The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids continues to be less than 4%.  Therefore, everyone knows the labor market today is tight and needs help finding talent.  Here are some easy tactics to keep you focused in the right areas to see immediate and big returns.

#1 Employment Branding – Find Your Voice

You might think big companies are the only ones that need to formally create an employment brand.  That’s just not the case.  Small to mid-sized companies should shout it from the rooftops what’s special about working at your company too.  You need to accurately reflect who you are as a company, while selling your unique culture.  Brainstorm with varied groups within your workforce and you will have lots to share.   Start with your company’s mission, vision, and value statements and show their tangible side.  These are things that make your culture special!  In the end, a successful employment brand will tell your story so that you can regularly attract those with similar goals, attributes and competencies.         

Here are a few of the best places for this to play out:

  • Careers Page – make sure you have one on your company website, it’s where your Employment Brand shines
  • Social Media Posts - shows your employees living out your company’s culture

#2 Engaging Job Advertisements

Spoiler alert!  There is a difference between a job advertisement and a job description.  A job advertisement starts with your job description but turns it into a marketing piece to sell the position and your company to the right applicant.  It’s the same approach when selling an appliance – you talk about the highlights.  You wouldn’t hand out the product manual and expect the customer to sit down in the aisle for an hour and read it all in order to make their decision.  Keep the job advertisement engaging.  Job requirements should include the essentials only, so you don’t confine the pool of quality applicants.

                Repeat after me, “I will not post a job description.”  

#3 Employee Referral Programs

Your current workforce knows what it takes to do the job and do it well.  Those amazing employees know other amazing people!  Employee referral programs need to have specific parameters to be successful but once people know the rules of the game, let them loose!  Periodically remind employees of the employee referral program and the benefit to them (might be monetary but it doesn’t have to be, get creative).  If your employees have stopped referring people they know, ask them why.  You will gain great insight! 

**The biggest piece of advice I might have in this whole article is right here – everyone in the organization should be recruiting on your company’s behalf at all times.  

#4 Great Candidate Experiences

When trying to attract top talent, providing a great candidate experience is crucial.  This boils down to an easy way to apply, a reasonable interview process and timely communication along the way. 

Qualified candidates will move on if the application process is too clunky or time consuming.  Collect pertinent information up front (resume) and weave other things into the process for those candidates you are seriously considering.  And just like you don’t want the application process to take too long, you don’t want the interview process to take too long either.  If it takes you too long to get back to candidates, they’ll be gone!  But even for those that stick around through a long process, they will become weary and their perception of the company could turn negative. 

During every stage of the process, respectful communication goes a long way.  It starts with a simple acknowledgment of their application and continues with updates of where they stand in the process.  Candidates need to know where they stand to stay interested.  Finally, let everyone know when the position has been filled.  It’s the polite thing to do.  The individual might not be your next employee, but they could be your next customer!      

The key takeaways:

  • Make the application process easy
  • Keep the process moving at a steady pace
  • Communicate with every applicant

In the end, it’s all a learning process.  Plan, Execute, Measure, Adjust, Repeat.  Whatever you do, don’t stop trying until you’ve made the right hire.   

Want more information or assistance in the execution of these tactics?  We can assist.  HR Solutions Group of West Michigan can partner on any Talent Acquisition project – big or small.  You don’t have to do it alone.  Contact us at 616.719.5372 or to get started.