We typically think of brand marketing as targeted towards an external audience – to current customers, groups we hope to attract, and to other businesses – but what if we’re missing out on an important marketing opportunity?
We’re talking about potential hires. Attracting the best talent, whether in a networking setting, via social media, or during an interview is ultimately about selling the position to candidates and promoting the company as a whole.
So what does it take to present your company as the best place to work? There are several strategies to take your recruitment program to the next level.
Focus On Culture
Understanding your company culture is the first step towards finding the right employees, so tune in to what makes your workplace tick. Basic examples include the fact that most companies are team-oriented, but whether they’re more aggressive or more laid back within that framework tends to vary. Company culture, then, will drive what kinds of interview questions you should ask, but you also need to demonstrate that culture to applicants. They need a chance to determine whether they feel like this is a good fit just as much as you do.
Hershey’s does a good job of promoting their company culture even before applicants walk through the door. The Hershey Instagram highlights the employees as much or more than the products, giving potential employees a chance to connect with the brand before they even step into the interview. It seems to be working since their Instagram has over 174,000 followers.
Show Off Your Space
Another way that companies market themselves to applicants is by building an appealing workspace and turning that environment into a selling point. Many modern startups, for example, are known for their playful offices. Not only are they high tech, but may include features ranging from an office pet to skeeball and rock climbing walls.
Online medical scheduling company ZocDoc covered their walls with cartoons and let Scholastic (yes, the children’s book company) design the cafeteria. Squarespace’s offices are filled with video games. What’s not to love? At the very least, employees who are a good fit for the company will see the appeal of these offices.
For larger companies that have full office campuses – think Google or Apple where you never need to leave work to go to the gym or pick up your dry cleaning – a fun and appealing way to attract new team members is by renting or purchasing a tram trailer. To do what with? For campus tours, of course. Taking a cue from backlot tours at movie studios or the now defunct backlot tour from Disney, wow recruits by loading them into your personal tram and showing them around the place. It’s hard not to feel like an honored guest when you get the ultimate tour.
Make Way for Meaning
At the end of the day, what most people want from a career is something that gives them purpose – it has to be more than just a job. With that in mind, you may find that you bring in better applicants by inserting an indicator that something bigger is going on when you write your job posting. A more generic posting will attract qualified candidates, but it doesn’t mean they have the commitment to change or innovation that your company is really looking for; finding those applicants is what will take your company to the next level.
Though applicants will always wonder why hiring decisions take so much time, the answer is simple – qualified isn’t good enough. The best candidate is the one who understands your company’s mission in a big picture way and that’s rare. Market harder and embrace the idea of hiring as a kind of sale. You may be surprised by how the applicant pool changes.
Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur, Social Media Week, CEOWORLD Magazine and the HuffingtonPost among others.