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Posted by Alice Jenkins

March 24, 2014

Hook_Line_Sinker

What HR Departments should being doing to catch and keep the best talent

Catching & Keeping the Best Talent

The goal of any HR department is the same: recruit and hire the cream of the crop. In a market flooded with applicants, however, the competition for top-qualified applicants can be fierce. Catch the eye of your next all-star employee with these tips from Business to Consumer (B2C) marketing.

CONDUCT MARKET RESEARCH

The first rule of marketing is to stay ahead of the curve. Companies that track trends and adapt accordingly are more likely to succeed than those that don’t. This is true, as well, for recruiters.

It is in your best interest to keep tabs on what ‘the other guys’ are up to—the most valuable strategy you have is maintaining a knowledge base of what your competitors are doing to attract and secure talent. There are a number of readily-available, free online tools to accomplish this. Sites like Simply Hired and Indeed shed light on salary expectations and industry-specific recruitment tactics. It is always a good idea to peruse the most recent job listings. This will clue you into what your competitors' are offering and provide insight into what you can do to highlight the reasons why an opportunity with your company is more appealing.

Glassdoor is another resource available to you, one that paints a fairly accurate and up-to-date picture of job-seekers’ priorities. This site, and others like it, allow current and former employees of a company to report their earnings and rate their satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with their employers.

PUT YOUR STRATEGIC STAFFING BOOTS ON THE GROUND

Though marketing and recruiting alike have been quick to move online, there is undeniable value in face-to-face interaction. Tradeshows, conventions, and job fairs are not, as some would lead you to believe, obsolete. Quite the opposite. These events attract those who are actively interested in the evolution of their respective industries. Typically, the types of people who attend a tradeshow or job fair are those who take initiative and who value communication.

Job fairs provide a venue for recruiters to get a feel for the current state of the industry’s applicant pool. They also present opportunities to talk one-on-one with people who demonstrate a particular interest in your company. Be sure to get contact information from everyone, bookmarking those candidates who are especially impressive. Following up with these candidates within a week of the event will let them know they’ve captured your attention and provide them with incentive to formally apply for open positions.

BUILD A BRAND TO BE PROUD OF

Branding isn’t all about bringing in clients and driving sales. It’s about identifying what makes your company unique and shaping both public and in-house perceptions of your philosophy and corporate culture. The importance of this cannot be understated. After all, there’s a reason Google is viewed as one of the world’s best places to work.

Maybe your company can’t offer on-site salon services, an aquatic fitness center, or subsidized massages—that’s okay. A large part of Google’s appeal is its reputation for employing the brightest, most creative people around. That reputation is due, in no small part, to effective and consistent branding that takes place across multiple channels on-site and off.

Simple steps like updating your logo and posting content to your social media accounts that is aligned with the values of current and prospective employees can brand your company as hip, prestigious, and tantalizingly exclusive. Another quick way to earn employee buy-in is distributing high-quality company swag. Well-designed, aesthetically pleasing, branded items—as simple as personalized pens or as elaborate as a complete workstation care package—can promote employees’ pride in their work and your company.

MAINTAIN A LIVELY ONLINE COMMUNITY

Social media has become a force to be reckoned with. In addition to reinforcing your brand, it offers exposure to interested parties ranging from customers, investors, and job applicants. Design an online community that truly functions as such. Your Facebook page, Twitter, blog, et al should inspire participation and discussion. Encourage your employees to contribute to these conversations. This will let them know they are a valued member of your company and give prospective applicants an idea of the types of people they’ll be working with. If you don’t already, spotlight employee achievements. Doing so demonstrates your company’s commitment to supporting its employees—something that will not only attract high-performing talent, but also motivate existing personnel.

CREATE A FORUM FOR FEEDBACK

Successful companies offer good customer service. These companies make it easy to reach their representatives and encourage feedback, responding to complaints quickly and acting to consistently improve their products and services. A well-functioning HR department provides similar opportunities for feedback to employees.

The primary reason behind employee attrition is dissatisfaction with their employer and feeling like their concerns fall on deaf ears. Talented employees know that, if they are unhappy where they are, they can land another opportunity with relative ease. In order to keep your top performers around, ensure they have an avenue to discuss any problems with the people who have the power to address them. Although it is impractical to meet the demands of every individual, providing this forum is often enough to allay any concerns that their needs aren’t being considered.

Similarly, employee loyalty skyrockets when employees are invited to weigh in on decisions that affect the direction of the company they work for. Again, even if they don’t see their suggestions implemented, they’ll feel that their opinions matter and they are viewed as an asset to the company.

Alice Jenkins is a graphic designer and marketing consultant who blogs for PensXpress about all things business-related, but still has time to get a little ink on her fingertips. In case you’re under the age of 20, that means reading newspapers.

Topics: Staff Management, Recruiting Trends

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