Posted by Jennifer Dinehart, September 26, 2013
Every day, thousands of job candidates look for a job. They begin by looking for a publicized opening or contacting a third-party recruiter. Once they see or hear about a position that interests them, they begin to research the company. This may include checking the company’s website, joining online chat rooms or forums about your company or industry, searching online, contacting friends or family that may know or have worked for your company, going to their social media communities, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Recruiting an “employed” (passive) professional, now means that a company must have a much more sophisticated marketing and public relations (PR) approach to recruiting. Improving your visibility will help with your recruiting efforts and your ability to attract the best possible candidates as new employees.
Promote Your Company As A Great Workplace
One of the primary ways of convincing applicants to work for your company is by building your company and its brand as a great place to work. This is where a consistent flow of PR and marketing is essential to having a successful recruiting process. This means creating a public image of your company whereby a quality candidate is going to look to your company to give them not only financial opportunities, but also a career where they can grow with the company. Today’s job hunters want to work for companies that will train them for the next job.
Take a few minutes a day and join chat rooms, forums and social media discussions about your industry. Look at where the people are going that you want to recruit. Review the blogs specific to your industry.
One of the best ways to get the word out about your company is to have the support of your executives to consistently promote your company as a great place to work. When any executive speaks internally or externally, they must mention how important recruiting is for the future of the company. It doesn’t need to take long, just a few seconds every time they speak.
To make sure that your company is well viewed by the public in the region, executives need to speak at community or industry meetings about what the company is doing and any new business venues or innovation. If they speak at a luncheon where target recruits may be, mention that your company has job opportunities. Speak at professional seminars, associations and trade shows.
After a few months, the press will pick up on your executives’ comments and begin asking questions about why it is important to your company. This will start a dialog for conversation to get more publicity for your company as a great place to work.
Another important path to take is to have your human resources (HR) department partner with marketing communications and PR. When the HR staff attends job fairs, events and tradeshows to attract people, PR should write and distribute press releases, articles, speeches, ads and direct mail materials that include a message about open positions.
Use Your Website to Promote Careers
Your website is also an important element for recruiting. Make sure your web home page lets job hunters know that your company is a good place to work and include employee testimonials. You should have a career section on your site. First – compile the company’s “good stuff” list – all the reasons why people should work for you. Post your openings and have positions searchable by location and skill.
Other ways to attract talented professionals are –
• Start a scholarship for the local college in your field of business to be awarded each year to one student. This will increase your visibility within that school and raise your profile to prospective graduates.
• Adopt-a-highway or local park – have employees volunteer to do clean ups.
• Create a fundraiser of your own to sponsor and have employees run it. Do a contest at work for ideas and pick the one that suits your company the best.
• Work with the local college or university to get your name on their preferred employers list. See if there is a fraternity or sorority at the university to work with. Try to get your executives to do guest lectures.
Use your media relations skills to work with reporters to get them to write about your company. Job hunters and new graduates frequently read the trades to find companies that are great to work for. Write articles about innovative things your company is doing and pitch your story to the big job boards and online pubs. Write about best practices in leading technical journals, trade journals and industry publications.
Pitch story ideas to the local and national media about your company’s events. Use the “good stuff” list that you created for your website as a way to promote story ideas to the media for more press coverage.
Let the media know about ongoing and innovative training programs for employees. Target trade publications on your story ideas about unique things your company is doing to attract and keep employees. Be willing to talk to the media about any labor shortage, and tell them what you are doing to recruit and retain employees.
Other PR opportunities for recruiting include –
• Hold events to attract prospective employees, such as career fair day. Send out media alerts to increase press coverage, and to keep local newspapers, television and radio stations in the know about your company recruitment events.
• Publicize your charity fundraisers, volunteer programs or anything else that positions your company as a good community and corporate citizen.
• Create an “experts list” and give it to reporters who cover your industry. The list should include people who can speak on various topics.
• Write letters to editors of newspapers, magazines and trade pubs. Carefully weave into the letters reasons why your company is a great place to work and the type of people you hire.
• Post your job openings on your social media, such as LinkedIn.
Use your advertising and marketing to help recruit. A few advertising opportunities include –
• Advertise or sponsorships with sports events and venues including all events for charitable associations.
• Sponsor or volunteer at well-publicized events.
• Place stories and ads in trade and business pubs; newspapers.
• Coordinate advertising so that product ads also help attract workers and employment ads also sell the product and the brand.
• Develop local radio shows sponsorships and recruiting spots.