April 22, 2022 | Written by Jennifer Thompson

How To Attract Employees In A Competitive Market

As the job market is getting tighter and tighter, many organizations are making recruitment a top priority. As Canada experiences low unemployment rates, it’s becoming more difficult to find the right employees for your business.

The national unemployment rate hit a low of 5.5% in February 2022 (Stats Can), down from 8.2% the year before (Stats Can), and close to the record low rate of 5.4% seen in May of 2019.

There are signs the Great Resignation may too come to Canada. In the United States and other countries, an unprecedented number of employees have left the workforce, dissatisfied with working conditions, bad managers, uninspiring careers and the belief that the employer-employee relationship can and should be better. And while Canada hasn’t seen a mass exodus yet, a recent survey from the Bank of Canada indicates it could be around the corner. The survey showed that 19.3 per cent of workers said they expected to quit their current job in the next 12 months.

And with new ways of working becoming the norm – such as work from home and hybrid models – employees are not prepared to go back to the way things were before. In today’s market, you need to put in the effort to recruit to your company. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what you need to do to make your business stand out in the competitive job market, and ways to attract and hire the best people.

Set Up Your Brand and Communications for Recruitment
It’s important to consider your company’s branding not just to attract customers, but also to attract employees. You’re marketing yourself as a great place to work, for potential hires who may have a lot of choice right now. The first step is defining your company culture: who are you as a company, what are your values, what kind of people would potential employees be working for? Then, you need to create consistent messaging about your culture: what is it that makes your organization special or different from other similar companies? Finally, you need to showcase that messaging through your communication channels. For example:

  • Write a really good job description using your brand language and tone, while also being clear on what is expected of the successful candidate. Carefully think about the qualifications you are looking for, because it can be a good measurement tool to rule people out down the road.
  • Create a brand video about your company and your values (check out ours here).
  •  Ensure you have updated content on your website about your company history and culture (such as an “About Us” page).
  • Update your social media profiles (especially LinkedIn) with info about your business, your people and any activities or events that showcase your culture.

Leverage Technology
The time commitment can be significant when you’re hiring. But using tools and technology can help make this process easier. Gone are the days where you have to manually leaf through hundreds of paper resumés on your desk. Some examples of digital tools and channels to consider are:

  • Resumé AI scanners: there are various software options available that use artificial intelligence to search resumés for the most relevant candidate based on a job description. This can also help reduce bias and determine who is the most qualified.
  • LinkedIn: even before you post the job, start searching for the candidate you want, review LinkedIn profiles, add them as connections and add them to a spreadsheet. Then follow up individually and encourage them to apply for the position. Make sure to post your job ad on LinkedIn as well.
  • Think Digital: consider promoting your job post with digital ads like you would the product or service you sell. This time, make sure you’re posting on channels targeted at the type of person you want to hire (who may differ from your target customer).

Cast A Wide Net
You want to put your job posting in as many relevant places as possible, but the key thing is to post it in places that your ideal candidate will see.

  1. Post on your website, LinkedIn, all your social media channels and the popular career websites (like Indeed).
  2. Look for relevant job boards in your industry, such as alumni groups of trade schools, colleges etc. that match with the skill set you’re looking for.
  3. Keep networking – go to industry events as a guest or even as a speaker. This is a great way to meet potential candidates, but also to see how other companies in your market compare to your business’ career offerings.

Be Flexible
The pandemic has shown that the traditional office space isn’t necessary for many people anymore. Potential employees are looking for businesses to be flexible with how and where their work is done. You’ll know what makes sense for your business and industry, but potential team members are looking for options: work from home, hybrid models (both at home and in office) and non-traditional or flex hours. If you’re looking for ways to offer remote work but still have your team feel connected, there are many options. For example, Hubspot can run on a cell phone and keep teams connected in different offices. Messaging platforms like Slack let teams easily hop on calls and keep teams aligned with specific threads for different topics.

Focus on Mental Wellness
After living through the past two stressful years, mental health is a top priority for many, and potential employees want to find a company that supports mental wellness. That can look like many things depending on the job, from mental health supports as part of a health benefits package, flexible work hours or schedules, or personal days off to prevent burnout. The investment pays off: Mercer’s 2021 Health on Demand report found employees with mental health benefits were more likely to stay at their jobs.

Once you get all those applications for your position, what you do afterward is just as important. It’s necessary to have a timely process in place, so you don’t lose out on great candidates who got another job offer.

  1. Review postings as they come through, daily is ideal, and eliminate unqualified ones immediately.
  2. Make initial calls: quickly contact any applications with the qualifications you want for a 15-30 minute initial call to tell them exactly what the job looks like, the day-to-day and salary expectations or range. 
  3. If they are still interested in the role, add them to a long list for a more formal interview.
  4. Narrow down the interview list and have a longer style interview to understand candidates’ skills and experience needed for the role. This can help you determine salary and if you need to support or provide education in areas they aren’t proficient in.
  5. Follow up with all long-listed candidates and keep the door open for future opportunities with them. 

In today’s competitive job market, organizations needed an integrated approach to their recruitment strategy. It starts with having a strong brand identity and keeping your communications on brand. Then, find your target candidate and post your job offering where they will see it - and post it in many places. Make sure your career offering is appealing by knowing what many candidates are looking for - flexibility and support. 

At Roadmap, we work alongside businesses to assist in the recruitment and hiring process, from creating job descriptions, polishing up career pages and social profiles, as well as screening and interviewing candidates. We can also help with your branding, communications and social media management to attract top talent to your organization. Give us a call today.

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