Labor markets were hit hard by the pandemic and the subsequent Great Resignation. One of the biggest shifts we have seen is that employees are becoming more selective and demanding more from the companies where they work. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Manpower, 75% of companies have reported talent shortages and difficulty hiring. This means that, in order to stand out as a desirable place to work, companies need to develop a robust talent attraction strategy that appeals to job seekers.
In today’s post, we are going to share 10 tips to help you enhance your talent attraction strategy.
What’s a talent attraction strategy?
Talent attraction is a holistic approach to hiring. It’s about looking beyond a traditional recruitment strategy and creating an environment where candidates are drawn to a business because they see it as an attractive place to work. Not just because of the salary that’s on offer, but because the organization has a strong employer brand and offers an appealing employee value proposition.
And this is precisely what a talent attraction strategy helps you develop.
Essentially, a talent acquisition strategy is a plan of action that enables you to attract top talent, develop your employer brand, and adapt your organizational culture to the growing demands of the modern workforce. It’s a series of approaches that help you identify and engage candidates who could potentially fill a role at your business. This, in turn, incentivizes candidates to not only apply to work for you but, once hired, to stay at your business in the long term.
There are a number of tactics you can use to achieve this, as we will see in more detail shortly. These include creating a positive candidate experience, implementing an employee referral program, and using an applicant tracking system to help your talent pipeline run more efficiently.
What matters most though is that your talent attraction strategy aligns with the goals and values of your business and your organizational culture. Your strategy also needs to be updated on an ongoing basis in line with market demands, candidate expectations, and the changing needs of your business. That way, you can build a strong EVP that gives you access to a larger pool of quality candidates. And this focus on retention combined with acquisition is the key to boosting your company’s long-term performance and employer brand positioning.
10 tips to improve talent attraction
The right talent attraction strategy enables you to hire quality candidates that can help your business grow and develop. You can attract more applicants, enhance your talent pool, and cement your position as an appealing employer. This not only helps you build a talented and productive workforce, but it also increases your retention levels, reducing your long-term hiring costs.
That’s why it’s so important to invest time and resources into talent acquisition.
Here are 10 top tips to help you enhance your talent attraction strategy.
Shorten your application process
The employment market has become very competitive. Candidates these days often get multiple job offers, especially if they are highly skilled. If you take too long to make your job offers, then you could be losing out on quality candidates. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to speed up your application process. Plus, this helps you provide an enhanced candidate experience that reflects well on you as a potential employer.
It’s not always easy to shorten your application process as there as so many important steps involved. But it’s a good idea to conduct an audit to see if there is anything that you can streamline. The stages that usually slow down the application process include defining job descriptions, submitting applications, and reviewing applications.
When you write your job descriptions, use a template and keep it simple. You could even create a database of candidate personas to make it easier to define exactly what you’re looking for. This will save you a lot of time. Plus, when you are clear about your expectations, it’s much easier for candidates to determine if they are a good fit for a role (especially if you also expand on your values and organizational culture). And this reduces the time you spend filtering out unsuitable applications, too.
You should also review your candidate application process. Is it simple and intuitive? Is it clear what candidates have to do? Have you made sure that your application process is mobile-friendly? Most people these days use their phones for job hunting so a mobile-responsive application process is a must.
Implement an ATS
Once you’ve posted a job description, the next stage is sorting through all the applications that you receive. This stage can be a challenge. Thankfully there are now HR tech solutions that can streamline this stage of your talent attraction strategy. The most commonly used solution is an applicant tracking system (ATS).
So, what is an applicant tracking system?
An applicant tracking system, often included in a talent acquisition platform, is used to collect, organize, and track candidate information at each stage of the recruitment pipeline. This helps you optimize your end-to-end hiring process and create a larger pool of suitable candidates. Plus, you can use an ATS to collect applications even when you’re not actively hiring. That way, you have a database of screened candidates ready the next time you post a job listing. As a result, it’s much easier to capture and retain top talent.
The benefits don’t end there, either.
For example, with Factorial’s ATS you can create personalized job offers, application forms, and pipeline workflows. You can also design your own customized hiring page to showcase your company, team, and available positions. This will help you attract more candidates and improve your overall recruiting process. Best of all, you can use all the data you collect to effortlessly integrate new employees into your onboarding software once you’ve hired them. That way, your entire candidate lifecycle is centralized and organized.
Develop your employer brand
A well-developed employer brand is essential when it comes to talent attraction. A positive brand can help you promote your employee value proposition and build an appealing reputation as an employer.
Your employer brand is reflected at every stage of your employee lifecycle. This includes your recruitment, hiring, and onboarding practices, the learning opportunities you offer employees, and the environment you create for your workforce. The better you are at building and promoting your employer brand, the more likely you are to attract and retain a talented and productive workforce.
The best way to build a solid employer brand is by looking after your existing employees. Make sure your talent attraction strategy includes initiatives for creating a positive working environment that promotes employee retention. This is what candidates will consider before applying for a job. For example, do you promote employee health and well-being? Do you offer opportunities for growth and development? Are employees happy and motivated?
Once you’ve developed your employer brand strategy, make sure it is reflected at each stage of your talent attraction pipeline. This includes your website, careers site, social media pages, and job listings. That way, candidates will understand who you are, what you believe in, and whether your organization is a good fit for them.
Include your careers site in your talent attraction strategy
Another important element of a successful talent attraction strategy relates to your careers site. This will often be the first impression that a candidate has of your company, so it’s important to make it a good one. If your site is outdated or lacks information, then you could be actively putting people off from applying for a job with you.
Here are a few tips to help you enhance your career site:
- Make sure you communicate a solid employer brand. Otherwise, candidates might find your employer identity confusing.
- Make sure the process for applying for open positions is easy, intuitive, and mobile-friendly.
- Consider including a recruitment video on your page to give candidates a better understanding of who you are. The video should include an explanation of your company’s values and mission statement. It should also explain what your working environment and organizational culture are like.
- If you manage global teams and hire in different countries, make sure your site is available in all your working languages.
Many talent acquisition platforms, including Factorial’s solution, provide you with a range of features to help you create and customize an optimized careers site.
Get on the right channels
The days of posting a job description and waiting for talent to find you are long gone. These days, you have to be proactive; you have to advertise on the right channels and platforms. It’s therefore a good idea to include regular channel audits in your talent attraction strategy. That way, you can be sure that your ads are reaching the right audience.
There are a few tactics you can use to evaluate your job advertising channels. Firstly, make sure you keep a log of where your best candidates come from. You can track your applicant sources through an ATS. Many solutions also include reporting features for calculating advertising and channel ROI. Make sure you consider the requirements of each advertised role before defining your channels.
It’s also a good idea to try a few different channels to expand your candidate outreach strategies. For example, LinkedIn might work well for admin jobs, but you will probably find more engineers on specialized job boards. You could even include academic outreach programs and networking events in your talent attraction strategy to help you find specific candidate profiles.
Above all, you need to understand where your target candidates look for jobs and then build your presence and employer brand on those channels.
Participate in career fairs
Career fairs can be a great way to enhance your talent attraction strategy. They give you an opportunity to introduce your organization to potential candidates and promote your employee value proposition.
There are a few things to keep in mind before you participate in a career fair. Firstly, you need to understand who you will be talking to. Conduct thorough research before visiting a fair to find out exactly who will be attending. That way, you can tailor your approach to the specific audience that you will be presenting to.
Secondly, it’s important to understand who you are as a company, what you do, and why you do what you do. This goes back to the point we made on employer branding. The message you present needs to be clear and concise. You also need to be ready to answer any questions.
For example, participants might ask you:
- What positions your company is currently looking to fill.
- The benefits that you offer your workforce (your EVP).
- What you look for in an ideal candidate.
- How you would describe your organizational culture and environment.
Finally, after you’ve attended an event, make sure you follow up on any potential leads. Even if you are not actively hiring, this is a great opportunity to build your talent pool for future vacancies.
Track and assess recruitment metrics
There are a few ways that you can use data and recruitment metrics to strengthen your talent attraction strategy.
For instance, you can use KPIs like time to hire and cost per hire to determine which hiring channels are working most efficiently and giving you the best ROI. You can also create benchmarks to monitor how effective your talent attraction strategy is and identify any areas for improvement. Are your social media channels helping you to promote your employer brand, for example? Is your careers page driving traffic to your company website? How many candidates are you losing at different stages of your recruitment pipeline? Why?
All this can provide you with valuable insights so that you can continuously improve your talent attraction strategy.
One of the best ways to enhance your talent attraction strategy is to accommodate the needs of your employees. This can help you build a positive employee brand as a “good place to work”. And, as we saw above, the happier your employees are, the more likely you are to attract quality candidates. Remember: your employees are your best brand ambassadors. If they value your working environment and EVP, then they will be more likely to promote you online and tell their friends.
Here are a few ways you can accommodate the needs of your workforce and help your employees feel valued:
- Create an employee recognition program to reward high performers.
- Conduct regular performance reviews and collect employee feedback to show your employees that you value their opinions.
- Offer flexible working solutions such as hybrid or remote work models to encourage your employees to develop a healthy work-life balance.
- Create a learning and development program and offer all employees opportunities to grow and expand their skills.
Include an employee referral program in your talent attraction strategy
An employee referral program can be a highly effective strategy for expanding your talent pool. This is where you ask your existing employees to recommend or refer qualified candidates who could be a good match for your organization.
Provided you do the right planning, promote it well, and offer the right incentives, employee referral programs make good business sense. They can be an easy and cost-effective tool for enhancing your talent attraction strategy. However, perhaps the biggest benefit of launching an employee referral program is that they are based on the assumption that employees generally know people with similar skills and attitudes. Referred candidates are also more likely to accept an offer, perform better, and stay at the job longer.
Utilize social media to enhance your talent attraction strategy
Finally, when you create your talent attraction strategy, don’t forget to harness the power of social media. Social media can be a great platform for promoting your employer brand and collecting reviews and testimonials from current and past employees. And this makes it much easier to build an effective hiring and recruitment strategy.
Not only that, but most candidates these days use social media to look for job opportunities. In fact, according to SHRM, 84% of companies now use social media for recruiting purposes. Not only that but studies have also concluded that 68% of Millennials visit a company’s social media pages specifically to evaluate their employer brand.
Your social media presence has the potential to make or break your talent attraction strategy. You should therefore make sure that you have clear and informative profiles that explain who you are as a business and what you stand for. Maintain an active presence by posting regularly and responding to any interactions. And, most importantly, make sure you share regular links to your career sites to promote all your job vacancies. That way, you will expand your reach and attract a higher volume of quality candidates to your talent pipeline.