The traditional recruiting playbook is tired. Attracting talent by adding a few foosball tables and hosting “bring your puppy to work” day isn’t going to cut it. Even signing bonuses aren’t enough.
Workers, especially the young ones, can’t be bought. They don’t respond well to contrived ideas. What employees really want is to connect with something bigger than themselves. Attracting them to our workplaces will require new tactics.
1. Get your message right.
While employers are coming to the party with career pages and testimonial videos, the message is just as important as the medium. Recruits respond best to social proof in the form of validation from people who look like them. Make sure your message focuses on purpose and why your company serves the common good (i.e., your reason for being, above and beyond making money).
2. Leverage AI.
Companies such as L’Oréal and PepsiCo are utilizing artificial intelligence to conduct the first phase of recruiting searches. While AI capabilities will certainly evolve, today’s technologies can prescreen candidates and automate the heaviest lifting in a search. AI works best in searches with specific technical specifications.
3. Utilize digital job fairs and experiential events.
Employers are creating immersive experiences where candidates compete for positions. Through hackathons and other online competitions, employers get to see candidates perform before they hire them. Conversely, candidates can experience a culture before committing to an organization.
For example, Lego’s “Brick Factor” pits 100 competitors in a building challenge and hires the winner to be a Master Model Builder. MGM Grand hosted a cooking competition with its own internal talent to find a new head chef.
4. Tap unconventional social media techniques.
Job seekers are mining alternative channels for content. Companies are relying more on SnapChat for branding and YouTube for culture videos that illustrate why they are great places to work. Even Slack’s public channels have become havens for affinity groups and other like-minded people seeking out communities. Social media provides a platform for people to like and repost job postings, photos and hashtags.
5. Experiment with ‘jobcasting.’
Coined by Jobs in Pods, “jobcasting” is an emerging recruitment tactic that shares interviews of executives who tell their stories in a more intimate fashion. Jobcasting allows a company to share its narrative in a rare form that can hold a millennial’s attention for 10-20 minutes.
6. Host skills challenges.
Employers are also gamifying the recruiting process with skills tests as an alternative to the traditional résumé route. Even if challenges are not your top choice for finding candidates, employers are advised to test skills for all new employees.
7. Be flexible.
According to a recent study, flexibility was the most important attribute offered by employers seeking to improve engagement. It appears as though employers adopt one extreme or the other: virtual companies with flexible work environments and unlimited PTO, and others who offer no flexibility at all.
For example, industries such as manufacturing don’t lend themselves to flexibility, but it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Most employees don’t need flexibility every day; they just want the freedom to go to their children’s events and doctor appointments.
Being flexible is more about understanding the individuality of the employee and providing them the opportunity to live life to its fullest.
8. Engage in peer-to-peer recruiting.
While LinkedIn and similar sites are popular among recruiters, recruits don’t always respond to hounding from recruiters at companies they don’t know. Use peers who may have connections through academic institutions or associations or whose skills overlap to get their attention.
9. Host open houses.
Companies are opening their doors to recruits to experience their environments firsthand. When hosting an open house, it’s important to have executive participation so prospects feel valued.
10. Meet candidates where they are.
Any company vehicle can be furnished with recruiting messaging. Some companies have even created buses and RVs for use at job fairs to create more interaction with potential recruits. Such vehicles can also be used as mobile hiring centers at nontraditional venues such as weekend sporting events or county fairs.
So, get out of your box, and try something new. Employers may need to expand their HR departments to include new skill sets. Think of recruiting as a marketing function, requiring experimentation and innovation to find novel approaches that will separate your company from the pack.