The average millennial now changes jobs four times within their first decade out of college – twice as much as the generation prior. The people we’re trying to recruit may now easily have 15 jobs in their lifetime; they’re constantly on the market and always open for the next right opportunity. Given this “new normal,” how can organizations more effectively build, nurture and sustain relationships with potential hires? How can we reach people earlier in their careers to make a lasting impact so that we are top of mind every time, or any time, they are open to a new opportunity?
It comes down to executing a personalized, employer brand-led communications strategy that reaches people at the very beginning of their candidate journey: as enthusiastic students eager to learn, take on the world and make a difference.
Take a look at the ways you can influence and impact candidates for life:
1. Experiential Workshops
Since 66 percent of candidates say they want to know most about a company’s culture when going through the recruiting process, you have to really immerse potential candidates in your organization’s values and culture.
PwC invests in experiential workshops and tools, like its online CareerAdvisor tool and the Aspire to lead series to strengthen its employer brand by providing experiences that give students and grads insight into PwC’s culture.
By focusing on experiences rather than job descriptions or ads or booth graphics, you’re enabling potential candidates to form a memorable connection with your brand so that when they’re ready for their next opportunity – whether that’s in two months or two years – you’re on the top of their list.
2. Campus Programs
With so much information about your brand available online, setting up a booth and handing out free swag at the annual campus career fair isn’t going to cut it anymore. You need to create dynamic campus programs that complement your online presence.
Take PwC, for example. They have a strong brand to leverage, meaning students likely know a little about them before approaching their booth. So, their challenge may not be attracting, but really engaging talent. Or even further, screen in and out talent based on fit so recruiters aren’t pouring over applicants. To do this, they offer several student programs that develop and nurture relationships with college students. While each program differs in terms of its objectives and enrollment requirements, they all have a profound impact on PwC’s employer brand and ability to attract top talent. In 2017 they had over 5,000 students from 90 schools participate in these student programs. That’s 5,000 people to nurture, engage and build relationships with before they even start their careers. Talk about getting ahead of the future talent market!
3. Virtual Connections
The average person now spends about two hours per day on social media, and 73 percent of millennials found their last job through a social network. Digital and social channels broaden your reach to different and unique audiences, and they open the door for you to connect potential employees with current employees.
While many organizations use social to build and amplify an employer brand, an effective social strategy really comes down to storytelling. Use social as a means to enable employees to tell their stories in their own way. It sounds like a no brainer, but there’s still a huge missed opportunity here: only 33 percent of employers actually encourage employees to use social media.
Since people trust employees three times more than an employer to provide information about the company, make sure that you are empowering your employees to share employer brand content from their personal social accounts. By embracing your employees’ voices and encouraging them to share on social, you’re not only getting your story in front of more people, you’re setting yourself apart from competitors.
4. Corporate Responsibility Initiatives
Within just three years, millennials will make up 50 percent of the global workforce, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives can be a huge recruitment aid when it comes to attracting top millennial talent. A study from the Stanford School of Business even revealed that 90 percent of MBAs from business schools in Europe and North America prefer working for organizations committed to social responsibility.
Let’s look at PwC again. They teamed up with rapper Dee-1 (yes, PwC + a rapper = a surprisingly awesome partnership!) for a hugely successful financial literacy campaign. Dee-1 was a former middle school math teacher who became famous for rapping about student loan debt. PwC partnered with him to announce and promote a new financial literacy program, Earn Your Future™, aimed at educating young people. PwC and Dee-1 toured the country together, getting in front of 1,700 people and achieving 400 million media impressions. This was a huge win. PwC positioned its brand in front of a younger audience, shared their culture and values with future potential candidates, and received a ton of media traction because it was such a fun, out-of-the-box way for PwC to promote a CSR program.
Relationships with talent need to start early – and way before they ever apply. Because the truth is this: applying today isn’t, and can’t be, one and done. People don’t just have one shot to get into their dream company, just as organizations don’t only have one shot to hire the perfect person for a key role. Stay present. Be consistent. Nurture your relationships.
With a typical candidate now participating in 15 (or more) career searches over the course of their 40+ year career, you can – and should make persistence, relevance and influence your competitive advantage in making candidates for life.