Can’t Buy Me Love: Earning Candidate Love

Have you ever noticed how people buy and sell almost anything? Craigslist is a landmine for junk hunters. People who just collect random things and start their own antique stores. That sounds like the beginning of an episode of Hoarders. A little scary.
There are corporations that are collectors of companies. They scoop up organisations big and small, and in that acquisition, companies also acquire people. In some cases, that’s precisely why they buy the company in the first place. They want people who are highly specialised and if that company does it really well? Why wouldn’t you buy them, if you have the cash on hand that is. But here’s the thing. You can’t buy candidate love (or employee love, for that matter).

Can’t Buy Me Love

shutterstock_397156225Companies acquire property and things—and sometimes other companies—but they never really buy employees. People need to be enticed, motivated, encouraged and empowered to apply for and take a job. Individuals thrive on engagement with work and attraction to an employer and a team.
You might say attraction is fleeting, and you’d be correct. Attraction to a job is created through an ongoing process of open communication, solution creation and personal satisfaction generation. Team building. Managers who care. The things that keep people sticking around.
Yet, solutions are usually temporary and personal satisfaction can be gone faster than your latest Snapchat photo. Eating a delicious Torchy’s taco temporarily satisfies hunger, but you’ll need to eat one again (insert taco excitement here). I’m talking about career nourishment. Our jobs don’t end at attraction. The success can’t be measured on hires alone.
[bctt tweet=”A recruiter’s job doesn’t end at attraction says @bryanchaney ” username=”ATCevent”]
We can’t be measured on happy employees, either. Each person is responsible for achieving real happiness in his or her job. Let’s face it: recruiters can make a job or company sound downright amazing. But the employee is responsible for matching a job opportunity to their personal requirements of fulfilment. This includes challenges, but also career progression and compensation. Gotta get paid, folks.

And I Love Her, Indeed

My strategy at Indeed? Benefits, growth and culture. In every candidate conversation, we challenge ourselves to put the job seeker first and help them get the right job that’s a fit for them, not just where we want to fit them in right now. No matter how quickly we grow, we need to grow with people in mind. You know the line – people first. It makes a difference.
As corporate recruiters, we evangelise the brand too. We build teams that work together, with a side of fun – all in the name of seeing the company succeed. Now, identifying people who will be great for the team AND have all the skills we need isn’t so easy. There has to be a long game.
To succeed long term we are consciously shifting the recruitment message to align with both the onboarding and employment experience. It means that your initial experiences don’t leave you completely unprepared to go and do your job. It means we’re aligning on engagement.

We Can Work It Out: Re-branding Talentshutterstock_130099715

Does this sound like acquisition to you? It doesn’t to me either – and that’s why we’ve rebranded our recruiting team as Talent Attraction.
This may seem like a small change or just semantics, but changing our group name within Human Resources has really changed our attitude. Here’s why we made the change and why talent attraction is much more accurate than talent acquisition.

number 1Talent Attraction Helps Define your Employer Brand

We continue to be thoughtful and personal in our messaging to candidates and prospects. This applies to job descriptions, recruiter outreach, and career-related social media content. Talent attraction science highlights several drivers for career change. If our outgoing recruiter and sourcer communication is rooted in these principles, we can track and truly understand what makes people click. That means better information not just for our team but our clients, too. It’s all about the bottom line, right?
[bctt tweet=”Talent Attraction Helps Define your Employer Brand ” username=”ATCevent”]

number 2Talent Attraction is More Focused on the Candidate Experience

Attraction starts before a candidate even knows why a career at your company may interest them. It continues through initial contact, conversations and job application. Not everyone is a fit for every job. Putting yourself out there and applying takes guts. This is where respect is most important. Respect for time, respect for communication, respect for people. We need to continue to test, iterate and create a better experience.

number 3Talent Attraction Helps Define How Everyone in Your Organisation Has a Role to Play

Recruiting is everyone’s job. Attraction has to be embraced by employees in every function from custodian all the way through to the CEO. This is particularly important for hiring managers…but this isn’t a quick or easy journey. Like motivation, it’s a process that takes effort and energy every day. It takes humble, caring leaders at every level of the organisation, who support and believe in our mission to help people get jobs.

shutterstock_148603739Don’t Let Me Down: Advice On Practicality

You’re asking “what can your employees and teams do differently today to attract talent?”
The bottom line is thoughtful messaging and outreach. You need to tell stories focused on benefits that matter to your audience. Consider how your group of recruiters is currently being represented and think about your name – are you simply collecting and acquiring people, or are you attracting them?
Change your mindset. Change your relationship with candidates. Change your company.
Images: Shutterstock 

This article first appeared on  on July 12th, 2016.

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