As unemployment rates have dropped to record lows the employment market for brands looking to hire and expand has become increasingly more challenging. The latest unemployment numbers are at all-time lows of 3.6%, a number not seen since 1969. This is leaving many more jobs open than people to fill them. In a job market such as this, small to medium brands have to look for additional ways to impact recruiting efforts that enable them to compete with larger brands.
But how can brands compete in a low unemployment market?
Recruiting qualified workers is more difficult than it has been in decades. There are literally millions more job openings for workers than there are workers to fill those openings. What’s more, is that the competition for those workers has become even more challenging. Add to it that skilled, experienced and qualified workers are even more of a challenge to recruit and brands are faced with a need to stand out from their competition in a tight job market.
Beyond the typical improved benefits, better working environments and of course increased compensation, most employees want to be part of something great. They are looking for their careers to be a reflection of who they are and what they stand for. They want to be associated with a brand that is seen as “cool”, current and impactful. To add this sense to your small or medium brand, it may require a facelift of sorts.
Your brand may need to take a long hard look at your digital presence and every aspect of your digital marketing footprint if you are going to be able to compete in the current recruiting market. If your online presence looks old, tired, inactive or unappealing to potential recruits, it is going to affect your ability to attract qualified talent. If your messaging and social presence is largely unchanged or inactive, you are sending a message to prospective employees about your business.
Digital marketing is not just about getting customers in your door. It is a window into your organization for prospective hires. I liken it to the storefront of a retail business. First impressions matter. If your parking lot is filthy, your windows are dirty and your sign is old and rusted with burnt out lights, you are telling your potential customers a lot about your brand. The impression you are making to those customers is not at all a good one.
Therefore, if you want to win in a challenging recruiting market, your digital marketing impression needs to also make a positive initial impact on potential employees. According to a recent interview with Daniel Zhao, Glassdoor senior economist by NBC News, “In general, we’d say one of the largest challenges facing small employers is finding workers, and that’s reflected in the data we’re seeing.”
Just like with potential customers, new employees will not likely tell you why they did not apply for one of your advertised positions, show up for their interview or accept a position that you offered them. They will simply move on to another job listing or accept a secondary offer from another brand.
Proactively making improvements to your digital marketing with a new eye toward recruiting will deliver immediate changes to how your brand is perceived by potential employees and improve your odds in a tight labor market. Here are some suggested steps that we take for our clients and we strongly suggest that you follow as well.
Take a fresh look at your entire digital marketing online with a different perspective. Look at your website, search results, content, imaging, messaging and social media profiles and feeds from the view of how your prospective employees will see your brand. What impression are you making with your current digital marketing? What is the message they are getting from what they see and read online about your brand?
From the analysis that you conducted of your brand presence online, you should identify several things that are issues that should be addressed. If you are unable to determine areas that are impacting your employee recruiting negatively and that require improvement, you may need some professional help. Reviewing and assessing the readiness of your brand presence online is not always a simple process. Understanding what is needed, missing and requiring improvements comes from experience and expertise. If you don’t have that in-house, you need to acquire it from another source.
When you have analyzed and listed the problem areas within your online presence, you will want to create an action plan to make the necessary improvements. This requires technical and execution skills and experience. There is only one thing worse than a poorly designed and executed online presence and that is one that is made worse by cutting corners, costs and expertise. Know what your strengths are and leverage them, but also know what your weaknesses are and get the qualified help to make a real impact.