Right now business media is swarming with articles telling employers how to find talent in a world where talent is scarce. Everyone seems to acknowledge we’re in a talent war—and it’s only going to get worse. So these articles offer lots of ideas on how to find prospective employees and “get them in the door.”
I completely agree you have to do whatever you can to broaden the pool. However, these articles are all missing one crucial point.
Your appeal needs to match your experience.
Or, more specifically, your employee’s experience.
Companies continue to struggle with this. Let me explain with an analogy.
Think of your job opportunities like ketchup. Picnic-goers love ketchup. So organizations try to sell their particular brand of ketchup to the top picnickers in order to attract them to their party. Come to our picnic, they say, because we have the best ketchup!
However, once the picnickers arrive, the host brings out the mustard, which leaves the attendees very disappointed.
So the question is—are you promising ketchup but delivering mustard?
As an employer, you need to make sure what you’re selling to potential candidates matches what you are able to deliver. If these two do not match, you will have a serious perception problem.
This is especially common in organizations that use millennial recruiters to help bring in talent. The millennial recruiter sells the opportunity to another millennial, saying this is a great place work when in reality the organization does not actually embrace the ideas that were used to attract the candidate. This creates a perception problem.
- An organization states they encourage work/life balance, but cars are still in the parking lot long after 6 p.m.
- Recruiters tout awesome vacation benefits, but the workload is so demanding it becomes impossible to take time off.
- Leaders tell their employees they have a flexible work schedule and as long as people do their work, they have freedom to work where and when they choose. However, the first minute that supervisor sees an employee is not in her office, the boss sends an e-mail asking where are you?
Do you see? You can create the most amazing recruitment program, but if it does not match the actual employee experience, you’ll eventually breed unhappy employees. And unhappy millennials talk—to friends and other potential talent, which can generate an unfavorable “buzz” among that pool of picnickers you so desperately want to attract.
Promise the ketchup, deliver the ketchup. It’s the only lasting strategy to win today’s talent war.
NextGen Advantage can help measure your organization’s employee/candidate perception and develop effective solutions for attracting, motivating and retaining young talent. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.