Glam Your Curb Appeal to Attract Employees

The best companies are having trouble attracting employees. Not only are companies in different industries vying for the same candidates as the current crop of college graduates emerge, but these candidates themselves present different challenges from only a couple years ago.

The 80-million strong Millennials (also known as Generation Y/Echo Boom) are acutely discerning job seekers, understanding the value of their unique tech-savvy skills and the power in their networking achievements. Demanding, and receiving, more competitive pay and benefits, faster advancement, and more responsibility, this entry-level generation alone presents a vastly different set of challenges than any before.

Multiple job offers frequently greet new graduates, which contribute to today’s drive in pay. Civil engineering and accounting graduates alone are nearing $50,000 in beginning pay and one sector, chemical engineering, has cracked the $60,000 notch, while other engineering (electrical, mechanical) hovers already in the mid $50,000s, beating out economics majors, where $51,600 is being offered to new graduates.

Word to the wise: Ratchet up what you’re willing to pay to market expectations. Get real and get down to business.

The reason my telephone-names sourcing job exists in this world is because companies are having so much trouble finding candidates. The entry-level candidates who are entering the workforce today are the same ones I’m going to be sourcing after tomorrow on your behalf. In order to help you attract them, you need to understand how to attract them today. What are you doing to attract employees? Have you thought about it?

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Job Stage Your Company

One solution comes out of the real-estate practice of “home-staging,” in which a home is set up to present its best face to potential buyers (thanks to Realty Times for helping us draw parallels between the real-estate and recruiting markets).

In the recruitosphere, this can be called “job-staging.” Job-staging techniques can be tailored to fit any company’s budget. The first thing to do is to glam up your curb appeal, both virtually and in person.

  • Keep your Web presence appealing. On a virtual level, maintain an attractive, well-tuned website that is updated with fresh material and information.
  • Take a look at your job descriptions. Are they the same old, same old, “Requires this, requires that, don’t bother applying unless?” Move over and get with the program! Today’s job seekers are willing to experiment, and they expect you to be willing to “experiment” with them. Open your minds (and close down some of your “requirements”) in order to attract them. Some of them just don’t make sense. Lose the “stinkin’ thinking” and embrace the sea of change.
  • Think “jobseeker first.” Learn to think like this and get out of their way. Remove the barriers to entry. Clear the decks. Streamline. Less is more.
  • Modernize everything. Today’s job seeker is tech-savvy like no candidate you have ever seen before. Offer (and allow) this gadgetry and think TECh: Technology Ever Changing. Keep up with it.
  • Make your entrance memorable. The second a potential job seeker reaches for the polished and gleaming front door to your office, he or she should find fresh carpeting in your office reception area and a clean atmosphere. Project a world-class image everywhere. Look at your offices as if they were a five-star hotel.
  • Remember that small things add up. Flowers on the reception desk, pleasing and welcoming “greeters,” fast elevators, shining clean bathrooms, convenient cafeterias that serve good, modern food, break rooms that offer solace and quiet, private cubicles that approach the coddled feeling that so many of this entry-level generation grew up with. Think about what’s going on inside their heads. Cater to them.
  • Determine whether things sound good. What do your website and office “sound” like? Remember, this generation grew up on technology, and they expect to be surrounded with sights, sounds, and smells that inform and appease; flat screens that stream the day’s news and hallway music that soothes their savaged senses. That’s what they’re talkin’ about, so learn to listen to the language they’re speaking.

I promise you will get your money back (this is all tax-deductible, anyway) in the sale of your job if you “stage” it correctly. You’ll gain additional square footage to the opportunity you’re presenting if you approach this dynamic, emotively thinking generation with this approach that’s sure to elicit that “Wow!” response you’re looking for.

Watch and see if it doesn’t work wonders on your more seasoned candidates as well!

Maureen Sharib has been a “Socratic sourcer” her entire sourcing career; from the moment she first picked up the faxed list of Silicon Valley high-tech companies that was her target list to “phone source” in 1996 to today she has instinctively followed this method of investigative sourcing using (mostly) the telephone.  She is a proponent of sourcing as a synonym for success and envisions the craft moving away from a dangerously drudgery-paced life-form existence to an exciting investigative/competitive place within organizations where practitioners co-exist within a framework of market research, human resources, and C-level future planning. She owns the phone sourcing and competitive intelligence firm TechTrak.com, Inc. You can contact her at Maureen at techtrak.com or call her at (513) 646-7306.  If she’s not on the phone she’ll pick up!

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5 Comments on “Glam Your Curb Appeal to Attract Employees

  1. Too many companies have taken it for granted that candidates are begging to work for them. It’s the companies that ‘sell’ themselves with the ‘visual and feeling’ points will win the battle for talent.

  2. Along with ‘sprucing up’ your company, postings and website, hiring authorities may also need an attitude adjustment. I catch myself thinking, ‘What are these Gen Y Candidates thinking?’ (Find myself sounding crotchety?) when I’d be better off thinking, ‘What are these Gen Y Candidates bringing to the game?’

  3. Maureen,

    No doubt initial impressions count. After all, for years employers have been making selection decisions based on first impressions of candidates.

    However, that same discerning candidate should be curious to learn if all employees are treated to the good life or only a few ‘who saids of the greatest magnitude’.

    Treating all applicants to a positive employment experience can bring great dividends that transcend the actions around a job search. Everyone who has any level of interaction in the employment process should understand that applicants / candidates may also be potential customers, referral sources, competitors, or even stock holders!

  4. We agree with your observation regarding the need to market your company and careers to potential job seekers. You would think marketing your company’s culture and other benefits to new employees would be a no brainer. It’s not.

    We’ve almost given up trying to convince HR executives on why showing a least a little bit of diversity & inclusion content on their site helps attract diversity talent. Hard to believe but it’s true many Fortune 1000 ranked companies still subcribe to an attitude of – ‘if we post then they will come’. Wrong.

  5. I am a strong advocate of making the candidate’s experience at all stages of the hiring process as pleasant as possible. (The rumor is: I’ve been a candidate from time to time…)

    At the same time, I think much could be gained by developing the staffing mindset that:
    ‘All hired candidates will need to be sourced and recruited.’
    In other words, while ‘*someone’ needs to make sure the company is ‘attractive’, assume you always have to be the pursuer to get the people you actually hire.

    *Not a recruiter or sourcer.

    Cheers,

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