Talent Acquisition: Why Should Candidates Spend Their Energy On You?

Chris Brablc by

Although talent acquisition is an industry that centers on people, there has been a huge emphasis this year on how we can make recruiting less transactional and more personal for candidates. Interestingly enough, it’s not always easy to just be human.

So how do we do this, and more importantly, how do we do this on a massive scale? Organizations receive thousands of applications monthly and are constrained with limited resources and budget ― so how do we provide the level of authentic attention to each and every candidate?

I was inspired by a quote from sports agent Molly Fletcher’s presentation at the 2015 Candidate Experience Awards Symposium:

“Who gets your energy, and who doesn’t?”

At the end of the day, it’s about how we spend our energy, less so our time. That’s an important distinction, as it brings passion into the equation. The application of energy vs. time in talent acquisition is two-fold:

First, we need to understand how our energy can best be used in our talent acquisition strategies.

  • What is the best use of our recruiters’ energy?
  • Why should recruiters care about what they do?
  • Where is our energy wasted?

Second, it’s incredibly important to think from a candidate’s point of view as we build our employee value proposition and brand.

Ask questions like:

  • How do we make the world better?
  • What do employees achieve at our organization?
  • What proof points (stories) can we provide to prove this?

If we can answer the question, “Why should I spend my energy at this company?” both for our recruiters and candidates, then we can begin to use that energy most effectively as organizations.

Here are four to-dos:

  1. Figure out what makes you “special.” Basically, what is the true value that you provide the world, and why do your employees care? If there’s anything I learned from Molly, it is that you need to truly care about the cause you are promoting. Talk to your recruiting team and come to a hypothesis.
  2. Then talk to candidates and employees. What do they value, and what resonates with them? Interview and begin to see the trends in the value that you provide. Does it match your hypothesis? Create a value proposition that meshes your recruiter, employee and candidate points of view.
  3. Use this value messaging in your strategy. Identify all your touchpoints with candidates and ensure you answer “Why you should spend your energy with us?” throughout all this messaging. This should be in your job ads, email campaigns, recruiter calls, hiring manager interviews and other content candidates come across. Ensure this message is woven throughout your candidate experience.
  4. Measure the effectiveness of your strategy. Is this messaging converting more candidates (and the right candidates)? Are candidates more informed? Are your Glassdoor ratings improving? Are you getting more referrals? There’s a lot that can be measured, but come up with the key indicators that reflect the impact of this value messaging both on your brand and in converting the right candidates down the talent acquisition funnel. Consistently measure the impact of understanding your candidate value proposition.

This question ― Who gets your energy, and who doesn’t? ― is distilled into why you do anything in life. So I ask you: “Where will you spend your energy?”

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  • Chris, couldn’t agree more with your article.

    Since great candidates are incredibly rare, especially in the sales industry, recruiters can’t afford to miss when they finally do come across that perennial winner.

    The simple approach of slinging around job descriptions in the hopes of getting a candidate’s attention no longer works. Candidates care just as much about an employer’s culture and ability to foster career growth as they do with the opportunity’s daily responsibilities and earning potential. Recruiters that fail to embrace this waste tremendous amounts of time and energy.

    Recruiters who express genuine interest in learning more a about a candidate’s career and personal goals, then align those aspirations with their portfolio of opportunities achieve far greater success, faster.

    Effective, efficient, recruiting is just as candidate centered as it is employer centered. That’s the goal all managers should strive for if they want to maximize their team’s time and energy.

    • Keith – Thanks for the comment and glad you liked the article!

      I totally agree with your point around being candidate centered and I know I’m seeing organizations embrace this by providing more personalized candidate experience with content and messaging created to engage those specific candidates.

      From a recruitment marketing perspective that means landing pages and employee stories for specific skillets (i.e. Java engineers) and more specific email communications once they join your Talent Network. Then to your point for the one-to-one relationships, it’s ensuring that recruiters have the tools and stories to tailor the conversation around the candidates we talk to.

      This is all a strategic effort that doesn’t happen overnight but can be incredibly impactful if you can get your entire recruiting organization on the same page in terms of your organization’s value and how to communicate that to candidates.