It was said more than any other sentence in the last few months: Hiring is hard.
I regularly talk to entrepreneurs, CEOs, founders and lately they all complain about how difficult it is to find people for work. How their companies are struggling to find new employees.
How “these youngsters, they don’t want to work anymore. They are all about their beliefs, their values and want to work remotely or do something significant with their lives, instead of being happy with a paycheck (like we were when we started in 1982)”.
I agree. Hiring is hard.
Because people don’t want just another paycheck. Because people don’t take their time for granted and because they don’t want to work from the office, just because they “have to”.
Because people changed.
It took a massive global pandemic and 2 years of severe restrictions, but people finally started looking at their time and their jobs differently. People now want a vision, they want to stand for something; they want meaning in their lives. Finally.
And now, HR needs to change.
Because what employers offered a year or two ago, now doesn’t bring any value to the employees anymore.
Pleasant office environment? Nah, I’ll work from home.
Bonus if I work weekends? Sorry, during the weekend I am away with my family.
Casual Fridays? I spent the last two years dressed in a tracksuit. Casual doesn’t seem like much fun anymore.
HR now has a marketing challenge ahead of them. HR needs to understand their customer (employees), find the differentiation to remove themselves from the competition, and the value so they attract the right employees.
Basically, HR needs to figure out their positioning as an employer.
Positioning as an employer
What happened to HR in the last few years happens to every product or service. The market got crowded.
A few years ago, there was a sea of people looking for work, and a handful of employers willing to offer work. So the employers got hundreds of applications for every job posting. HR’s primary job was filtering out the bad weeds and hiring the best candidates.
But the situation got reversed.
Now there are tons of employers looking for people, and only a handful of people will work under certain conditions.
Offering a job? Chances are, you are one of many choices a potential employee can pick.
How to make sure the person chooses you and not your competitor? READ ON.
How to stand out as an employer
Just like every product or service in a crowded market needs to stand out, so does every employer. This doesn’t mean you need to shout to be the loudest, but you need a clear differentiator; something that makes you stand out and for people to take notice.
Here is how you find your differentiation:
- List every attribute that your company has. Here are a few examples: Let’s say your company values transparent communication. Put that down on a sticky note or a piece of paper. If you have casual Fridays, write that down. An impatient boss that isn’t prepared to wait for the results? Yup, write it down. The more detailed you do this, the better.
- Now do the same, but for competitors. Write every strength and weakness they have. Are they offering higher pay? Write it down. The competitor doesn’t allow employees to work remotely? Write it down as well.
- Check for overlap. Remove the attributes that you have in common. These are all attributes that are not unique to you.
- What’s left on the table is how you differ from every other competitor out there.
Those attributes are your differentiation. They are something that makes you completely different from every other competitor out there.
Now let’s take this a step further.The Employer Value Proposition is a unique set of company’s benefits that the employee receives in return for his time at the company.
Finding your EVP
Being different is all well and good, but it’s only the first piece of the puzzle. The next step is to turn those unique attributes into a value for your potential employee.
The question to ask yourself is: what kind of value do my potential employees get because of these unique attributes?
As an example: In the last paragraph, we mentioned an impatient boss that isn’t prepared to wait for the results.
How can that help the employee? Where is the value of that impatience?
That’s right, the impatience speeds up getting the results. So you might start your job post might sound something like this:
“Tired of painstakingly long processes that hinder your ability to provide results? Come work for us. Our fast-paced culture will allow you to expand your abilities, learn, and provide results. FASTER.”
Surely there are people out there who want their career to grow faster? It’s just a matter of giving them what they want and finding that perfect fit.
PS. The sentence you just wrote… That was one of your possible Employer Value Propositions (EVP).
EVP is a unique set of your company’s benefits that the employee receives in return for his time at the company.
So things like faster career growth, remote work, nice office, casual Fridays, barbecue Saturdays, team buildings,…
Your goal is to understand what your company stands for and how to translate that into the value for your future employees.
And THAT will make you a great human resource specialist!
How to find your communication strategy
The last step is to communicate your findings to the world.
Like a buyer doesn’t immediately buy an expensive product, so a person doesn’t just switch jobs because you wrote a job post.
He does the research, checks your marketing channels, your web page.
It is your job to communicate that the company is a great employer. Tell your story. Show off your company culture, let your future employee experience what it is like to work for the company before you even need them.
Make your future employee WANT to work for you. Make them search for your job ads.
Right now, if an employee looks at your company’s LinkedIn profile, what will they see? Will they want to work with you?
Hey. My name is Andrej, I am a growth marketer talking about positioning a lot. But hey, it’s important. Positioning is the basis of your marketing and sales. Flop that and you will flop your company. That’s why I created a portal of free resources on digital marketing and positioning. Access it here: RESOURCES
If you find it useful – every like, every share on social media helps. Spread the love.
+ get in touch with me on Linkedin, I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Thanks.