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Richard Burton once wrote to Elizabeth Taylor: “My blind eyes are desperately waiting for the sight of you.” We’re all Richard Burton when tasked with filling a position with few resources in a short amount of time.

What we’re seeing today in talent acquisition is the emergence of, well, courtship.

Courtship is an amazing time in a relationship. It’s pretty, romantic, charming, exciting. Even though a lot has changed in the dating world in the last five years (or so I hear, with all that swiping!), courtship is still a time of wonder – the chance for both parties to woo, wow, impress and find out if the relationship is really meant to be. Sound familiar, recruitment marketers?!

In the current landscape of increasing competition, low unemployment, higher demand for skilled positions and an entirely new mindset in the workforce of how, where and why to work (SmashFly calls it Generation Why) – our jobs are driven and measured by finding more of the right people who want to stay longer in the right roles.

As a recruitment marketer, two things bring me joy: helping people find their dream jobs and helping companies identify their next A-player. That magic happens when you’re able to get the right opportunity with the right message to the right person at the right time. How? By courting people with your employer brand, so they can see you as their long-term “partner” in success. Talk about meant to be!

In today’s modern recruitment marketing world, I’m seeing more and more of an alignment between companies and people: a focus on getting to know each other. It’s essential. Learning each other’s nuances, strong suits, passion points and downsides with a vigilant hope that they can connect around a shared purpose, whatever that is for each individual. It needs to become more of a two-way street between people and employers. More equality. More of a true relationship. The question that both organizations and people should lead with when seeking a new hire or a new career is: “What can we accomplish together?”

Think of it this way: when you find someone you who brings you light and you light them up, too, you become your best self. The same goes for your professional life: when you’re engaged in the right job with the right company in the right culture it can feel A LOT like love! It’s not flawless all the time, but most days, you wake up excited to work and pumped for the future.

So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, why not take a look at how you’re really talking to candidates? What are you sharing on social? Is your career site written for them, not you? Are you setting the right expectations? And of course, the job descriptions!  If you were a candidate, would you “date” you? Does the description court, woo and impress top talent? Does it ignite a spark? (OK, maybe I came in a lil’ too hot there, but you catch my drift.)

Your employer brand, manifested in your recruitment marketing strategy, should be courting interested candidates at every channel and touchpoint they reach. It’s not just one date or one bouquet of flowers or one poem. You need to pull out all the stops until you both know it’s right for you. Then, you put the cherry on top with a grand romantic gesture – or an out-of-this-world, written-for-the-candidate job description filled with love. That’s when you know they know you really care – and when you know if they’re ready to commit.

Happy courting, you talent acquisition wonders.

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