If you're looking on eBay or searching on Google, you make your search criteria as specific as possible so you don't waste time with results that don't fit.
It's the same with a job search. Either consciously or subconsciously the criteria that fits with a candidate's search is what stands out when they scour the job boards or do some research online about a potential employer.
Sometimes, when recruiting, the things that make your company a great place to work can get forgotten in the "busyness of business" and you can find yourself falling into the mindset trap of offering a job or placement - rather than an opportunity to be part of something truly amazing! Why would you go the trouble of being a fabulous employer and not tell potential candidates?
Working with companies to produce meaningful, bespoke adverts focused on candidate attraction to match their business or company culture, I have identified many things that I believe every business needs to offer to IT talent, apart from a great salary! However simply offering these things is not enough, you have to loudly announce in your recruitment collateral or company mission statement or website exactly what candidates can expect when you sign up with you.
Here are just ten things that both active and passive IT talent have said that they want from their next position. Are you a magnet for these? How many do you offer? Furthermore, how many of these things do you tell candidates that you offer?
Can employees speak out without fear of consequences? If something is wrong most IT Talent wants to be able to call it regardless of who is involved. Makes sense. If a strategic IT Project is veering away from delivering the agreed business change anyone on the team who identifies this should be empowered to flag it up without upsetting (for example) the Project leader. Making sure that candidates can identify if this is your culture will attract talent with a collective responsibility mindset.
2. Clearly Defined Roles and Responsibilities
A recent LinkedIn Talent Trends report put this as the number one thing that talent wants to know. In your business, grey areas in client expectation cost money, cause breakdown of relations and delay. Similarly, if you were to think of your business as a client of your talent can you honestly say that roles are locked down and clear?
3. Proper Acknowledgement for Hard Work and Achievement but Also Constructive Feedback When Things Don't Work Out
One company has the phrase "We never fail. We either succeed or we learn" on the wall above the water cooler which is a great mantra but such sentiment is never evident in their recruitment literature. This means talent attracted to a philosophy of continual experience-based improvement and 'credit where credit is due' may not have them on their radar.
If total honesty in all communication is key to you then you need to attract like-minded talent.
5. Ample Opportunity to Grow Both Professionally and Personally
Organisations that have programmes in place to accelerate the development of the most talented people see a greater return on their investment. Increasingly talent is attracted to positions that have a career path mapped out or the opportunity to pioneer their own. Win/Win
6. Solid Leadership
Research shows that of all the people candidates would like to meet at their interview, their direct boss should they take the role is number one. Having the supervisor or manager to whom they will report available on the day of the interviews or at least available to answer questions during the process can be hugely beneficial. If you have good, competent leaders - put them in the shop window.
7. Respect for Life Away from The Office
When LinkedIn studied responses to recruitment messages sent via InMail they found those sent on Saturdays were 16% less likely to get a response than those sent during the working week. What's more, the closer it gets to the weekend, the less likely talent is to respond. Recruitment mails sent on Thursday between 9 and 10 am were 12% more likely to get a response than those sent on Friday during the same time period. This tells you that talent values the work/life balance - reflect that you do too in your communications with candidates.
8. The Ability to Make a Dent In The Universe
Having a more influential role within the organisation or working on projects that make a real difference are often cited as key influencers in choosing which offer to accept. One of the legacies left by Steve Jobs is that great quote, "We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why else even be here?"
9. A Supportive, Collaborative Environment Where Teamwork and Innovation Are Actively Encouraged
In her Huffington Post blog, culture expert Karin Volo makes the point that collaborative, not competitive environments are at the centre of the modern workplace. Supportive relationships between co-workers raise job satisfaction and employee retention so it pays to make this your thing. "There is a definite energy that comes from employees who enjoy working together," writes Karin, adding, "They stop being a cog in the machine and know that what they do makes a difference — they are able to contribute on a personal level to a company contributing on a much bigger level. This excites them to get up in the morning and come to work." Collaborative talent is attracted to collaborative environments.
10. A Great Interview Experience
83% of talent say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked, meanwhile a roughly similar number (87%) say a positive experience can change their perception when they had initial doubts. Getting your interview process right or making sure that you have a recruitment partner who will get it right on your behalf is more important than ever!
Getting to know what interview content will make a difference is also important. Almost half (49%) say that getting business questions answered is the most important interview takeaway - make sure you're ready.
These are just ten to consider. The point is that whatever makes you a great place to work, whatever is going to attract great talent your way, THAT should be the lead story when you recruit. Make sure you identify where you and the talent you want are aligned and then make sure that they know all about it - or get a GREAT specialist recruitment partner who will do it for you! That's how you become an IT Talent magnet.
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