The Great Resignation is upon us. Events of the last 18 months have upended our lives and driven us to reflect on what we’re doing at work and why it matters. As a result, millions of people have already left their jobs and more than half of U.S. workers will look for new opportunities in the next 12 months.
To paraphrase one LinkedIn user’s take on this phenomenon, people are not just walking away from a bad job; they are walking toward the right job that will add value to their lives.
So, how will working at your company add value to their life?
Define this and you will have defined your employer brand. Promote it effectively and you will attract – and retain – the right candidates much more easily.
Start by updating your job description.
If you needed to hire someone yesterday and have time to work on only one thing, let it be your job description. This is one of the first things a candidate will read about you, and the costs associated with promoting your job description on Indeed, LinkedIn and other platforms can add up – don’t let this valuable piece of real estate go to waste.
Just like a candidate’s resume, your job description should be a genuine reflection of who you are. Working with your internal communications, public relations or marketing teams, be sure to include valuable insight about your organizational culture, such as values, mission and vision. Consider enlisting a copywriter who can craft the job description using language that is authentic to your brand persona.
And don’t be shy about promoting non-traditional or unique elements of your compensation package. If you offer unlimited vacation time, cover professional development expenses or allow pets around the office, those perks are another reflection of your organizational culture. They will resonate with potential candidates who need or want what you have to offer and may help weed out candidates with a different set of needs that you cannot or choose not to fulfill.
Position your employees center stage.
There is nothing like learning about a work environment from the people who experience it every day. This explains the popularity of platforms like Glassdoor. It also explains why job seekers are often encouraged to reach out and network with potential coworkers at the companies where they intend to apply.
You can proactively share the type of information job seekers desire by enlisting the help of your employees to provide testimonials. Spotlighting employee accomplishments is another way to showcase how an employee in your organization is valued and appreciated and demonstrates the type of work a candidate might be expected to do on the job. No matter the approach you take to highlight your people, sharing these anecdotes on a “careers” page on your website or in a series of posts on social media can be effective in spreading the word.
Taking this concept one step further, we would encourage employees (with some guidance) to share their work experiences on personal social media platforms and engage with posts by your company pages (likes, shares, comments, etc.) to amplify branded content. Social media “takeovers” are also an effective way to showcase a day-in-the-life of your employees by allowing them to literally take over the management of your company’s social media profiles and document their activities for the day.
Demonstrate industry expertise.
People want to work for companies with a positive reputation built on the respect of their customers or clients and colleagues. And the reality is that great candidates often come from an organization already in your network, whether it’s a client, vendor, industry peer or competitor.
Investing in a thought leadership program to reinforce your reputation as an industry leader and subject-matter expert will raise your profile and increase your credibility in the minds of prospective candidates. Speaking engagements, blogs (like this one) and publicity are just a few tactics we recommend. Sponsorship of your professional association or one geared toward the type of candidates you want to attract may also include benefits that allow you to promote your company and available job opportunities more directly.
Don’t try putting lipstick on a pig.
Updating your job description, showcasing your employees and demonstrating thought leadership are all helpful tools in promoting your employer brand. However, as the saying goes, you can’t put lipstick on a pig. If your attempts to recruit candidates feel disingenuous, it is probably a symptom of larger issues about organizational culture that your leadership must address.
Remember: people aren’t leaving their bad jobs. They are moving toward jobs that add value to their lives. The first and most important question you must answer as an employer is, “How am I adding value to my employees?”