In the hiring landscape of today, companies are selling themselves to candidates in the interview process as much as the other way around. Candidates are not only looking at the company or the role, but also looking at their potential managers and peers. The best candidates, especially in niche industries, might receive 4 or 5 offers. What makes one company stand out amongst the others? Branding and culture. 

To communicate this branding and culture, companies should look at ways they can leverage the talent they already have in the organisation.

Selling your company to the candidate

Candidates today are not just looking at the company or the roles, but also the managers that they report to, and it’s very important, who are we putting in front for the interview process. Nilay Khandelwal, Managing Director at Michael Page Singapore explains, “Gone are the days where we can just roll out a list of technical skills and think if you roll out an offer that person will accept. Companies are selling themselves to the candidates themselves in the interview process.”

Candidates want to know: 

  • How diverse is the company?
  • What’s the peer group they will work with?
  • What do the leaders stand for, especially in times of conflict?

Khandelwal says, “Every candidate is researching before they end up in an interview room today.  In the end, it’s about adaptability and the extent of the opportunities you can provide.”

This is where employer branding comes in.  At Michael Page Singapore, we have progressively worked with some of our clients on their branding. This includes branding their organisation, culture, the benefits of working with him. As Khandelwal says, “Branding changes the game in a competitive landscape like Singapore, where some of the candidates with niche skill sets in digital or technology are getting multiple offers. Which one to go for then depends on other elements, rather than just the technicality of the job.” Culture can be a real, effective tool in attracting and retaining candidates.

The role of social media

Social media is becoming increasingly important. Having a presence on social media is especially important for the younger generations who often optimise their own presence as a social resume. It truly is an important tool. If your website, or social media accounts aren’t up to the mark, it can make a big impact on the final decision that candidates make. Khandelwal says, “Everyone is researching before they end up in an interview room today – it’s important to get that digital outlook sorted.”

Understand your employees

By understanding employee motivation, you can improve the way your company works. Both parties need to understand each other’s needs and seek to satisfy each other’s expectations. The best way to do this is through genuine conversations that reflect every real-life expectations of work and the wider world. 

Recruitment is moving away from the transactional view that money is the primary motivator, and from one-size-fits-all products like today’s job descriptions, towards tomorrow’s greater focus on purpose and personalisation. By understanding your employees better, via assessment, listening and training, it is possible to recruit the best available people for the present and the future. 

To attract talent, companies will have to adjust to the new reality on the job market. They have to compete to hire the best talent. One of the ways to reach out to potential candidates is by using your own people to promote your company.

Employee ambassadors offer authenticity 

If you can turn your best employees into brand ambassadors, you help to create an open, transparent first line of peer-review for the company. According to recent studies, 36% of companies use this method to attract managers, helping them find the best available profiles faster.

Using employees to help source candidates leverages your employer branding in a powerful way. Your current employees become ambassadors for the company and brand, and the conversations they have are genuine, from person to person. It allows you as a hiring manager to access wider, more balanced candidate lists as recommendations often come on a personal level, with buy-in from your current employees on exactly what kind of personality will fit.  

This feedback helps drive teams forward, as it gives visibility on any issues the team might have – and what is working well and could be used to help other teams. To be better advocates for the company, employees need to be fulfilled at work. Through feedback, the manager can pre-empt problems if there are any, or continue with policies that help drive employee engagement.  

How can you attract better candidates? 

Employees need to be understood and respected as individuals. They can no longer be treated as an indistinct mass. To recruit the right employees for your business there needs to be a personalisation of human resource management, starting from the job briefing, to the job advert, the process, and into onboarding and beyond.   

The need to test for skills outside of technical areas is obvious. It opens the field of candidates,  helping companies find the best available profiles – those with the cognitive, behavioural skills that will grow with the role and any future one.  

Read more in our series The Future of Hiring

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