The worst thing that a sourcer can hear is “no.” The second worst is to hear that the company will be cutting the budget. It is a terrifying time as a talent acquisition professional and as an employee of any company. How can we recruit or source if we cannot offer a competitive wage?
Coronavirus, as we all know, is changing the hiring landscape. We have candidates that are communicating differently, they have different fears, priorities, and we also have a lot of varying information daily. As a current pandemic society, face-to-face interviews are rare or obsolete. We need to find a way to showcase daily experiences in a new job while being virtual.
Additionally, a lot of our paid tools are being budgeted out at this time because companies are getting hit with layoffs and other business decisions dealing with the changing workforce. We have to remove sign-on bonuses, relocation offers, and other incentives that typically get employees through the door. This is a difficult time to be a recruiter or a sourcer.
Remember: You can only do what you can do…
Attracting candidates without a budget
Culture is what sets a company apart from another. Think about the companies that have campuses and the “cool factor.” Apple stores come to mind when I think of culture. There is a vibe that they create from the moment you walk into the store to the moment you step out. The store and the Apple brand create a visual vibe that is unique, and you can immediately picture it when someone mentions an Apple store. As talent acquisition professionals, we need to create a unique feeling about the company that we are representing that is true and enticing.
- What is something that sets your company aside from the others?
- Do you have the best benefits plan?
- Is your company continuously doing great things for the communities?
Although we are not in the marketing department, having a sense of how to sell the culture to candidates is a great way to stand out from the crowd and be the #1 choice in the market.
How do you sell culture?
Have up to three stories in your back pocket and try to share at least two during the conversation with candidates. Here are a few examples:
1. Company Origin Story
When starting the conversation with the candidate, take at least a couple minutes to tell the story of the company. This story is what some people use as an elevator pitch. I see this story as the “mission in action” story. It should say where the company came from and where the future is going.
Help the candidate visualize themselves as part of the company story. If you do not know where to find such a story, I would recommend to start at the company website and try to find a way to tie in the mission of the company. For example; “We see compassion and respect as real core to what we do every day, and it shows throughout our teams. We strive to make every patient or customer that walks through the door feel like they are family.”
2. Personal Story
This should be a personal story about yourself if you have been at the company for a long time or someone else that has been at the company for a long time. A great way to gain a story like this is to shadow different employees to uncover their success stories. A lot of times, as recruiters or sourcers, we tell rather than create a picture for the candidate. A story will help the candidate envision life within the company.
It is one thing to say: “We take care of our employees, they grow and potentially will get a promotion if they work hard.”
It is another to tell them a story of someone that you have met who started as a patient services representative that showed up every day and was passionate about his/her job and now works as a alent acquisition person who gets to go to events and share how much he/she loves the company every day while helping others find their dream careers.
Candidate Cues– pay attention to candidate cues. If you have ever read the “5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, you may have learned that you should talk in the language that someone is talking (also known as parroting). This is very similar to how to communicate with candidates. Not everyone is interested in a job for the same reasons. When you are talking to the candidate, and they mention that they are looking for a job because they want to find their career home or want a place that they can settle in and keep; do not at that moment keep talking about benefits. Take the cue that is handed to you and talk about the work environment and how the culture creates the right place for them to have a long-lasting career. Speak about the excellent stability the job provides and how you see that candidate in that position.
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Candidate Advocacy– I worked with someone that would talk about the “white glove treatment.” When communicating with a candidate, you immediately treat that person like he/she is the greatest candidate in the world and that you should be their go-to person for everything. Something I love to say at the end of my phone screen is: “If you have any questions, here is my personal cell number. If I do not know the answer, I can definitely find out who has it for you and connect you with them.”
Be an advocate for that candidate. When you have a great candidate, and there is not a good fit at your company, keep that connection. Give them advice for the future position that may be better for that person. It is a bummer if a candidate doesn’t want your position, but also, you are their advocate and want them to be happy wherever they are.
Introduce yourself as a career guide, not just a job guide because you never know what is going to happen years down the line. As Einstein said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
Stay with your candidate or lead a little longer. Send Happy Birthday’s, see how they are doing every month. That is where success lies.
Culture is becoming more critical in the days of corporate social responsibility and the emphasis on diversity.
- Take note of things that your company does well and where there still is a lack of progress.
- Be a great advocate for your candidate.
- Speak the language they are speaking and tell your story to help the candidate visualize a future within your company.
These may seem practical, but with authenticity and passion, it will shine through and help you achieve sourcing or hiring goals.