main points. What is the most important thing your position opening copy should convey?
  • Talk about authentic core values and share company stories. You want talented candidates to be able to envision themselves working for you as “a good fit,” and loving it.
  • Use testimonials from other employees to give candidates a first-hand glimpse into what it’s really like to work there.
  • Infuse some personality! If your company is a fun place to work, your job posting should be fun to read!
  • CTAs (Calls to action) and next steps: Marketers understand that you need to tell prospects what to do next and what to expect when they do; it’s the same for candidates. Stay in communication with applicants and keep them in the know about your timeline and hiring process.

The truth is, you are writing for customers and you are also writing for the people that you hope will become brand ambassadors, helping you attract and serve many, many other customers for years to come.

We talk about customer touch points and first points of contact with prospects and leads as being especially important. Not only can they help you attract likely buyers, they can help you set expectations (or exceed them) in ways that turn browsers into buyers and turn customers into brand advocates. HR and hiring managers need to think about the recruiting process the same way in order to attract top local talent in an increasingly competitive hiring marketplace!