Seneca Bridge is a provider of specialist recruitment solutions. They provide a bespoke service to each client in order to ensure costs are minimised whilst return on investment is maximised. All whilst providing long term benefits. Managing Director at Seneca Bridge, James Cadwaladr, has kindly written this guest blog post providing his thoughts on the importance of defining and articulating your company culture when hiring and retaining the best talent.

Credit: Facebook // @SenecaBridgeResource

Over the past 10 – 15 years the means and methods to successfully hiring the best talent for your business has changed dramatically. In equal measure, so have the aspirations and interests of the candidate marketplace.

The new digital world has given potential employees far greater access to information and knowledge about your business than ever before. Therefore, no longer can businesses rely on simply writing and posting adverts, waiting for suitable candidates to apply.

Brexit is challenging your hiring plans, whether you believe it or not

I have heard Directors of major businesses say that Brexit isn’t affecting them, “we have British customers and British supply chain, it’s not going to affect us.”

Simply put, you’re wrong, it is. The vast majority of business that you compete with for talent, both geographically and by sector, are being affected by Brexit. In turn, this is causing people who may otherwise consider new opportunities to sit tight and see what happens in the halls of Westminster and Brussels over the coming months. Therefore, a smaller candidate pool is seeing potential employees inevitably have a choice of opportunities. It’s important that, as a business, you are the employer of choice.

The first step to this is defining the values and culture of your organisation, something that I believe C2O have done incredibly well. Let me explain why:

  • 69% of job seekers will not accept a job with a company with a bad reputation – even if they are unemployed
  • Businesses with a poor employer brand and culture are required to pay on average a 21% premium to hire new employees
  • A strong employer brand and culture increases the commitment of new hires by 29% and
  • Employee advocacy rises from 24% to 47%

Building your employer culture and brand

  • 76% of hiring decision-makers say attracting quality candidates is their #1 challenge
  • 75% of hiring decision-makers say it’s easier to attract top talent when they know about your business, confirming the power of the employer culture and brand
  • 80% of job seekers research company reviews and ratings when deciding to apply for a job

The starting point for building culture, values and a brand is to determine the most important considerations that job seekers take into account when searching for a new role.  These are:

  • Salary and compensation
  • Location / commute
  • Work / life balance
  • Career opportunities
  • Benefits

As well as considering the aspirations of your potential employees, it’s important to leverage the knowledge and advocacy of your current workforce. Take counsel from them and identify why they love working for you and what else the business can do to support them.

Credit: Pexels

About 12 months ago, I was fortunate enough to meet the HR Director at one of the largest and most successful media businesses in the world. Until the end of this year, the business sponsored a quite well-known cycling team. He explained to me what a great place to work it is. On site gym, excellent benefits, flexible working, sat next to certain sports presenters in a great restaurant at lunch, on site shopping centre including Halfords, Toni & Guy, great career development program etc. etc. I discussed with the HRD that it must be easy to attract talent and make the organisation an Employer of choice. His answer was surprising:

“It’s a great place to work absolutely but the thing we struggle with the most is making people aware of that. At the moment, being a great place to work is irrelevant as it isn’t really until someone starts working for us that it becomes reality.”

So, it is vital that organisations do everything that they can to get it out there and make your proposition as attractive as possible. Gone are “post and pray” days! Increasingly, we are seeing the need to be innovative and break from traditional mundane job descriptions and adverts.

Corporate marketing and recruitment marketing are like for like nowadays and have the same ultimate objective. Attracting customers or candidates at the same time as adding value and the attractiveness of your proposition.

Brand and culture are the biggest trends in recruitment right now. There has been a shift from mundane job descriptions and adverts featuring responsibilities and skills sets towards new world engaging adverts that bring your business to life! The key is to explain why your business is an awesome place to work with an awesome culture.
So, please… Make sure you get it out there, make it real and make it passionate.

The Power of Social Media

It is virtually impossible to get away from the power of social media. In the absence of big budget mass advertising deployment, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all the others are the most effective way of leveraging your employment brand. In the absence of 6 figure recruitment marketing budgets, not only is it important for your organisations visibility and awareness, but it is your main and greatest platform for potential candidates. This allows them to imagine themselves working and being part of your organisation.

Credit: Pexels

There are some statistics here which I want to pay attention to.

54% of employed workers are either actively seeking new employment or open to considering a new job. I found this figure quite staggering! When you consider that in effect, over half of your target audience are passive candidates. With this, effective social media networking is the best and fastest way to grab their attention…and keep it. Nearly 9 in every 10 of these people are under 55 years old, with the vast majority of these being under 40. By deploying social media effectively, you are engaging with the talent that is going to future proof your organisation. The baby boomers are retiring and the millennials are coming!

Overall, we see LinkedIn as being the main social network for recruiting both from an organisation and job seekers point of view. It is true that LinkedIn’s power is considerable and companies now have detailed careers networks on the site. However, perhaps surprisingly, across all industries and job levels, 67% of job seekers use Facebook when searching for a new role against 40% using LinkedIn.

So, alongside LinkedIn, please ensure that you are engaging with everyone. You need to be engaging and highly visible as soon as possible. Over half of potential job seekers using social networks are online for less than 10 minutes at a time. Make sure you are seen and make sure you are heard. Don’t get lost in the masses.

By focusing on demonstrating your core values and value that you will provide to your employees, you will transform your ability to attract the top talent. You will also greatly enhance the efficiency of your recruitment process and improve retention. The commercial and operational benefits of this will then prove transformational.

If you would like to find out any more information regarding Seneca Bridge and the services they offer, you can visit their website here.

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