How to market your business to future employees

employee wanted newspaper advert

To attract the right employees, businesses must focus on what they have to offer to future staff.

The best workers now seem to have their pick of countless employers, with many industries already struggling to hire the right people as recruitment rapidly picks up pace in 2012.

In a skills-short market, companies often fall into the common trap of competing for staff based only on a salary figure. While a competitive salary is important to some workers, employers are urged not to use a high pay cheque as their sole candidate attraction method or risk attracting the wrong people.

To stand out to potential employees for the right reasons, businesses should refocus their recruitment strategy to communicate the other benefits that they have on offer. Overly high salaries might get staff in the door, but at a considerable cost. Workers who move for salaries are often not right over the long-term. To attract employees who will fit into the workplace and stay, businesses need to identify and communicate why jobseekers should choose their opportunity over competitors.

This is why businesses of all sizes should implement a simple recruitment branding strategy. While small-medium businesses might shy away from the ‘recruitment branding’ term, a simple strategy will help employers to recruit the right staff. This is particularly important for businesses that may not be well-known to jobseekers.

To keep your recruitment branding effective but uncomplicated, check out these five tips:

1. Identify what’s exciting about your business

To excite future employees about starting work with your business, identify what makes your business a workplace of choice.

Unfortunately, many small-medium businesses think of their size as a drawback, when it’s actually a benefit for employees. There are so many fantastic workplaces out there that don’t realise that they are a great place to work.

Consider any benefits that you already offer to employees such as flexibility, training and development, or team culture. Smaller businesses also have many assets that they don’t consider as benefits, such as a more flexible structure, plus the chance to innovate and make a real difference to a growing company. Use your findings to create a list of your workplace’s benefits, which you can then promote to future employees.

2. Differentiate your business from competitors

Once you have identified your workplace benefits, it’s time to use them in your recruitment process as your employer ‘point-of-difference’. This will help your business to stand out as an employer for the right reasons and to attract the right staff.

Your employer point-of-difference simply needs to answer one question: ‘Why would a candidate want to work for you, rather than a competitor?’. By identifying and communicating why your business is different, you’ll then be able compete for top staff without competing just on a salary figure.

3. Excite candidates with your vision or growth plans

Companies like Apple and Google don’t just attract top staff because of their perks and benefits. Their vision and plans for growth excite talent and motivate them to apply. People want to be a part of that vision.

Use your own business vision to demonstrate to potential employees exactly why it’s so exciting to be a part of your workplace. You can then demonstrate just how bright the future can be with your business by communicating how the candidate will fit into the company’s plans. As you speak to candidates about the business’ future, you’ll find that your passion will be infectious to the right potential employees.

4. Sell your workplace in every step

In each step of the recruitment process, it should be clear to candidates why they will want to work for your organisation. From an initial advertisement to the final job offer, remember to communicate your workplace benefits to ensure you’re attracting the right staff.

The additional information on your workplace will motivate the best candidates to apply for your role, rather than for a competitor. During the interview and job offer stages, it’s the perfect opportunity to go deeper and personally communicate your values, culture, point-of-difference, and where that candidate could fit in.

Consider giving promising candidates an office tour to meet key team members and look around, so they can see what your business is about first-hand. By going to the extra effort of demonstrating your culture and values, you’ll recruit candidates who are not only excited about working with you, but who will also fit into your business.

5. Accuracy is essential

The key to recruitment branding success is to always be 100 percent accurate in your communication. Be honest and above all, don’t over-promise to obtain a top candidate. Without accurate communication, new hires will quickly leave when they realise that the reality of their new role does not live up to their expectations.

There is no need to exaggerate– your business will have many things to be proud of that it can offer to future and current employees. Identifying and accurately communicating those benefits will enable you to recruit and retain top talent.

By focusing equally on what the employer can offer future employees and vice versa, small-medium businesses will be better able to compete for talent without relying on financial incentives.

- Paula Maidens is the managing director of Recruitment Coach, a human resources coaching and consulting firm for small-medium businesses, specialising in cost-effective HR strategies.

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