It’s true, the “War for Talent” is over… the candidates have finally won. This should be no surprise with how the world is changing. Everyone has access to an incredible amount of information on the Internet, our networks are getting bigger and stronger, and we’re communicating more than ever. Just as the customer now holds most of the power in a buying process, candidates are now in the same position in the hiring process. This shouldn’t worry anyone though… this is a good thing! Now that candidates hold the reigns, we as employers can no longer stretch the truth and ‘BS’ our corporate story (not to say everyone was, but luckily the dirty tactic is gone for good).
Why is it good news that candidates have all the information they need when learning about a future employer?
1. It pushes companies to be more transparent
In a world of interview and employee reviews on Glassdoor, Google news with the latest rumors, public company financials posted online, and bigger networks of connected workforces, employers are now in the hot seat to be honest and transparent in every area of their business. No longer can we say, “We have the best technology” we need to show we have the best. No longer can we say, “We have a ping-pong table and we’re the best place to work” we need to go much further, and we cannot say, “Our employees are the happiest here” when they are, in fact, not happy. All things we can no longer turn a shoulder on. This transparency forces employers to build better workplaces that attract, engage, and retain the best talent out there, because if they don’t… they will fail.
2. It pushes brands to go further than “We’re Awesome, We’re Hiring” as a message
You see it every single day that you’re on LinkedIn, browsing a job board, or commuting through the city and see a job ad at the T-station. The “We’re Awesome, We’re Hiring” message. That doesn’t work anymore. You need differentiation. You need to cut the BS jargon out because candidates are seeing right through it. What differentiates you? It’s not free coffee, ping pong, and bean bags. Candidates now are more interested in technology that is proven in the market, teams of incredibly hard-driven professionals working towards a mission, strong leadership teams and the market opportunity in front of the company. Going further I would add that programs such as mentorship, work/life balance, and challenging work are more attractive messages than “We’re Awesome.” Dig deeper and ask yourself, “What do we offer that is on the plane above just ‘being awesome?’”
3. It creates a two-way communication built on trust
With transparency comes trust. Now that employers are opening their practices, policies, and missions up to the public, we are working towards a more trusted relationship. We’re now seeing deeper conversations about who the employer is, and you’ll even notice candidates are sometimes interviewing the employer now! They have the information, so let’s be honest in our answers to their questions about our company.
4. Candidates find better long-term fits, Employers get the right talent
This is probably the greatest part of companies building stronger employer brands. By creating a strong brand around what you’re good at and not trying to be like every other company, you make it easier for the right candidates to find the right employment. By building your employer brand out to your strengths, and showing exactly who you are and what you stand for, you’re able to hire the right candidates who won’t walk in the door and be caught off guard by the way things work. Stronger, more personalized employer brand, played to your strengths leads to a longer tenured workforce. Additionally, with the right fit employee, businesses end up seeing the needle move in terms of the company’s overall success. It’s a win-win.
There are plenty of other reasons why having a transparent, honest, and attractive employer brand leads to company success, but the list is too long. If you want your business to survive in the longer term, or if you’re having trouble retaining employees, maybe it’s time to reassess your employer brand and figure out the types of talent you want and how you really need to present your culture in order to hire them.