First off – Happy New Year! We’re already a week in, can you believe it?!
Well I have it on good authority (I can feel it in my bones) that it’s going to be good year! I predict 2014 will be the year of the ‘Yousli’…. what do I mean by that? It’s all about bespoke services, products and consumer expectations or in our case, candidate expectations.
As we move at rapid speed toward a world of tailored approaches, products and services, candidate attraction and the way we assess and engage with potential employees is not too far behind.
I personally love anything I can customise and I’ll usually gravitate towards something that has been designed specifically for me.
So have you noticed how many new businesses are springing up based on bespoke?
Two that that I personally like are Yousli and Shoes of Prey. Yousli allows you to choose your base muesli and then whichever ingredients you like and then name it yourself. I like to call mine ‘Suzli’. They then package it and send it to you. Shoes of Prey allow you to design your own shoes. From the style, hight, fabric etc and then you can name it…what’s not to love!
The question is, what do candidates expect from us?
What do they want to be able to consume, pick and choose when it comes to considering your organisation as a place to work? Do you provide them with a number of different options when it comes to applying for a role or finding out more about your organisation’s culture, people, activities etc? As we know people digest information in different ways:
- Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding – Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, photos on your career site
- Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music – YouTube, video on your career site
- Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing – providing written information candidates can consume or video they can hear more about the business.
When engaging with candidates, do we think of these different styles or do we treat everyone exactly the same?
So recently I asked a number of highly skilled professionals; if they could design the recruitment process they had to go through in order to get a new job, what would it look like, and this is what they said:
Tom – PhD scientist, global experience, has worked for leading pharmaceutical in research & development in the past.
“I’d like to have a lot of information to read (surprise being in research and all). Job descriptions are terrible and very rarely accurate when it comes to the tasks that I’d be responsible for undertaking. I’d like to read examples of the types of reports I’d be responsible for writing. Companies put fairly general info on their websites when it comes to careers pages. Nothing that makes me think they’d be great to work for. You also rarely get information that covers warts and all when it comes to the job and then wonder why people don’t work out when the job and environment aren’t right. Having more team based final interviews or meetings would help provide the opportunity for potential employees to have honest conversations about the organisation therefore ensuring that you know what you’re getting yourself into and that it’s the right fit for everyone.”
Jim – Senior Business Analyst working across a number of large corporates on a contract basis. One of the main things that he stated was:
“I’d like to meet the people who I’d be working with. Not just the manager but the team, maybe the stakeholders, etc. I also just want to know that I can leave the office at 5pm and get home to see my family. I make sure I get what I need to get done, but then see so many other people just staying back in the office when they don’t have anything to do because that’s the ‘culture’. I’m not interested in that. I get in, get the job done right and then get home. I wish people would just be honest about the real culture of the office so I can make the right decision.”
Tanya – Senior Manager in HR projects –
“I’d love it if someone said that they had read my blog or engaged with me on a social platform, because I never look at job boards. They want to discuss where their business was going and how I could support that. Language is a big thing. We live in a world that is solutions focused (well my world is anyway), so if you’re looking for someone like that, then you need to think about the way you approach them. What is going to be more appealing – ‘we want to talk to you about a job’ or ‘we want to talk to you about a solution that we need for our business’. In the first instance I might think…well I’m happy where I am, changing jobs can be stressful. But if you say – our business needs to find a solution to X (which is what I specialise in) then you’ve got me chomping at the bit from the start. Now when it comes to assessing me to find out if I’m right, I’m happy to have a conversation/interview but why not put me to the test. Let’s get in a room with a number of people and let’s solve a problem, work through a project. You’ll see me in action, see the way I think, work out if I’m the right fit by the way I conduct myself and the ideas I come up with. That would be a really engaging way for me to get a job.”
So your challenge should you choose to accept it, is to look at some of the roles in your organisation – you choose which ones this may work for.
Think about your hard to fill roles and look at how you or your recruiters are engaging with those candidates. Is there a better way to attract that particular type of person? What language is key to them?
What would tempt them nine times out of ten to be drawn to your role? Have you asked? What could the recruitment process look like for them that could be a bit different?
I love this ad below and recently used it in a conference presentation. It speaks to its audience and is tailored just for them. It’s interesting, different and the process of assessment is based on work that they submit when they apply. It’s challenging, fun and creative!
We do the same thing over and over again for every person – yet every person is different. Now if you’re thinking, well we don’t have time to tailor our approach then think about whether you have time to sort through 100 ad response of people who don’t really match the criteria you’re looking for. Think about the solution that you’re providing to your hiring managers and if you’re really adding value in an ever-changing market.
If the way you are recruiting today, is the same as you were recruiting 4 years ago, then are you really tailoring your approach to meet the needs of highly skilled and ever expectant candidates in the market in 2014?
Be different, challenge the status quo and you may be surprised by the calibre of great candidates you attract!