It’s still the most competitive hiring market.
We’d like to stop talking about it and retire all of these phrases (sorry, not sorry!):
But we can’t because another 4.3 million Americans resigned in January, and there are no signs of this trend slowing down. People are searching for much more than better pay; they want balance and purpose.
Most companies feel this talent pinch and are looking for new, creative ways to find and keep their best people. That means communications teams need to shift their audience priorities: current and prospective employees are now your number one audience.
Here are 7 ways communications can support recruitment and retention:
#1: Collaborate with HR. Start by understanding your employees. Why did they take the job? What makes them stay (or leave)? Surveys are useful, but direct conversations are better. They uncover truths and emotional drivers that will help guide your content creation plan. Apply this knowledge to make your communications relevant and specific for the different roles you’re hiring for.
#2: Rethink your benefits. Most companies don’t think of their benefits as PR assets. Today, they are. Mine your employee handbook for the ones that make people's lives better. And if you can’t find any, it might be time to implement them—as long as they are substantive, not performative. Listen to what your employees need, not just what they want. Location and in-office flexibility are two that get lots of media attention. But there’s also massive interest in policies that support women and families—the groups most affected during the pandemic.
#3: Lean into your values (not just the perks). It’s not about hallway scooter rides and beer on tap right now. People want to work for companies that they like and trust. Help them get to know you by making your values easy to find. For example, if you have leaders with personal stories about those values (or benefits), ask them to write social posts explaining why. And if you’re looking to add perks, give people what they really want: time and space away from work and opportunities to grow!
#4: Share an inside look at culture. If recruiting is your top business priority, go heavy on employee content. It’s one of the most effective (and authentic) ways to show what it’s really like to work at your company and who the people are behind the scenes. Use your blog and social media to show your culture, smarts and lived values. Pro tip: use real photos, not stock ones.
#5: Be credible (and top of mind). It’s not enough to say you’re great. You have to show up. Now is a good time to submit for those best places to work awards, and to amplify your voice in industry events that reach your future workforce.
#6: Use inclusive language. The workforce of the future is inclusive. Make sure your commitment to diversity comes through. Remember, as culture changes, so does our language. Take a fresh look at your job descriptions, content calendar, web pages and other owned content to make sure you’re using the correct terminology, capitalization and acronyms. Speak to the people you want to recruit and make them feel welcome enough to apply. Remember, you only get one chance to make the first impression. Make it a good one.
#7: Target specific audiences. Before you start a company TikTok, understand who you’re trying to hire and figure out the best channel strategy to reach them. And it might be time to turn on paid to increase the chances of being seen and heard. By the way, there are lots of communities outside of LinkedIn for recruiting like Handshake and Fishbowl. Join them if it makes sense to do so.
Laura is the vice president of marketing at Inkhouse.