If there is one conversation that’s being repeated over and over again (not just with clients) it has to be around recruitment. Well, strictly speaking, it’s not necessarily about recruitment, it’s probably more about replacement. God forbid you should wish to grow a business and actually need more staff. I’m no economist but from where I sit we appear to be looking at something close to full employment. Those people looking for a job are the transient mob. But perhaps that is where the problem lies? Let me explain, and let me take a few big steps back in time.
The Old Way
Back in the day, we all used to put a little section at the bottom of our website and, almost embarrassingly, say we’re recruiting. And then there would be a modest little piece about looking for a receptionist, great communication skills, good team player, apply with full CV….. I suspect many of us are still doing a version of that and hoping it will work. It might do, but in my opinion, the world has moved on and we are now facing a whole new solar system. We also all think that attracting new customers is the primary purpose of our website. Well, I suppose it is, but I think we need to use the lessons we have learnt from how to do that and apply them to a much wider audience. The audience I am specifically referring to here is your new team.
Your Greatest Tool
So when it comes to your website, don’t be afraid to use it for attracting prospective employees.
When we discuss the content of our website we normally consider the following items:
• Have we effectively communicated our proposition?
• Do the people we are targeting understand what it is we do and why they would want to buy from us (rather than anyone else)?
• Are there sufficient calls to action that will encourage our potential customers and clients to pick up the phone?
• Have we obtained testimonials (both written and video) from our wonderfully satisfied clients saying how great we are?
• Have we proposed a deal that, if they are wavering, will help them to swing into action?
• Do they get our business and the way we work in such a way that it totally resonates with their values, and therefore want to become part of it?
We spend all our (marketing) energies focusing on the delivery of the right message to clients and customers, and that’s a good thing, right? Well, yes of course it is. And frankly, it has never been more important than now. Never tougher, never more competitive, never more costly. And what I’m saying is don’t stop, you have to do that at industrial strength, sometimes just to stand still.
But the real point I want to make is that rather than the one-liner we’re recruiting, I’m suggesting you roll out the big guns and you commit significant resources to communicate exactly the same message to potential employees as you do to your potential customers. I’m proposing that no longer do we commit 99% of our website to recruiting new clients and 1% to team, we shift that to 60% new business and 40% to new employees. But understand 2 things; firstly we don’t reduce our effort on attracting new business (we maintain it, or frankly increase it), and secondly, we spend a shed load more time on recruiting.
I’m sure we have our view on these guys, there’s estate agents, then further down the chain car dealers and a long way below that….. It seems to me that all recruiters simply spend all day trawling LinkedIn and sending suitable candidates enticing emails to see if they might be interested in a new opportunity. The worrying thing is that right now some, if not all, of your team are receiving emails from recruiters. I don’t have any clever answers here, but perhaps if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! It’s becoming a common practice in our industry and it’s really easy to do. We’ve been a victim of it, so now I think we need to get on with it. If you have a compelling website for potential employees, as indicated above, it will help. Massively.
The Talent Pool
So what do you do with all these enquiries? The talent pool. Again, not an original idea, but one that has been used by Virgin for many a year. The idea is that you find someone half decent and yet a position doesn’t exist. The deal is the opportunity to go in the talent pool and when a position arises haul them out. It’s important to understand that they may stay there. But that’s ok, stay friends, keep in touch and who knows they may not enjoy it where they have gone and you can entice them back. But all the while they are there keep them posted. Communicate regularly. Invite them to your socials both for team and clients.
Will it work? Who knows? But there is close to a crisis in all industries and if you sit on your hands and expect someone else to sort it out then you are on a hiding to nothing. The point is you have to take some action and it’s not getting any easier.
I’d always be happy to talk about the above, call me and let me have your thoughts.