We’re just about at the tipping point where the majority of our adult working population will be under the age of 35.
Let that sink in for a second.
These are people who grew up post Internet, where surfing the web was akin to changing a TV channel. They saw their parents spend a lifetime climbing the career ladder where either a promotion or a pink slip waited regardless of ability — and they want no part of that. A common thread for them is their negative view of the concept of “career.”
To this new majority, "career" mostly means resumes, job ads and negative recruiter responses. It’s something to be avoided if at all possible. Yet the recruitment industry bases 80-90% of their efforts on the use of these very tools. Something has to give and the change needed is fundamental.
This could be the main reason that more than 50% of American companies are having trouble filling jobs. It's not that there aren’t people out there potentially interested; it’s that the method being used to engage their interest is ineffective. The majority of today’s workers want to build a business relationship before they agree to a business marriage. Responding to an advertisement in hopes of being picked for a short interview that culminates in getting “hitched” professionally doesn’t cut it.
Today, most people making hiring decisions are older than 35, and from their experience, a business relationship is one that is developed after the job is acquired. But this generational gap isn’t new. The flower children of the 60’s or the punk and grunge crowd from the 80’s and 90’s obviously had differences, too, however, the Internet has had a profound impact. Twenty years ago, the way someone found a personal relationship was typically at a bar or nightclub. The stigma of dating clubs was palpable, yet today companies like Match.com and eHarmony boast millions of members and the Online Dating Industry is the #1 Internet revenue generator with widespread social acceptance. In the same way, new methods of building employment relationships with future workers are evolving and the speed of its acceptance is breathtaking.
Build relationships over time
In the past few years, practically all of the Recruitment Industry Conference Agendas have included topics discussing talent management and engagement initiatives in the Social Age. One of the common practices I wholeheartedly endorse is creating a dynamic talent pipeline or network.
Think about this: more than 90% of the people that visit your company career page aren’t there to apply for a job. They stop by to merely investigate what your company is about. By providing them with a reason to leave their email address (industry poll or survey, eBook download request, blog subscription, etc.), you have the means to build a relationship with them over time. You can share any and all types of things with them about what it’s like to work at your company, what you all stand for, and what you are all trying to achieve as a company, division or team.
I get asked all the time about what to send out to keep people interested. Most tend to overthink this and get overly concerned about making a mistake. The easiest way to avoid mistakes is to only send out content that shows who you really are. I tell CEOs that they should not censor the content as long as it is authentic, because those that don’t like it will self-select out of your pipeline and as a result, you’ll have fewer mis-hits on hires that don’t fit in.
Mostly, the best advice is that the best ideas are always the simplest. Here are a few:
- Have a photo contest of your employee desks, and send out the winners.
- Have sales, engineers and execs finish a meaningful sentence with a 10 second or less video and send it to the matching functional audience.
- Take pictures of the next company outing and make a montage of the wackiest ones and send them out.
- Grab 5-6 coffee drinking employees, take them to the coffee area and after sipping a cup of the free company coffee, ask them to make a face that reflects what they think of it and then share it with your talent pipeline.
(Sharing on social? This article delves deeper into best practices to adopt for optimal candidate engagement.)
The idea is to keep it simple and fun. Each idea you share via email can include a link back to the job page so when a prospect is ready it is there for them to click and apply.
By sharing this information, potential prospects can determine where they could do their best work. This will provide a better sense of the “inner chemistry” employees possess and a prospect’s ability to succeed in various functional and team roles.
Only a few companies make this type of approach a priority, and the ones that can provide it will be like the eHarmony equivalent of their business sector. The prospects cultivated in this manner may not find the love of their lives, but they might find a job that they’ll love - and the company that employs this approach will see employee job satisfaction and performance soar.
Clinch specializes in helping companies share their story to interested parties with incredibly easy to use software. We pave the way for on-target prospects to become high quality candidates and amazing new hires. Let us show you how to make this a reality at your company.