Whether you are dealing with a diminished or saturated candidate market, attracting, acquiring, and retaining talent is vital to the success of any business. More than ever, success in these areas is about inspiring your audience. Ensuring your current and potential employees see your business’ career pathways are interesting, relevant, and valuable is about selling what is truly great about all your organization’s attributes.
Having an organizational narrative that is clear, consistent, and meaningful is critical in maximizing your talent attraction and retention. Spend time cultivating this narrative by asking the following questions of your narrative:
- What do you find most interesting and relevant about your organization?
- Are the values believed to be intrinsic to the organizational culture?
- What stories are being told, both internally and externally, and what messages do they deliver about the organization as a whole?
- How is the future being defined and what is being done to achieve it? Is this roadmap visible to employees or vaguely referenced?
Once these elements are concrete, ensuring this message is consistent will help to solidify your organization’s brand in the employment marketplace. Beware of being inauthentic, as people will inherently sense that something is off when the internal culture doesn’t reflect what was presented.
After you’ve crafted the ideal organizational narrative and the message is consistent, it’s down to the delivery of your pitch to close the deal, whether by attracting a potential employee or keeping an existing employee. Mastering and tailoring the following aspects of the sale to each individual will undoubtedly help your company attract talent and retain them in the long run.
Telling Isn’t Selling
Cliche as this phrase may be, its importance can’t be overstated. Whether you are trying to attract new talent or retain existing staff, your message needs to be exciting and must leave and profound impact following delivery. Simply telling a person why they will achieve and/or continue successful with your organization isn’t enough. Companies, and their managers, need to demonstrate that their organization can provide what others cannot. Be it a better culture, a more meaningful mission, or the opportunity for advancement and skills growth, these items are best relayed to potential and existing talent with excitement, vigor, and most of all, your confidence in their ability to deliver what you need.
In addition to making active demonstration of company values and successes, consider making employee, client, and consumer testimonials available on your organization’s website as evidence of not only a successful business, but of the positive culture and community your company fosters. Another element to consider is the visibility of your organization’s community contributions. A non-verbal representation of active contributions and philanthropical endeavors can positively communicate that your company isn’t just a business, but a community pillar that employees not only want to be a part of but are proud to represent.
Sell the Referral
Receiving a stellar referral is akin to closing a deal. While it’s possible to luckily fall into a valuable referral here and there, achieving a consistent flow of referrals requires an element of salesmanship. You’ve got to sell a referral like you’d sell any other aspect of the position. If the contact you’re asking has declined the position themselves for whatever reason, absently asking for a referral at the end of a call won’t get that individual thinking about their personal network and if they really do have any connections that might be a perfect fit. Continue to deliver that excitement about the position to the contact and they may be more inclined to provide you with a referral.
If the contact is unable to think of a name on the spot but receptive to the role, offer a day or two to consult their network. Be sure to follow up with an email and/or phone call to see if they indeed have a viable referral for you or not. Consistency in the excitement of your follow up will make a lasting impact with your contact. If you’re this jazzed about a new prospect for role they passed over, how excited would you have been if they – presumably your first choice – had said yes? They will likely relay this positive energy to their provided contact, proverbially greasing the gears before you even start your pitch to this new prospect.
Know Your Hooks
Your hooks are the most compelling components of your narrative and that which will leave a lasting impression of your business. Knowing, and articulating, your hooks will only serve to further attract, or more deeply retain, the audience your business relies on the most. The more confident you are in your delivery, the more engaged your audience will be. They’ll be able to tell if you only have base-knowledge, so taking the time to become a subject matter expert can only benefit your delivery.
Knowing your hook is almost as important as knowing which hook to use. Like fishing, not every hook is for every fish. Reading a person is a learned skill, but once you target what’s most important to your particular audience, delivering the related information with confidence and enthusiasm will make a lasting impact in their memory. If the individual seems focused on finances, be sure to highlight the benefits of compensation packages, or perhaps touting a flexible PTO policy may appeal to family-oriented employees. Identifying what’s essential could be the difference between closing the deal and missing out.
Talent Attraction is an Art
Like most arts, practice does not make perfect. It makes progress. But if you’re looking to make leaps and bounds over your competition regarding your organization’s talent attraction, acquisition, and retention, consider partnering with a professional staffing agency like BANKW Staffing. Effective and efficient employee searches are what our various staffing brands specialize in. As your partner, we can offer a proactive approach to locating the talent you need today and/or into the future.
Jason Alexander spoke on this topic at the Northeast HR Association’s 2022 Annual Conference on October 7th, 2022.
About BANKW Staffing
Through its portfolio companies, KBW Financial Staffing & Recruiting, Alexander Technology Group, The Nagler Group, Sales Search Partners, and KNF&T Staffing Resources, BANKW Staffing, LLC is the leading regional provider of temporary and direct-hire staffing services in the areas of finance, accounting, information technology, office and administration, legal, human resources, and sales.
BANKW Staffing companies have received over 100 awards for rapid growth, business excellence, and workplace quality. Recognition includes Inc. 500, Boston Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” and Business NH Magazine’s “Business of the Year”.
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