Source: Apex Systems
The demand for strong talent is highly competitive. Strong talent is being pursued by multiple employers extending multiple offers within days after entering the job search. Managers and recruiters are continually questioning themselves. “What can we do to make our positions more attractive?” “How can we get the talent we’re targeting to respond to us and apply for the job or set up an interview in the first place?” “How can we help keep candidates engaged during the interview process?” “How can we retain our top people?”
Are you seeking additional ways to improve the hiring process or your job descriptions? We’ve broken out 10 essential elements you should be communicating to candidates, dubbed “Position Attractors (10-Ps).” These 10-Ps are essential to any company wanting to draw in top technology talent. Furthermore, transparency and proactively communicating essential information are instrumental motivators for candidates. Make it a goal to include at least six in your job descriptions and conversations with your hiring partners, account managers, and recruiters. A secondary goal is to communicate at least eight position attractors during interviews.
The most helpful book I’ve read around effective hiring was “Who” by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. My most significant AHA moment was the importance of communicating the main priorities and expectations of a role. They stressed the importance of clearly outlining what a given position will accomplish in the first one month, three months, six months, etc.
The majority of us are driven by fulfilling a purpose. Yet, most job descriptions and interviews leave the job seeker or interviewee unsure about the purpose of the role, project, team, and company. They’re left wondering: “Why does this role exist? What purpose will I serve? What impact will I make?” Sharing the purpose can spark an intrinsic motivator in your target audience and immediately ignite their interest in your job openings!
Project details often stay inside a hiring manager’s head and rarely make it into the job description. Furthermore, the details don’t get relayed to the hiring partners. Project information and the details can be one of the best pieces that speak to #2 above, i.e., Purpose. The project details can make or break someone’s interest in a role, so strive to include information around the project’s goal and expected outcomes, size, scale, scope, and phase.
One trait you’ll find in most professionals is problem-solving; they get excited about a new problem or challenge to solve. Therefore, it’s essential to understand what business or client problems the team is focused on addressing or fixing. And it should also be communicated to the candidate. Given, the more challenging or interesting the problem, the more excited strong technology professionals will be about the job opportunity.
One recent study found that 45% of job seekers list an organization’s culture as a top factor. Also topping the list is management style and who the manager is. Do you inform candidates about your team or company culture, core values, or traits about the most successful employees? Do you share insight about how your team spends time together, i.e., team buildings, culture, environment, meeting activities, icebreakers, or anything related? Do you allow candidates to speak to potential teammates to help them envision daily activities, projects, challenges, technology stacks, etc.? Giving visibility into any of these can influence their overall impression of the role.
Never has a robust compensation package mattered more than it has recently. Stark changes to pay came with the acceptance of our new normal. If you can’t compete on a pay rate or starting salary, are there other things you can do to make your overall package more competitive and attractive? The odds are there’s something more you can do by offering a sign-on bonus, annual performance bonus, profit sharing, training, or tuition reimbursement. Invest the time to research what other companies in your industry and market are doing. You can also consult with your hiring partners and get their input.
The same mentality as above. Never has flexibility mattered more when someone gets their work done. Various studies report that most technologists want a full-time remote opportunity or a hybrid schedule. And if you intend on attracting them to work for your team, you have to cater to what those candidates want! What remote work option(s) can you offer? Can you allow a flexible schedule? Do you see four 10-hour days in your company’s future?
Having spoken with countless candidates, it’s clear they don’t love it when hiring managers ask, “Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?” However, they love hearing about the possibilities for progressing in your group or company. It’s not too early to share potential career paths or next steps for the candidate in an interview. What can you share? Try a few of these: “This role is open because the current person was just promoted to x-title.” “After six months, we have several steering committees that I feel would be of interest to you.” Outlining other opportunities to contribute or ways the candidate can grow at your company is advantageous! Anything in the professional development category is worth sharing, especially as a top candidate motivator. So, do it! What sort of training do you offer? Do you have a budget for paying for conferences, certifications, tuition reimbursement, etc.? Do you have a sandbox environment or practice labs?
Working for a company that values work/life balance has never been more important! If you offer a good PTO plan, several holidays, office closure for a week or so each year, team-building or philanthropy time away from work, etc., share that. Communicate the company or personal management philosophies around work/life balance. Simply sharing it matters and shows you want your team to take care of themselves, which can make a significant difference in your perception. It’s unforgettable how excited employees can be about Free-food-Fridays (bagels or doughnuts for breakfast, pizza for lunch) or a company offering an annual pass to the local aquarium, theme park, and zoo.
10. Pain points
People want to work with companies that are honest with them, and that includes being transparent about the hurdles they can expect as part of the job. Are you currently sharing the challenges they could expect? Not only will this show you were honest and upfront, but this can help with employee retention, as many people leave early on due to unpleasant surprises.
Need a little more alliteration in your day? We also suggest giving them a preview! What will the first month, orientation, and training look like? What are your weekly and monthly team activities and meetings? You can show your commitment to their success and get them excited while helping them visualize working on your team.
Lastly, we suggest wrapping up the interview by communicating what’s next in the process, including an expected timeline for when someone will reach out with the next steps!