Whether you provide a service or sell a product, you can be certain that consumers are researching your company before they even consider buying something. In fact, 81% of people look for information online before making a big purchase. In the digital age, it's understood that buyers are savvy enough to educate themselves on what they want and how they want it. Companies need to create content that tells the story of its products, engages consumers with their brand, and showcases what makes the company unique. The yell-and-sell model of sales isn't effective anymore, and marketers have realized that inbound marketing is not only their foot in the door, but their chance to guide target consumers through the buyer's journey. It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that the very consumers who are researching products are also smart enough to recognize that searching for a job is a big decision worth investigating, too. Your target candidates - passive talent who aren't even looking at job boards- are sophisticated job seekers. A new study revealed by CAREEREALISM shows that they won't even consider your company as an employer if it's not present on the major sites where they're searching. But, fear not. This doesn't mean that your company has to break the bank with marketing tactics or create an illusion that you're something you're not. Your target candidates are the professionals who already align with your brand's values and who have the skills to get the job done. Theses professionals are interested in the compelling and accurate stories you share with them about who you are and who they can be if they join you. There are five reasons job seekers line up for your company, and they all have to do with your culture:
1. PeopleWhen a job seeker recognizes people in a company who share similar goals, interests, or drive, it's motivating to learn more about them. Professionals want to be part of a team where they can relate to the people already there and they want to see how they'll fit into the bigger picture. Why not show them how your company brings out the best in its employees? If you showcase the type of top talent you already have, you can attract more of it.
2. PurposeWhy does your company stand for? What does it believe? To be productive and happy, people need a reason to get excited about their work. Your company's purpose has a huge impact on its culture because it's the driving force behind why you do what you do. In an interview with me at CAREEREALISM, Josh Levine, co-founder of Culture LabX and founder of Great Monday, explained that “if you have a powerful brand and the reputation of having a great culture, people will want to line up for you. Most importantly, you'll have the right people lining up." Culture has a massive impact on how consumers and candidates, alike, perceive your company. Without a guiding purpose that your culture is rooted in, it's harder to identify with it.
3. OpportunitiesDoes your company bring out the best in people? Companies that encourage professional growth, welcome innovation, and provide advancement go a long way in appealing to potential candidates. Not only are your employees more motivated when there are opportunities for growth, but your candidates will feel more inclined to apply. If you want the top talent to line up for your jobs, show them it's worth their effort.
4. LeadershipLeaders impact a company's culture, the way a business functions, and how its employees feel. They have the ability to set the tone in the workplace and it's crucial for employees to feel valued. If your leaders have a great reputation, a strong story, or a positive influence on those around them, you can bet that people will aspire to work with them. Conversely, if your leaders are feared or disliked, you may find it more difficult to attract the professionals you want. Sophisticated job seekers want to work with employers - not for them. If your leadership upholds the company values and sets a great example of working with employees, people will want to get involved.
5. PersonalityWhy would someone want to work at a place they perceive to be boring, buttoned-up, or stuffy? (Hint: they don't!) While your brand might be anything from professional to quirky to focused, it's important to own your fun side. Show outsiders who your company is by showcasing what exists on the inside: humor, spunk, curiosity, passion, or otherwise. Don't be afraid of what they think, because the ones who love it will want to join it. Now, you may be nodding your head, knowing that you have all five of these things covered. Yet, many of you may still find yourself wondering why you're not attracting the talent you want as quickly as you need. You're not alone. First, let me say, if all five of these things are great aspects of your company, congratulations! You probably have a pretty exciting culture and there's no doubt in my mind that people will be interested in working with you. That said… I want you to start telling people about it! When more people are aware of who your company is as an employer and as a thought leader, they will start to consider you. Make it your goal to drive consideration for as many of your target candidates as possible. (Note: a dry job posting with just the required qualifications in it will get precisely no one excited about working for you.) Instead, create content that helps you guide them, like marketers do with the buyer's journey, though their job seeker journey. To do this, you have to hit all three marks:
- Provide resources and tools for your target candidates
- Tell stories that reveal your talent brand
- Engage sophisticated job seekers so that when the time comes to apply somewhere new, it's with you