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Attracting (and Retaining) Candidates in a Candidate Marketplace

As a retained search firm, every opening we work on is exclusive to our firm.  Our clients have entrusted us to represent them - bringing them strong talent in a very competitive marketplace.  

You Are The Third (Similar) Call This Month

Candidates are being approached quite frequently.  They know that our call is just one of many they are likely to receive in this market.  They are also likely being bombarded by 'reach-outs' through Indeed, etc.  And they are NOT looking for a new role.  Getting the ideal candidate's attention is more and more of a challenge.  What are the best practices?

Candidates Are Not Focused on your ATS

Applicant tracking software is great for the active job seeker.  When we talk to candidates, our ATS is not, however, what impressed them.  It is a personal reach-out based on their background.  It is the time we spend upfront to get to know who they are and why we want to engage them. 

Once we initially engage the candidate, we need to partner with our client (the hiring organization).  While some of the rules for engaging candidates have been with us for years (some going back to McKinsey  & Company's original War For Talent work in 1996/1997), they are still critical to follow:

  • Senior Management has to share the role of recruiter.  Candidates are not just selling themselves to the employer; they are likely happily and gainfully employed. Their current employer (probably) has retention efforts in place.  The hiring employer, at all levels, has to take on a talent acquisition and talent management mindset.  They have to sell their company (brand) and culture in addition to assessing candidate fit.  
  • Employers have to create an extreme employee value proposition.  (This is directly from the McKinsey & Associates work.)  The question that needs answering is why an employee who is happily employed across the street would want to work for you.  This has to be pre-thought and sold throughout the recruiting process.  
  • High-performance cultures retain talent at a higher rate.  Employees want to work with other high-talent co-workers.  Nothing is as demotivating as working next to a person who is not performing, but is allowed to have the same internal opportunity and support.  It's worse when pay is not used to differentiate performance either.  Glassdoor and other company-review websites will tell a story to all candidates that pre-research a company.  

Companies Are Doing a Great Job Of Retaining Talent

In today's competitive marketplace, recruiting does not end when the employee joins the company.  Talent needs to be constantly re-recruited.  The best dollars spent are not on external recruiting programs.  They are spent on retention programs designed to keep your strongest talent inside the organization.  Retention can be simple - recognizing someone for a job well done.  It can be offering opportunities to develop through internal or external training.  It can be recognizing the employee for helping to train others.  

Let Us Help You

We work closely with employers on improving candidate experiences.  Moving recruiting initiatives along as well as assuring each candidate visit is positive and purposeful is critical.  Personalizing the experience to the candidate while highlighting your employer brand is critical.  We can assure the positive experience happens.