Struggling with finding talented, hardworking people to fill your company’s vacant positions? Having adjusted to the pandemic and made necessary modifications to how your business typically runs, are you wondering why you can’t recruit any new staff no matter how many job board postings you scatter into the ether?
You are not alone. And if you’re waiting for states to lower unemployment benefits, thinking people are just sitting at home collecting unemployment to avoid coming to work, you’re going to be disappointed.
According to Forbes.com, the main reason why the “labor shortage” is occurring is that the pandemic forced people, especially people in lower-skilled jobs with little to no benefits, to reconsider what they want to do for a living. Many of the people in these jobs were underpaid, with the national minimum wage not rising with inflation, and they were expected to accept a more significant burden of work as workplaces cut “excess weight” to rely on skeleton crews of employees during the pandemic.
For these people, who were sent out to interact with a potentially diseased public in the middle of a pandemic without even being given the courtesy of paid health insurance, working conditions during the pandemic broke them: why continue to keep working these jobs when they could find employment that will treat them better elsewhere?
Business leaders pushing the narrative of “nobody wants to work” are actually highlighting that nobody wants to work for THEM, and the reasons why are as diverse as the workers abandoning ship. Savvy business leaders will, instead of raging at the workers who are choosing to embrace this worldwide time of transition, see this “labor shortage” as an unparalleled opportunity. There is a massive pool of unemployed, unaffiliated workers out there of varying skill levels looking for new jobs all at once, and as a customer base, they are no more cynical than your average person. Many of them are actively looking for their dream jobs, and with an effective recruitment marketing campaign, you can cement yourself above your competitors as the place where people want to work.
Let’s dig into a few of the basics.
Table of Contents
Your Employee Value Proposition: the Heart of Your Campaign and Company
The Importance of A Competitive EVP
Whether employers like it or not, the bargaining power now lies solely in the hands of their employees. It’s best to view employees as a customer base, as mentioned above, shopping around for the company that will offer them the best benefits, work-life balance, and most importantly, the highest pay rate. With this in mind, before launching any kind of recruitment marketing campaign, you will need to have outlined your employee value proposition clearly.
An employee value proposition (EVP), to put it bluntly, is what you can offer your employees. Ask not what your employees can do for you but what you can do for your employees, and you are not far from outlining your employee value proposition. Your employee value proposition will include things like a competitive (potentially higher than the national average for your position) pay rate, paid health and dental benefits, work-from-home options with a flexible schedule, and optimal working conditions (the definition of which varies from industry to industry).
Cost-cutting is, of course, important, but in a time where employees are getting choosier about where they work, it will be necessary for businesses to evaluate the costs of providing some of these benefits against the cost of having no employees. Higher skilled employees will go to the companies that can provide things like these, and the cost of being competitive will only go up as time goes on. If companies want employees to be good to them, they must first do right by their employees.
Getting the Message Across
Once you have a clear definition of your company’s EVP, you have to take steps to communicate it not only to job seekers who are actively looking for a position with your company but to job seekers who are browsing listings looking for the best offer. To that end, be sure to:
- Make sure your postings on job boards accurately reflect your EVP. Job boards are popular for a reason, allowing would-be employees the convenience of having a massive amount of postings available for browsing in one place. Your postings on job boards will likely be your first interaction with would-be employees. Make sure they are written to sell your company to prospective employees, including not just a clear, concise EVP but also descriptions of your corporate culture, any opportunities for advancement, etc.
- Make sure to utilize your social media’s advertising potential. If your company doesn’t have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok, your first step should be to establish an online presence on those platforms. Social media is an excellent and personal way to connect with the public, and for the purposes of advertising, it’s an excellent way to show off that your company is a great place to work. Post employee spotlights that highlight your hardest workers, video testimonials of employees describing why they love your company or clients with positive reviews, and similar types of content.
- Every piece of content you post should demonstrate your EVP in action. Talk is cheap: it’s best to use your public platforms to show that you can and will take action on the promises you make to your employees. It’s how you develop the kind of positive reputation amongst the public that employers like Publix and Chick-Fil-A have.
Remember, the foundation of your recruitment marketing campaign is your EVP, and every move you make should reference it somehow.
The Secret to Success is a Carefully-Plotted Strategy
So once you’ve got your EVP defined and you understand that it is the heart of your marketing strategy, what comes next? You will need to conduct research to narrow down your target demographic: this can be best understood as the audience that your marketing strategy will be attempting to reach from here on out. Popular demographics that you may want to target include college graduates, ex-military, etc.
From there, you will want to make moves that spread the news about your company to this target demographic. Consider employing a programmatic advertising strategy, which uses an algorithm to make ad buys on websites that target your demographic. Host career events and invite college students and recent graduates to attend. Reach out to your target demographic on job boards through recruiters.
If all else fails, don’t be afraid to look into asking a professional. NAS is notable in employment branding to attract candidates through best practices to help you design an effective recruitment marketing strategy.
Getting the Basics Down
This is by no means meant to be an extensive how-to on recruitment marketing; more a crash course on the basics and making sure that you’ve got a comparatively solid foundation before you waste time and money. If you don’t have an attractive employee value proposition, it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on ad-buys or how many job boards you post on. The competition will beat you out every time, and with a more discerning labor force, that could spell doom for any company, no matter how established.
However, with the state of the world still very much in flux due to the mutating virus, companies that offer employees the perks they’re looking for, like remote work and higher pay, may find themselves better prepared to deal with the state of the world after things finally settle. Companies that take advantage of this worldwide time of transition to change with the rest of the world will no doubt be rewarded in a workforce their competitors envy.