The Candidate is King: Top Methods for Adapting Your Recruitment Strategy to a Candidate-Driven Job Market
A historically low unemployment rate, a fairly stagnant quit rate, and longer times to hire mean increasing competition among hospitality employers to find and recruit top talent, as growth-oriented HR departments adapt their hiring strategies to this new reality.
In this climate where jobs are plentiful and applicants are few, the candidate is indeed king.
So what does this mean for employers? It’s even more important now for employers to focus on branding as a key part of their recruitment and retention strategies as the growth of hospitality job openings outpaces the growth in employee numbers.
The “burden of proof,” so to speak, has shifted away from candidates and on to employers, who must now use multiple approaches, tactics and channels to persuade qualified applicants to choose their brand over others. This also means employers must “sell” or market each open position, as well as their overall brand, company culture, mission, and industry.
Here are a few of our top recommendations for how hospitality employers should adapt their recruitment strategies to stay competitive in a tight labor market:
Remember what job seekers care about.
In the Hcareers 2017 Annual Candidate Survey, we found "salary" is not among the top 3 things that job seekers care about when considering a new company. Instead, candidates care most about: 1) the financial stability of the company they're applying to 2) whether that company has a good reputation in the industry and 3) if they’ll be offered opportunities for advancement, promotion, and growth within the company.
To understand how to position your brand and persuade top talent to join you, you need to know what your ideal hires' priorities are and then incorporate these into your recruitment and brand strategies.
Advertise your management programs.
Our data consistently shows that job seekers and hospitality professionals crave educational resources and career support to help them move from non-management to management positions.
Likewise, staffers currently in management roles want guidance on how to continue to move upward in their career path and gain additional leadership skills and responsibilities. A competitive recruitment strategy will clearly communicate to potential new hires how they can grow long-term with your company.
Remember, you’re not just investing in them, they’re investing in you. Convince them that you’re worth it.
Know your brand. Then sell it.
Make sure your brand’s vision, culture, and service philosophy are communicated across your organization and that there is consistency in the messaging on all of your channels. Hcareers found that 61% of job applicants need to feel good about their employer in order to make a long-term commitment with them, and nearly all job seekers research potential employers even before applying for a job. Candidates care about an employer’s overall reputation in the industry, as well as their brand identity.
In order to attract qualified talent who will be excited to join your organization and motivated to grow, they need to understand what differentiates you from the competition and the unique opportunities that your company offers them. Don’t just “sell” the role or open position here; a good recruitment strategy will bring industry and brand awareness to candidates.
Get comfortable using data.
If you’re not using a data-driven approach to your recruitment strategy, you’re missing out on great opportunities to understand the job market, potential applicants and their needs and behaviors, and keep up with new trends or changes in the market.
Don’t forget about passive candidates.
42% of respondents to our Annual Candidate Survey said they were not actively looking for a job, but, out of that group, over 70% reported searching for and viewing job postings on a regular basis. Passive candidates are often untapped resources for hiring managers, not to mention an undervalued demographic often overlooked in recruitment strategies. Passive candidates may be satisfied with their current role, but research suggests they are always “looking” and willing to make a change if the right opportunity comes along.
By branding your company competitively, creating optimized and persuasive job postings, emphasizing the growth potential they would have with you, and in general communicating the value of your company as clearly and strongly as possible, you’ll be able to attract these passive candidates away from their current positions and retain them as long-term, satisfied employees.
Keep your social media accounts active.
A large part of employer branding is communicating your company’s “story” to relevant audiences. Staying active on social media and using a strategic approach to reach targeted users with your campaigns is one of the best ways to create meaningful touchpoints with potential new hires, whether they’re actively looking for a new job or simply waiting until a better opportunity comes their way.