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Take The Pulse Of Your Recruiting Style
  • By Jacki Hart

  • Friday, March 01, 2019

Take The Pulse Of Your Recruiting Style - blog post image

I’m writing this under the assumption that your company has an available position or two, or five, or more. Without a stack of perfect resumes and daily requests from candidates wanting a job, willing to do anything (faint memories of the 90’s) – let’s take a walk through who your message is (or isn’t) appealing to, and why.


There are many factors contributing to the challenges businesses face with recruiting. Some of which we have little control over… like competitive industries which pay a bit better, offer a bit more job security, or jobs that are entrenched in technology or something else a bit more ‘sexy’. Yet, there are some things that we DO have control over: One of the main ones I see over and over again is the disconnected message between who you’re trying to attract, and how you’re communicating who you’re looking for.


We’re navigating a multi-generational workforce more now than ever before – many companies have 5 different generations: The ‘founders’, ‘baby-boomers’, ‘gen X’, ‘millennials (gen Y – or as I call them, gen WHY’) and now ‘genZ’. The impact on businesses to shift how and what they communicate is fast paced and significant. Attracting digital natives (Gen Z – under 22 years old) is an entirely different game than attracting Baby Boomers. The language, the message and the media used to engage applicants is polar opposite. While Boomers (age 57 – 70) will (reluctantly) search online to find your job postings, will have a polished resume, expect the ‘traditional’ interview process and reference checks and WILL show up for an interview on time and well dressed, hiring Gen Z is a whole different ball game.


Generation Z and the younger Millennials (the under 30’s) click to a different tune. Entirely. Neither right nor wrong, good nor bad, it is what it is. So, in what ways have you changed your messaging to attract a generation who put different emphasis on what they value in employment? I will avoid a discussion about parenting and how they were raised, and hone in on what’s important to them: Contributing to the goals of the team, being valued, being praised and given feedback, feeling included, engaged in learning and personal growth, wellness balanced with work – to just name the top ones.


What this shift in perception of value in employment means to employers, is that you must address this wish list up front and right from the start.


Did you know that the under 30 applicants will surf straight to your FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM sites BEFORE your website? They’ll look first at how many followers and likes your company has. If there isn’t an interesting and engaging company story there, you’re toast. They might apply, but likely will show up as a last resort. They will keep looking for something ‘better’.


So many businesses are still pounding hard at website edits, updates etc, and ignore their social media presence. Think twice about that. The reality is that these two generations won’t likely find you by googling ‘landscapers near me’, and comb through your website to learn about you and opportunities you may have. Your website is a validator to most who visit – whether prospective employees, clients, suppliers or lenders. It’s not your best recruiting tool.


Another thing to consider, is that social media has changed the way Gen Z thinks…. They’ve grown up with a smart phone in their hand, and a social media presence that’s really important to them. They’re likely to be asking themselves “What does it say about me, if I work for that company?”. Yep, it’s just that important to them.


As for showing up for interviews, the reality is that they will typically flit around the web, applying for many opportunities at the same time. Some loose track, some keep track. In either case, they actually treat interviews like asking a store to hold a pair of jeans while they run an errand… if somewhere else in the mall (assuming they’re shopping in person not online) they come across a better deal, or better pair, they’ll buy and never return to the store holding the first pair. That sense of ‘courtesy’ isn’t a part of their fast changing world. They’re ‘in the moment’. It is what it is.


So, I encourage you to sit back and take a look at your online presence, and the message you’re conveying in your recruiting program. Can applicants see an engaged youthful team working together? A sense of community? Can they quickly learn that there’s something in it for them other than a paycheque? Is there a visual story of work balance and wellness, mutual respect and appreciation for the team? If your job ads talk about what YOU need ( i.e. willing to work long hours, high level of physical fitness, their own car etc) then you’re out of date. If your job ads talk about what you provide and what’s in it for your employees (balance, personal growth, contributing to the team and community), then you’re likely going to get better results.


I’m hopeful that you’re able to improve your recruiting results this year, and connect with right-fit people for your team this year, better than ever!


Jacki Hart

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