HR Tips

The power of your job offers

10 Tips to convince talent #2

Tip#2 – The power of your job offers 

When companies start recruiting, most recruiters tend to go into ‘action mode’: will we use a recruitment agency or not? Do we have the budget to do so? Will we post a job ad? Where? These are important questions but this is not the ideal starting point.

In fact, the right approach should be to first ask ourselves: do we have all we need to be able to convince top talent to join our team? The whole recruitment process should primarily aim at answering that question. Every single detail in that process will have to make it obvious that you care about all the candidates but also that you have what it takes to attract the best ones. The usual trap is to believe that a complete company presentation, a good job description and a competitive compensation will be the key ‘attraction’ points. However, many studies clearly point out that these will not be enough to attract top talents and that many other factors will play an even bigger role, especially in today’s candidate driven market.

It is critical to start any recruitment process by transforming your job offer into a powerful value proposition which should include:

1 – Clearly defined goals: If you want to attract the best performers, start by setting very clear objectives translated into concrete and quantifiable goals. The best talents are highly motivated & focused and continually strive for excellence in their profession so embracing and nurturing a performance-based culture should be top of your agenda.

2 – Clearly articulated ‘Purpose’: Embracing ‘the power of purpose’ is key nowadays so every role needs to be sold as a vocation. A job is no longer just a job, it’s an opportunity for a person to grow and to contribute to something bigger. So, to attract the best talent, you need to tell them how working for your company will help them do something meaningful and greater than themselves. In other words: it needs to matter! A good approach is to define the ‘5 Whys’:

    1. Why this person is being hired?
    2. Why does this role exist?
    3. Why do we need that department?
    4. Why is this role contributing to the success of the business?
    5. Why is this role helping create a better value proposition for the business?

3 – Quality of team: The best candidates will also aspire to grow and progress within the company and to do so, they know that the best way is to be around forward thinkers that will collaborate with them, sometimes challenge them but anyway help them learn faster. Therefore, companies need to involve their best and most motivated employees, at least in their critical recruitments. These employees can be included either in the actual interview plan or in inspirational videos used to build your employer branding on your website and/or your ongoing communication.

4 – Personal Development path: A good follow up from the previous point is making education a core component of the job. Education is especially applicable to millennials who are expected to make up almost 50% of the workforce by 2020. The Millennials at Work Study* by PWC found that training & development was more valued by millennials than financial reward and is actually the most highly valued employee benefit. The number choosing training and development as their first choice of benefit is three times higher than those who chose cash bonuses. 98% believe working with strong coaches and mentors is an important part of their development. Presenting a personal development plan upfront will be highly appreciated as it will prove how much you care and invest into your people. Development actions should include a comprehensive on-boarding program, the access to a good quality mentoring and/or coaching plan, the possibility to join online classes or even the opportunity to join a cross-functional team or to lead high stakes projects that will allow to stretch the role and learn new skills.

Job mobility is also a key motivation: this same study shows that millennials expect job mobility and want the opportunity to experience overseas assignments – 80% would like to work abroad and 70% expect to use other languages during their career.

5 – Management style: How you manage people is a critical aspect of your value proposition. It can be what will convince a good candidate to leave a good job to join your organisation. Managing people is not a given recipe as the secret is to be able to understand each employee and to be able to adapt to who they are. It will be important to clarify how individuals are managed to be able to flourish in the company and how a collaborative style is favoured and encouraged while individual objectives are supported.

Part of this is how you approach performance feedback as this is a critical tool in an ‘individualised management style’. We know that the best companies keep their top performers because they consider that on-going feedback is at the heart of their people organisation. Also, today’s collaborators, and specially the new generations, prefer frequent feedback sessions instead of annual reviews.

It can be powerful to show how you use feedback not as criticism but as a genuine and positive attempt to enable the growth of top talent. How you ensure that it becomes an ongoing dialogue which is part of a coaching approach integrated into a long-term development plan.

In summary investing time and resources into a very comprehensive value proposition before starting any future recruitment will be key in avoiding frustrations such as the small number of applicants or, even worse, the poor matching between the role and the candidates you attract. Recruitment should not be seen as something you have to do but something that is business critical as it is the best opportunity to elevate your organization.

* https://pwc.blogs.com/files/millennials-at-work.pdf