Combining Marketing and Recruiting to Be Your BFF’s –
How to Get A Candidate to Actually Apply.
Take the Recruiting hat off, put the Marketing hat on. Candidates have choices; how are you going to set yourself apart and REALLY engage a candidate to continue through the process of applying and interviewing with your company?
We all know what “customer service excellence” is, because that ties into our end consumer; whether it be as a retail garden center or a wholesale nursery…EVERYONE has an end consumer. But what if you started thinking of a potential candidate as your end consumer? You’d think differently, right?
The market isn’t changing, so let’s start thinking with the Marketing hat on. The candidate experience has become a number one priority. And we need to take it seriously.
Walk a mile in the shoes of the candidate. Don’t make applying for a job as if they’re applying for POTUS. Mountains of paperwork, references, etc., can wait until you’re seriously considering a candidate. Also, make sure your ATS is friendly, and quick. Apply through your system yourself and see how long it takes, AND make sure you’re mobile friendly! You’re marketing your company to the candidate, go easy.
Communicate fast, and often. When a candidate has engaged with one of your job posts, get back to them; be first out of the gate. If you’re not, your competitor will be. Market to the candidate that you value them, just like a customer. If you’re waiting on a manager approval to move things up the pipeline in order to make an offer, still communicate. Transparency and honesty will get you farther than your competitor. Stay in touch with your candidate, letting them know you appreciate their patience; let them know exactly where they are in the process and that you’ll get back to them ASAP. Then, make sure to keep your word.
Personalize. Just like you’d get a little personal with an ongoing customer, get to know your candidate (within legal limits) on a personal level. Find out what their hobbies are BEFORE you ask where they see themselves in 5 years. Give them insight about yourself, find something in common, market to them as if you would a customer. (Again, that marketing theme.)
Tours, setting, fun. Give a potential candidate a “virtual tour” over the phone during the pre-screening process. Tell them what a day might look like for them in the role they are inquiring about (notice the word inquire vs apply) and then when/if they do come in for an interview; start FIRST by taking them around the office/facility and introduce them. Make it fun, have a bottle of water on hand; and start by talking about YOU and why YOU work for the company. Market your setting and culture as one that makes the candidate want to work for your organization. And, DO NOT BE LATE! We judge candidates who are late to an interview, they are now judging YOU.
Honesty and follow-up. Even if the candidate isn’t the right fit, get back to them immediately and let them know. It might not be the right career match at this time, but it could be in the future. Keep the relationship going, combining marketing and recruiting will lead to BFF’s!
For more information and/or strategies, feel free to reach out to one of our Hort/Landscape recruiters. Also check out the Additional Services we offer. We want to be your BFF as well!