How to Recruit Top Candidates without a Top Employer Brand

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we are in the throes of a candidate-driven market. There are more open positions than there are skilled candidates to fill them, so candidates get their pick of the litter when they search for a new job. Between the Googles of the world, and the hot, well-funded startups, how can the rest of us compete?

Good news: you don’t need a top, well-known employer brand to recruit top talent. But you do need to be a place where people want to work – starting with your current employees. After all, if your own employees don’t want to work for your company, why would anyone else?

Getting Started

Survey your existing employees to see what they like most about working at your company, and what you could improve, and try to find common themes. Do people love their colleagues, but wish upper management was more transparent? Do they appreciate your PTO policy, but also want flex schedules and work from home arrangements?

Promote the things people like most about your company through your website, social media profiles and in job descriptions. Ask your direct hire agencies to share them though their candidate communications. Encourage your employees to share them with their own networks. Get the word out about what makes your company a great place to work.

Next, use your employees’ suggestions to improve. If your team requested more transparency, try running a weekly or monthly “town hall” meeting. If you want to see if working from home affects productivity, try a one month test run or allow it one day per week for the first quarter. While not all suggestions will work for your company, try to be open to trying new things – your employees will appreciate it.

Don’t Stop There

Continue to shape your employer brand by actively monitoring and responding to what your employees and candidates are saying.

Survey your employees at least annually to gauge their satisfaction with your company. Check your Glassdoor reviews to monitor what people are saying about your company in a public domain. Speak with your direct hire agencies to get a sense of your reputation among candidates they’re speaking with. You may even choose to survey candidates after the recruitment process to understand what they think about your company.

Each piece of feedback is an opportunity to promote the positive, and improve on the negative.

As employee satisfaction increases, your reputation will improve and your recruitment process will benefit. Your sourcing efforts will yield higher-quality candidates because more people will be willing to talk to you, and you’ll find it easier to close your top choice candidates because you’ll able to compete better with other companies. A happy workforce truly can be the key to great talent acquisition.

2017-08-03T05:11:53+00:00 April 24th, 2015|

About the Author:

Jen Dewar is a marketing consultant in the HR technology space with a focus on developing educational content for recruiters, corporate HR professionals, and staffing agency owners. She has spent the past 10 years working with a wide variety of companies — from corporate marketing for healthcare organizations and recruitment firms, to startup marketing for both Identified and Bright.com, prior to their respective acquisitions. When she's not doing marketing, you can find Jen snowboarding in Tahoe with her husband, traveling abroad, or enjoying a night in with friends and a good bottle of wine. She's a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a degree in Socio-Economic and Political Global Studies.