All posts tagged: Recruitment

Attract Quality Candidates by Thinking Like a Product Marketer

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Talented people are bombarded with opportunities. So many that yours could easily be lost in the crowd. There’s a simple way to make your opportunities stand out—package your jobs as if you’re marketing a product.

I was reminded of this method when I was in the tea aisle of Whole Foods Market. If you’ve never been in their tea aisle, it’s a plethora of color, size, and shape. It’s quite a sight…and a potential sales nightmare for individual suppliers.

Manufacturers have learned to compete in this cornucopia by packaging their tea in boxes, tins, and containers of all colors, sizes, and shapes to attract your attention.

There was a woman standing in the aisle gazing at the wall of tea. As I watched her consider her options, I noticed that she was scanning the shelves, occasionally picking up a box or tin, checking out the back and then either placing the item in her cart or putting it back on the shelf.

I watched a bit longer, curious about the system she had going. Eventually my curiosity won out and I approached her.

“Excuse me, I hope I’m not intruding. I was noticing how you were looking at tea. I’m a consultant. My clients are always interested in how people make choices. I noticed you’re very particular with what you’re looking for. May I ask why?”

“Well,” she started, “I’m bored with my current brand of tea. I’ve decided to try some new flavors and brands. Maybe there’s something better than what I was buying before.”

“Okay, and how are you going to pick?”

“Well, I like a robust tea so I’m looking for cues—pictures or words—on the front of the box that tell me it might be full-flavored.”

“Okay. I noticed that when one grabbed your attention, that’s when you picked it up and checked the back.”

“Right. The front of the box is what captures my attention. Then I look at the back to finalize my decision. Simple as that.”

Tea Lady reminded me that packaging matters. How something is packaged either grabs or repels our attention.

This is why good jobs are often overlooked. They’re poorly packaged.

To get the attention of top talent, you must think like a product marketer. Your packaging (ads, posts, and verbal communication) must quickly grab people’s attention. This is the “front of the box.” Only after you’ve gotten a candidate’s attention will the details matter (the “back of the box”).

Take these steps to improve how you package opportunities.

Step #1: Next time you’re in a retail establishment, notice how product marketers package their offerings. Note the colors they use, the pictures they choose, and how carefully and sparingly they use words on the front of the box.

Step #2: Imagine your jobs were in a store competing with other opportunities. Each job is in a box, waiting for top talent to come down the aisle.

Step #3: Design the “box” with the jobseeker in mind. What pictures, words, and colors can you use to grab people’s attention?

Step #4: Test out a few designs with internal staff or an external focus group.

What’s this look like in action? A tech company with great opportunities was drawing in a trickle of talent. Using these steps, they created colorful images and short videos (under 10 seconds) of current employees sharing brief soundbites about how working at the company has improved their lives. They used these same soundbites as the opening content for written postings and conversations with candidates. Today, the company draws in a strong steady flow of highly qualified people.

Your jobs are important. They’re a product as important as what your company provides to its customers. Package them so that they stand out and get the attention they deserve.

Scott WintripAttract Quality Candidates by Thinking Like a Product Marketer
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Your Jobs On Indeed Are About To Disappear. Here’s What You Can Do About It.

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If you work in a staffing or recruitment firm, your jobs won’t appear in Indeed’s organic search results after January 6, 2019. You can learn more about the reasons for this in a blog post from Indeed.

Not surprisingly, many people are in a panic. But not everyone. Some firms have unleashed a force greater than Indeed that gives them a steady flow of top talent. More talent than they can place in jobs and assignments. Read on to learn how to access this force.

HOW TO INCREASE THE FLOW OF TALENT

In movies, we’ve heard about the concept of “force.” Some films use this idea for protection, as in a force field that repels. Then there’s the force that’s like a special positive power, helping the good guys defeat the bad ones.

In recruiting, there’s also a positive type of force related to sourcing talent. It’s called candidate gravity.

Candidate gravity is the “pull” that your firm has on talent. This pull may be weak, drawing in an insufficient supply of candidates; inconsistent, coming in ebbs and flows; or strong, generating a consistent stream of people.

Staffing and recruitment firms with strong candidate gravity always draw a stronger flow of top talent their way, leaving second and third-tier candidates for everyone else.

Only 10 percent of firms across the globe maintain strong candidate gravity. They’re able to do this because they maximize all eight of the talent streams that generate candidate gravity; the other 90 percent do not.

If you want your company to have stronger candidate gravity, you must first identify where your pull on talent is weak and improve those areas of weakness. When you do, Indeed’s decision to remove you from their organic search results will be irrelevant.

Here are the eight talent streams.

Advertising
This includes print and online ads

Automation
Technology options include job boards, career sites, applicant tracking systems, tools for finding passive candidates, and more being added every year

Candidate Mining
You mine your digital and paper files of previous candidates, looking at them as prospective candidates and referral sources

Market Presence
Drawing in talent using your online and physical presence

Networking
Includes the virtual and physical worlds

Referrals
Still the most potent stream, referrals consistently point you to the right people for a job

Talent Manufacturing
Education and internships are used to create new talent

Talent Scouts
Creating talent sharing agreements with other staffing and recruitment firms, including competitors

Each talent stream gives you access to a different group of candidates. Some of the talent streams provide overlapping access to the same candidates, but no single stream can secure every qualified individual.

If your company is experiencing an inconsistent flow of qualified candidates, you’re likely not using all eight streams effectively. Also, if you’re getting much of your talent flow from Indeed, you’re over-relying on the automation stream. Improving your flow from the other seven streams will make the loss of Indeed a distant memory.

To more effectively leverage all eight talent streams, take these three steps.

Step #1: Determine which streams have a consistently strong flow (and those that do not).
A talent stream is serving you well when it generates a continuous flow of qualified candidates, some of whom regularly become good hires on jobs and assignments. Those talent streams that don’t produce qualified candidates aren’t yet being fully leveraged.

Step #2: Improve the flow of talent one stream at a time.
It’s tempting to improve the flow of each of your weak talent streams at the same time. However, rapid changes like that rarely stick. Instead, improve the flow one at a time. Add resources or upgrade your recruiting methods to make that happen. Then move on to the next talent stream, and then the next. Improving talent flow one stream at time is how the most successful firms generate a consistent and sustainable strong flow of talent.

Step #3: Maintain the flow of each talent stream.
Regularly monitor the flow of each stream individually. Is that stream still generating a flow of qualified candidates, some of whom regularly become good hires on jobs and assignments? If not, quickly address the issue by going back to step 2. When you’re effectively using all eight streams of talent, you’ll have a surplus of quality candidates.

No one talent source is the do all, end all. If you’ve been relying too heavily on Indeed this is your chance to change that. I hope you’ll get started on improving your candidate gravity today.

 

Scott WintripYour Jobs On Indeed Are About To Disappear. Here’s What You Can Do About It.
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Frustrated By Your ATS Experience? Here’s How You Can Change That

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It’s common to love tech when it works and despise it when it does not. This episode of my podcast is an open conversation about one specific type of tech: applicant tracking systems. In particular, what everyone involved with them can do better. This includes the software companies who make the systems and the buyers who use it. Whether you’re a buyer or vendor, you’ll take away concrete actions that will improve the ATS experience. Joining me for this conversation is Jonathan Novich, Vice President of Product Strategy for Bullhorn.

Scott WintripFrustrated By Your ATS Experience? Here’s How You Can Change That
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Hiring Staffing Salespeople? Look For These 5 Attributes.

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Making quality sales hires continues to be a challenge for leaders in staffing and recruitment. This episode of my podcast will help you accurately identify people who will be successful on your sales team.

 

Scott WintripHiring Staffing Salespeople? Look For These 5 Attributes.
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Staffing Providers and HR Can Have a Better Working Relationship…Here’s How

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HR and staffing both impact the most important part of a company―it’s people. Yet, HR and staffing professionals continue to run afoul of one another, seeing the other party as the problem. In this podcast, I offer a way to improve this relationship.

Scott WintripStaffing Providers and HR Can Have a Better Working Relationship…Here’s How
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Think Your Staffing Firm is Competitive? Take This Test to Find Out for Sure.

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Lots of staffing owners and execs will tell you that their firm is highly competitive, when it’s not. In this podcast, I share a story of one such exec. I also walk you through The Competitive Test. By answering these 10 questions, you’ll learn the level of your competitiveness compared to other firms and know what to do next to make improvements.

Scott WintripThink Your Staffing Firm is Competitive? Take This Test to Find Out for Sure.
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Want Hiring Managers to Pay Attention to Your Candidates? Do These 4 Things.

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We live in a world of swiping, scanning, and occasionally scrolling. Reviewing a daily news feed. Looking for new listings on a real estate app. Sifting through posts on social media. Sorting your emails. Finding love on a dating app. Our mobile devices allow us to quickly review lots of topics, messages, posts, and pictures. Every so often one grabs our attention prompting us to scroll through the details.

This common behavior has changed how we process information. And this includes how most hiring managers review candidates. These managers, regardless of age, swipe and scan through emails and resumes with ever-increasing speed. Only occasionally do they scroll through the details about someone who, after an initial glance, appears to potentially meet their needs.

As more of our interactions with information shift to our mobile devices, this behavior will only increase. Which is why people who present talent to hiring managers (including HR professionals, corporate recruiters, and staffing pros), must adapt how they submit talent. Here’s how.

Find the juicy relevant details
When do we go beyond swiping and scanning? When we see something that appears worthwhile. Could be an article offering five compelling solutions for a perplexing business problem. Maybe it’s a picture of the newest model of a popular device. Or it might include a combination of a picture and text, such as a snap of a yummy looking dish and a recipe title that promises low fat and big taste.

Take time to identify the juicy and relevant details about a candidate. Don’t just ask about her skills—have her tell you about the positive business outcomes created by those skills. Don’t just ask him how much experience he has—have him give you the specifics regarding how that experience was praised by bosses and colleagues. Attention grabbing details are there if you take the time to find them.

Create a compelling headline
Actress Renee Zellweger famously said to Tom Cruise’s Jerry McGuire, “You had me at ‘hello.’” That’s what happens just before we decide to scroll through a piece of content—the very first “hello” (what we see or hear) either grabs or repels our attention.

Your headline, be it your first spoken sentence, the voicemail you leave, or the subject line of an email, determines if the hiring manager keeps paying attention or swipes you aside.

When possible, add a picture
Pictures are powerful and are said to be worth a thousand words. We see this today in the success and growth of Instagram, along with the increasing popularity of video.

Presenting talent with pictures is an overlooked opportunity. No, this does not mean you send the candidate’s picture. You can send powerful visual proof of the value the candidate could bring to the job. Examples include a picture of

– a written performance review
– non-proprietary work created by the candidate
– an award plaque

Write an irresistible opening
What keeps us reading content beyond a headline or picture? When what we see next makes it clear that continued interest is worth it.

That’s what you’ll do with the additional juicy relevant details you uncovered in step 1. You’ll write a brief opening paragraph that includes that information. Want to be even more compelling? Tie these details into specific requests made by the hiring manager.

What does this look like in action? Here’s the opening spoken line (headline) and first paragraph from a voicemail message left by a recruiter at one of my clients last week. He also sent this same headline and paragraph as an e-mail after leaving the voicemail message. Included was a pic of the first page of her most recent performance review.

SUBJECT: I have someone for you who’s a combination of Joe Allen and Susan Habib

Hi Roberto. You told me to look for someone who has the skill of Joe and communication abilities of Susan. I have her! Because of her skill, Emily has eliminated $120,000 in expense from the departmental budget. Her manager praises her communication as one of the reasons for this. He also credits her abilities for solving persistent problems, much like those issues you’ve mentioned your department is facing.

Did this work? Like a charm. The hiring manager, who normally took days to reply (if he did at all) responded within three minutes, wanting to set up an interview as soon as possible.

Like it or not, we now live in a world that floods us with information from all directions. To help your candidates stand out, you’ve got to cut through that noise. Hiring managers will swipe and scan your candidate to the side unless you make it clear it’s worth their while to stop and scroll through the details.

Scott WintripWant Hiring Managers to Pay Attention to Your Candidates? Do These 4 Things.
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