25 February 2016
It is paradoxical to see how companies/businesses evolve in leaps and bounds over the years, yet the practice of hiring has lived in the back recesses or the collective company mind.
We are heading towards a more service-oriented era where your people are your value, which is what drives your profits, which makes the company a success or not. What if I told you, your company could get a two or even three times return on an investment, would you be interested enough to suspend your prior beliefs?
When you lose an employee, you easily lose 1.5 times equivalent of the employee’s annual salary in value. If your department or region has a staff of 10 sale managers who earn over $100K and you lose just one of them/yr (10%) which is really good, you just found $150K in value/cost that you could be using to grow/protect your business. Losing staff is a costly business, especially when you consider the lost momentum on sales initiatives when such departure takes place.
Surely the decision to leave is a complex one, but I believe the company could do more to anticipate and minimize the losses, and it begins way before candidates join you.
Think about the usual scenario in hiring: Job descriptions reach HR where they either source it internally and/or externally. The need to recruit usually comes too quickly to really think how best to approach it, and instead, the responsible party plunge into their social and traditional network to source candidates as the hiring manager has demanded to fill the vacancy “yesterday.” If you have done the prep work and have a company branding strategy in play, this hiring process can be the moment where you have the opportunity to both positively brand the company as Employer of Choice and have a long-lasting marketing effect on all future candidates.
When you visit most company websites, they showcase how big the company is, how many staff they have worldwide, which industries they excel in… most of the material is focused on what they think their potential/current customers want to know. If you started with the radical premise that your employees as your “partners” who in turn serve your customers, who then come back for more products or services, wouldn’t you want to make significant efforts to inform and motivate your employees? And isn’t this exactly the kind of material and approach that you could and should use to attract and educate potential employees?
Perhaps ego gets in the way, companies think “of course candidates want to join us”; “we are a global company and the brand has enough pull” …etc, but for passive candidates in particular, these qualities do not automatically evoke an emotional connection (see one of my previous articles – “Why emotional connections matter”), which is the only proven motivator to get the candidate you really want, to jump ship and leave behind the familiarity and certainty. Your CANDIDATE MARKETING needs to provoke them into asking the question “why do I want join your company” instead of all the facts listed on your website, why not have some current employees talking about the opportunities that being with the company offered. Creating an emotional and personal connection requires a personal and emotional appeal, and serves as the basis of offering more in an employer/employee relationship.
Companies who only focus on pleasing customers forget the old adage: “a great sever can make up for a poor meal but a poor server poisons even the best meal.” An educated and motivated employee is the companies’ greatest strengths, and you, like a general, need great allies to tackle the challenges of today’s business climate and continue to bring in the profits.
Yes, the traditional way of hiring could bring instant gratification or possible relief to your business situation; you get someone who wants a job, right now, but not necessarily to stay long enough to create a career at your company. Do you really think, this employee will be as motivated to make that one last call, or hold strong in the face of customer pressure to lower the price, versus someone who has an emotional and personal connection with the company?
So, if you have a hiring need right now, find recruiters that will bring you a few of the possible candidates vs a list of some job boards, so instead of wasting your time, you can invest your time selling the company just as strongly as if you were selling to a client. In a way, you are your employees’ Key Account Manager.
If you don’t have a hiring need right now, great, who can you ask for help preparing relevant materials aimed at creating an emotional call, to the next great candidate you will need to hire? I hope you can see where my argument is heading. As a professional recruiter, I constantly look for nuances which can make a positive impact for both my clients and candidates. It is a must to market to candidates (as well as employees on an on-going basis) and the marketing efforts have far more implications and benefits to the company than the management of the past had realized.