By Saqib Khan, Head of Talent Acquisition at Immediate Media Co.
For some people, the pandemic has been a moment to assess and rethink their careers. Given time to reflect on their working life and what’s important in their lives, a large number of people are reassessing their professional options. In fact, when Microsoft did a survey of more than 30,000 global workers, 41% were considering quitting or changing professions this year.
On the other side of the coin, for employers, the pandemic has provided an opportunity to refresh their working practices, culture and purpose, which have become a significant differentiating factor in the post-COVID era. As the next generation of talent comes through with a passion for social justice and environmental issues, companies need to have strong credentials in these areas to help keep their talent pipeline healthy.
Traditional methods aren’t working
Whilst everyone wants to attract the top talent, a strong brand alone is no longer a guarantee of ensuring a strong pipeline.
Realistically, the best candidates don’t even need to look for jobs. Jobs find them. This means that they’re never necessarily active in the market and applying for jobs – instead they’re normally passive candidates who get headhunted or reconnected with ex-employees.
As top talent aren’t in the market for long, in order to stay ahead, at Immediate, we’re looking at different ways to attract passive candidates and grow a strong pipeline. This involves building awareness with people who aren’t actually actively searching by building our presence at places they can encounter us. For example, events and conferences are great opportunities for us to introduce fresh ideas and present Immediate as an innovator and an attractive place to work.
But it’s not just reaching them that’s the issue. Prospective new talent have broader expectations from their employers than previously. That’s why when we connect with them, we need to engage in a conversation that goes beyond a job description. We must be vocal about our commitments to things they care about and show how we bring this to life. Simply put, culture and inclusion can’t be defined on paper.
Tell your story
Recruitment marketing is also fundamental. What does a candidate receive in return for working for your company? This is where your employee value proposition (EVP) is vital. The stronger it is, the easier talent attraction becomes. Gone are the days of the simple remuneration package. People want more than just a good salary and free breakfast. Whether it’s an investment in wellness or CSR, developing a strong EVP that truly reflects your people’s particular experiences, needs and contribution will go a long way in getting them through the door and making them stay.
At Immediate, our EVP is something we’re proud of. From enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption leave to menopause training to discounts and vouchers schemes, flexible working policies and a vibrant social calendar – even during the pandemic – working with us is rewarding. We’ve created a culture which encourages people to give their best and thrive, and we reciprocate that in equal measure.
But having an attractive EVP is almost worthless if you don’t shout about it. That’s where companies can utilise social channels or professional marketing channels like LinkedIn to tell those stories and let the potential new talent, clients and partners know who you are. It is the best way of raising awareness because people naturally connect with creative, authentic, human stories.
Tips for new talent
It’s clear that the next generation of talent dig deeper than just a job description. So while companies are addressing important issues, around sustainability and improving diversity and inclusion, it’s also key for candidates to share that passion.
Demonstrate why you are the best candidate. Don’t talk about your passions, show them. If it’s a commitment to social impact causes or sharing your expertise as a tech professional or creative, give them the evidence that proves you can and are willing to go above and beyond the competition. A good CV is attractive but showing fierce flexibility, adaptability and passion is even more so.
Ultimately, as we continue to move through a period of exciting change, we need to remember that the most important asset to a company is its people. If you care about who you work for or who works for you, and live and breathe in an environment where people learn, grow and succeed, there is no limit to what is achievable.