Allison KelleyWritten by

3 Ways to Stand Out in a Candidate-Driven Labor Market

Attraction & Engagement, Brand Activation| Views: 313

Last week we launched our Guide to Creating Candidate Personas and we examined how they can help you attract and retain top talent. The takeaway? Understanding candidates is especially crucial in today’s labor market.

According to a 2016 MRINetwork Recruiter & Employer Sentiment Study, 86 percent of recruiters and 62 percent of employers believed the labor market was candidate-driven rather than employer-driven. This means candidates have their pick of employers and can afford to be more discerning when it comes to choosing a company that’s right for them.

Your candidates are hungry for information to inform their decision, and you can be the one to provide it. Here are three ways to stand out in a candidate-driven labor market:

1. Start in your own backyard

Want to know your candidates better? Talk to current employees in the roles you are trying to fill. Ask them about their online habits to see where your candidates might be hanging out: What email newsletters do they subscribe to? What sites do they have bookmarked? What communities do they actively participate in? All of this information will help you build your candidate blueprint.

2. Talk the talk

Once you’ve done some candidate research online, you’ll start to see who your candidates are and how they communicate. This will vary depending on the role but regardless, taking the time to learn their style will go a long way in building authenticity and ultimately their trust.

But beware of straying from your employer brand: This is not about appropriating trendy slang to serve your hiring needs. If you’re a cloud-based software company that’s never used the word “lit” before, it’s probably best you keep it that way. That’s not your brand, and that’s fine. What you have to do is find out who your people are and organically join the conversation when it makes sense to.

3. Be a (real) human being

Just because you are pursuing multiple candidates, or even 50,000, that doesn’t mean you can’t provide a personalized experience. One way you can do this is to steer clear of stock photos of employees. It’s possible to have polished photos that feature real employees. You won’t risk alienating candidates before they’ve had a chance to learn about you; candidates recognize phoniness and will move on.

If you don’t have a big budget, search your social media feeds and see if any employees have posted photos at work. Reach out to them and ask if you can feature their photo on your company’s career social handles or even on your website.

Want to better understand your candidates and hire smarter? Download our Guide to Creating Candidate Personas eBook.

Allison Kelley

About Allison Kelley

Allison Kelley is on the Marketing team at TMP Worldwide Chicago. Since 2009, she has worked to tell brand stories for a variety of industries including nonprofit, HR, digital marketing, small business, entrepreneurship, travel, and B2B. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post and Chicagoist, among others.

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