Contributed by James Aiken
(Editor's Note: October is Careers in Construction Month, an annual month-long celebration of craft professionals and the career opportunities in the construction industry.)
You’ve probably heard by now about record low unemployment.
Simply posting a job description on a job board or in the newspaper doesn’t always cut it. Especially when you’re looking for a stable, long-term hire.
The reason is - firms are still using the standard recruiting strategy to pursue a market of candidates that is perpetually shrinking. . .
When unemployment is high, the job boards are poppin’. It seems like just about everyone is willing to check out new opportunities.
But what should firms do when that strategy doesn’t work anymore?
It’s simple - and treading lightly as to not get too political but...
“If you like your recruiting strategy, you can keep your recruiting strategy!”
Having an active candidate strategy works sometimes. There's no need to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
What isn’t being addressed (most of the time) is a passive candidate attraction strategy.
Firms want to hire associates who are high performers. Candidates who are happy, and successful in their current role. The disconnect is that they typically are not changing their recruiting process.
They simply forward the job description to these candidates.
Here’s the problem with that; happy people don’t move so easy.
Here’s the solution: create a candidate acquisition process that specifically targets passive candidates.
Passive candidates take a bit more “warming up”.
Job boards are like speed dating. Everyone knows whats up and you can usually screen people out fairly quickly. Everyone is looking for volume.
Recruiting passive candidates is like (gasp) picking up an attractive person at a bar.
You wouldn’t walk up, introduce yourself, then immediately ask for a phone number, would you? Maybe some of you extra attractive people would - but it never worked for me!
We need to “warm up” the candidates.
The best way to do this is by structuring the application process. Create an environment where candidates can consume content about your company and opportunity.
Show them exact pictures of where they’d be working and who they would be working with.
Explain some of the recent builds your company is most proud of.
Pass along a video of how the role would help their career specifically.
Remember, not everyone will answer an unprovoked email or phone call. . .
But they might read an article.
They might watch a video.
They might download a product/service offering packet.
With these actions, they can learn more about the company or opportunity on their own time. Most importantly, you can track their activity to see how interested they are, based on their interactions.
All these can be tied together in one single spot.
Instead of having your career’s page on your website just post job descriptions…
Create a funnel system where you are displaying value about the company. Introduce candidates to the opportunity on a more in-depth basis. Most importantly, highlight why someone happy in their current role would join your company.
The real kicker here is when you set up a funnel for each standard role at your company, you can drive qualified traffic to it, then retarget that group over time to raise mass interest.
Most companies are great at marketing to their CUSTOMERS.
We’re finding that companies just aren’t as great at marketing to their CANDIDATES.
A black and white job description simply won’t cut it anymore.
Build out a value-based recruiting ecosystem.
This strategy alone will drastically increase your ability to recruit highly qualified candidates.
Let's Fix Construction is an avenue to offer creative solutions, separate myths from facts and erase misconceptions about the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.
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