You’ve heard this lament before. Perhaps even said it before. I have often times had to recruit talent for my clients and have said it as well.
It’s difficult to see other companies that have the best talent and accomplish great things in your industry. You probably asked yourself, how do they do it? It is also frustrating when you know that you are offering competitive salaries and career growth - why can’t you find these talented people to work for you.
There are many factors involved in not getting the best employees. Sometimes it’s because you may offer a great opportunity for growth and a decent wage but your other benefits are few – limited paid time off, no match of any kind on a 401k plan and a few other things a more innovative company uses to attract and retain talent.
However, one of the principal issues is marketing. Even in an industry where you may have few competitors and you may be successful in getting your company name and services out to prospective clients. Outside of that, no one knows you. Here’s an example; everyone knows Google? If you were looking for a job and had IT expertise of any kind would you look for a job at Google? You probably would. In fact companies like Google, Nike, Goldman Sachs, Hilton, and Starbucks – I mean the really popular companies, don’t even have to search for employees as they receive a plethora of unsolicited resumes and requests for employment all the time.
Please understand, I am not suggesting that you should advertise or have marketing campaigns on the scale that these giants do. My point is that there is a deep connection between marketing and attracting talent. When you market your business it is always focused on attracting business. However, if you can just extend that a bit so that you are noticed by more than just that narrow focus, the rewards you reap will be tenfold. Not only will you create a desire for the best people to want to work for your company now that they noticed it and how the company is dynamic, innovative, stable, customer service oriented or what have you, but you would also inadvertently attract more customers because they are seeing you outside the typical expected venues. There are also opportunities to do good will that can be part of your marketing efforts and give back to the community at the same time.
Let’s say you are a technology driven company, sponsoring a local high school robotic event or team, This will get your name out to the tech professionals that were hired or volunteered to referee or judge the event that perchance may be from a company that can use your services; create awareness of your company amongst the participants that can be innovative and fabulous future interns and employees; their parents that may be business owners needing your services.
The same scenario can be put into play if you are offering legal services if you sponsor a debating event, CPA firm at a math contest, or any event even if unrelated to your industry. Charitable events are great opportunities as well. The more you do the more your name gets out there, the more attractive you become.
It is human nature to want to be associated with the popular group or the more well-known company. Employees can take pride in how impressed others are when they work for a popular company. More so when that company has a positive image. Not only are you attracting people but making them want to stay and be part of the growth and good work the company is doing.
Be forewarned – don’t stop there. Once you have attracted talent, you should work on keeping them. Decent wages and fringe benefits are crucial, you wouldn’t want to lose talent to your competitors because they offer a day or two more sick or personal leave or more vacation pay, or pay a bit more toward the medical plan. It’s also crucial that you treat your employees well. After all, they are your business partners. You can’t meet customer needs or grow without them.