Finding and hiring the right people is really hard work. It’s not enough to dangle an opportunity in the pond and hope to hook a big fish. But luckily, you’re already really good at finding and converting customers, so why not try the same tactics for employees?

You know better than I do that at the heart of a successful marketing campaign is genuine audience understanding, and the same is true in recruitment: if you’re going to attract the right people to your business, you must identify who they are and what makes them tick. Think of them in the same way as you think of potential customers and approach the task of snagging them as you would any other marketing challenge.

A good place to start is with your existing team: they know more about your recruitment process than anyone else:

  1. Ask them to describe being recruited into the company, picking out any experiences that obviously rouse their emotions (good or bad);
  2. Explore their ideas about what kinds of people fit into and thrive in the team, ideally looking for information to build ‘employee personas’ ~ you know, like user personas;
  3. Find out what they read, where they meet and network, and where they find their information about the market, companies and jobs. These channels provide their trusted sources of information and offer lots of opportunities for you to engage and become a trusted source yourself.

Once you’re clear on who you want to attract and how to reach them, then creating compelling recruitment campaigns that position your company as THE place to work will be easy. Have fun with different strategies: write blog content, give live presentations, enter awards, and run competitions that promote your values, culture and ethos; split test one against another, then refine and optimise your campaigns so that each improves on the last.

Treat all candidates, successful or not, as potential brand ambassadors: they have the potential to set both your brand and recruitment alight. Their experiences of your company, throughout the recruitment process, will speak volumes, and positive experiences will translate to positive word of mouth. Sweat the detail of your hiring process, examining each touch point. Think hard about both the candidate experience and the things that really matter in a new recruit; tailor your process to match and work at reducing the potential friction points; for example, don’t judge a junior developer on existing skills and experience, look for potential, attitude and behaviours.

You’re already good at understanding, speaking to and converting your ideal customer: perhaps finding, attracting and hiring your ideal employee is not as hard as we thought.

By Will Bentinck from Makers Academy

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