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It’s not them, it’s you: the real reason good talent is so hard to find

It’s not them, it’s you: the real reason good talent is so hard to find

“It’s impossible to find good talent these days.”

I’ve heard this sentence from almost every business owner or manager I’ve spoken to this year.

And if The Great Resignation phenomenon is still only just beginning as economists predict, I’m sure we will all be hearing it for many months (if not, years) to come.

Admittedly, I’ve always found it a struggle to find good talent too. But since June this year, it’s been noticeably easier.

So, what’s changed, you ask?

Three things. 

Our brand.
Our website. 
Our LinkedIn presence. 

You see, when we rebranded and relaunched our site in mid-2021, it wasn’t only to attract great clients (which is what most people assumed).

It was also to help us attract high-calibre talent.  

Because, after one too many failed recruitment attempts, we woke up to the sad reality: our recruitment marketing was pretty darn average. 

What’s recruitment marketing? It’s s the process of attracting and nurturing talent to your organisation by marketing to them. Considered the earliest stage of the talent acquisition journey, the main goal of recruitment marketing is to drive people to apply to the positions you have available.

In this post, I explore three essential elements of your recruitment marketing strategy: the job ad, your website and your social media presence.

1. THE JOB AD: Kill the cliches…  and write with heart

We are a passionate, dynamic, fast-growing company looking for a results-oriented, customer-focused team player who can think outside the box and take our business to the next level.

Impressed?

Thought not.

To attract standout humans, you need to craft a standout ad. 

And that means ditching the dribble – and injecting a li’l personality. 

Whose personality? Your brand’s personality, of course.

Let candidates get to know what your business is really about. Craft authentic, persuasive ad copy so your role and workplace will stand out from the crowd. 

(But don’t oversell or overpromise either. Be honest and clear. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting your time on candidates who have unrealistic expectations about what they’re walking into.)

There’s no doubt that a unique and well-written job ad can boost response rates. But it’s still only one part of your branding story. 

Because what’s the first thing a genuinely interested and discerning candidate will do after reading your job ad? 

Google you, of course.

2.     YOUR WEBSITE: Give it some serious TLC

Many business owners tell themselves endless lies about their shamefully old website to avoid updating it:

  • Most of our new business is word-of-mouth…
  • We don’t need new clients…
  • Clients in our industry don’t care about our website…

Starting to see the elephant in the virtual room?

Your website audience is NOT JUST your clients and prospects.

It’s your future talent too.

In fact, several of our clients relaunched their website this year for one reason – and one reason only: to attract better talent. This client’s site is a good example. And this one, too.

At a very minimum, your company website should be: 

  • Fresh and modern: An eight-year old website screams stagnant and untrustworthy. Which is exactly how your business will be perceived.

  • Mobile-friendly: Nothing gets people pressing the back button faster than a website that is hard to navigate on a mobile device.

  • Current: If the last blog post you published was in 2014…  well, need I go on?

But if you’re really serious about making your website work harder to attract talent, also consider:

  • Adding a careers page (or refresh your existing one): The best careers pages go beyond “Here are our openings and here’s how you apply.” They tell prospective talent about your workplace. What makes you unique. What makes you appealing. And if long-term career opportunities are a big selling point, why not publish some career stories, like we do regularly for this client

  • Promoting your corporate values: I’ve only recently come to truly appreciate the importance of our corporate values. They guide me and my team every day – and help us ensure we attract like-minded employees. But there’s an important flipside: today’s discerning talent wants to know what a business stands for. That’s why promoting real, relatable corporate values (without the platitudes) can make all the difference.

  • Using your own photography: Is your website a stock photo junkyard? If so, it’s time to stop being a cookie-cutter brand and become more memorable. How? With photos of your people, in your workplace. Sure, staff come and go and you don’t want to do professional photoshoots all the time. Just ask the photographer to get lots of different photos (with varied combinations of people) so that you can swap them in and out as needed. 

3. YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA: Keep it current. Keep it real. 

LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook… whatever social media channel you choose to invest in, be committed. And consistent. 

(I generally recommend not spreading yourself thin. Focus on the channel that makes more sense for your brand and business. For us, it’s all about LinkedIn.)

An active social presence also keeps your brand top of mind with an often-overlooked talent market: passive candidates (people who are not actively on the hunt for a new role). 

In addition to your typical social content (products, services, customer stories, etc.), include posts that give prospective employees a look behind-the-curtain, such as:

So, what if you’re a smaller business? How can you compete against industry titans?

Well, branding is more than mere name recognition. Just because you are the biggest, doesn’t mean you are the best. 

What matters most is what your social content says about your business and brand.

Is it original?
Is it credible?
Is it professional?
Is it enticing?

If so, you’re giving potential employees every reason to connect with your brand.

The bottom line 

The secret to finding terrific talent? Understanding that’s it’s a two-way street.

Before asking prospective employees to jump through hoops, your company needs to put its best foot forward.

If talent’s not knocking on your door right now, it’s time to get serious about recruitment marketing.