How to Win the Regional Talent War
The fight for top talent throughout the country has never been tougher, and companies are struggling to recruit, hire, and retain the regional talent they need in order to succeed. To make things even more difficult, competition is no longer just limited to other companies in the direct line of business since ”Shared Services” positions such as IT, Finance, Marketing, and Customer Service constitute the majority of common positions that all companies must fill.
So what does a TA leader do when there is a substantial amount of regional competition for the same types of candidates?
Prioritize Candidate Experience:
Past, present, and future candidates will regularly discuss their experiences applying and interviewing for jobs within your company, whether it’s in person or via social media. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a strong employer brand is vital. Even if a candidate doesn’t ultimately get the job, make sure their experience is respectful, responsive, and as transparent as possible. Complement this process with a strategic social recruitment strategy that is both relevant and authentic. Accomplish this by providing interesting content that is a healthy balance of both external (written by a respected 3rd party) and organic (developed by your own in house Subject Matter Experts) content. Also, make sure to respond to all job-related inquiries within 24 hours and be clear about next steps and their status with your company. A stellar candidate experience will build goodwill throughout these local talent communities and will differentiate your employer brand from the other regional competitors.
Become an Insider:
Be active in the right local talent communities. That means being involved in the right online forums, hosting or participating in live speaking engagements, attending trade events, and even supporting relevant charitable initiatives. Think about your target audience and research the best “watering holes” where they hang out. This will make you much more visible, and increase the recall and recognition of your employment brand. Industry-specific LinkedIn forums will help you engage candidates online and industry-specific meet up groups, via Meetup.com, are a great way to engage local candidates in person. This added focus will help your company become engrained in both the industry and the region.
Strengthen Your Expertise:
Recruiters must be subject matter experts in the field they’re looking to hire for. To convince a potential candidate that your organization is the right fit, recruiters need to speak their language and understand their world. They must know what these candidates value most (ex: salary, benefits, professional advancement, company culture) and sell them on what makes your organization stand out opposed to the company across town. Recruiters can’t take a passive approach of just answering questions when they arise. They must be proactive and know ahead of time what the most common selling points are (whether they’ve been brought up or not by the candidate), while aggressively positioning themselves above the competition. And with an increase in relocation and remote workers, regional competition can very quickly scale into national hiring competition for certain roles. So, recruiters must also be an expert on the public school systems, housing costs, and recreational activities of the region.
What has been your biggest challenge while recruiting against regional competitors?