Employers Can Help Create Well-Informed Job Candidates

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By Genevieve Douglas

The key to recruiting great employees may be finding the job candidates who are most informed about your organization, executives say.

By the same token, they say, companies need to get the word out about themselves to draw interest from top talent.

According to Glassdoor research, about three-quarters (76 percent) of 750 hiring decision-makers who use Glassdoor say attracting quality candidates is their No. 1 challenge. Top barriers to recruitment include budget constraints, trouble competing in terms of compensation and benefits packages, and knowing where to advertise jobs to attract the right people, Glassdoor found.

“We are now in the shared network economy,” Robert Hohman, co-founder and chief executive officer of jobs website Glassdoor, said. “The workforce has better visibility to what jobs are available, where they are, what company may fit best, and where to get better pay,” so top talent is “constantly lured away.”

And that abundance of information may be the solution recruiters and hiring decision-makers need, because they’re learning that the best job candidate is likely one that’s well informed about the ins and outs of a prospective employer. Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) survey respondents agreed that informed candidates are quality candidates because they know more and self-select for the positions that are right for them. “Informed candidates make the hiring process a lot easier,” Hohman said.

Reputation and Social Media

In practice, the transparency needed to create informed job candidates can be a double-edged sword. “No brand has a perfect reputation,” Martin Pisciotti, vice president of employee careers at T-Mobile, said. So it’s important for organizations to work to get the word out that any shortcomings are being addressed.

“You can’t expect to keep the business practices that create a bad reputation and also change that reputation,” Keith Bevans, partner and global head of consultant recruiting for global management consulting firm Bain & Company, said. Bain has chosen to survey employees annually to understand its corporate landscape and create a better company culture, Bevans said. “That’s what we need to communicate to recruits. If you can point to tangible actions that have changed the atmosphere that created problems, then you’re on better standing with finding top candidates,” he said.

T-Mobile and marketing and sales software provider HubSpot have both launched social media campaigns to give prospective employees a clear pictures of what its like to work at the two companies.

Social media is a huge part of our consumer brand, and “it’s a big part of our DNA,” Pisciotti said. T-Mobile is using Twitter as the preferred social media platform for employees to discuss what it’s like to work there, with the goal that these discussions give job seekers an authentic picture of the diversity of T-Mobile’s workforce, he said.

HubSpot got very experimental, and began accepting applications via the social media app SnapChat, Katie Burke, chief people officer for HubSpot. “That actually had great success in finding good employees,” she said. HubSpot also has launched Instagram and Facebook accounts to be platforms for employees to talk about what it’s like to work there, Burke added.

Targeted, Active Recruiting

For a large, recognizable employer like T-Mobile, meanwhile, the biggest recruiting challenge has been two-fold, Pisciotti said. T-Mobile has many different specialties within the organization, and “we have had trouble finding the right talent for the right specialty,” he said. The struggle to find the right talent was compounded by T-Mobile’s choice to have a central talent acquisition department, Pisciotti said.

T-Mobile has found that it can’t recruit the same way for every specialized position, Pisciotti said. “Sales recruitment, customer care recruitment, and IT recruitment all need something different.” Now the company has created localized talent acquisition teams to better tailor recruitment to the specific job being filled. “It’s working really well” so far, Pisciotti said.

At Major League Baseball, “we have to consistently fight the temptation of passive recruiting,” Steven Gonzalez, senior vice president and deputy general counsel for Labor & Human Resources at MLB, said. MLB’s brand tends to draw a high volume of applicants, but “we don’t know if we are actually getting the best candidates, or even a diverse slate of candidates,” Gonzalez said. MLB has been changing its recruitment practices to be more proactive and “recruit the best people from all backgrounds,” he said.

“When thinking about how to keep your valued talent for the long-run, money matters, but it’s actually not a leading factor of long-term employee satisfaction,” Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor, told Bloomberg BNA via email Sept 21. Research shows that company culture, career opportunities, and trust in senior leadership are the top three leading factors of long-term employee satisfaction, Chamberlain said. “This signals to employers that they’re likely to see higher employee retention rates and increased employee satisfaction by investing in company culture.”

Hohman, Pisciotti, Bevans, Burke, and Gonzalez spoke Sept. 19 at a Glassdoor Recruit event in Chicago.

To contact the reporter on this story: Genevieve Douglas in Washington at gdouglas@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tony Harris at tharris@bna.com

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