“Switching companies” (in the context of talent recruitment) is something we’ve been thinking about for quite a while now. A specialist is supposed to switch companies, if you’ll ask the interested company. And as soon as possible. "Come to us, we need support in XY and YZ. It’s really great that you have the necessary skills." This recruitment strategy’s focus lies on switching, not on improvement.
But shouldn’t it rather focus on how you can help an employee improve their career at your company? Your concern for the growth and success of your company is self-explanatory. Our opinion: The "upgrade strategy" is incredibly important for an overall personnel marketing strategy of a company. In recruitment, we’ve often observed a lack of showing specialists their possibility of an upgrade.
(Don't misunderstand: It's not about comparing the candidate’s current company to yours and promoting how much more of a step up your company could be. It's about authentically presenting your strategy and planting a seed in your candidate's mindset that makes them think "Wait a minute. This is where I can really take a step forward. Exciting!")
Your company may already be pursuing the “career upgrade strategy”. However, we would like to shed light on this topic as some employers may not be aware that they could change something about their recruitment strategy.
As a recruitment platform, we observe that some companies attract more specialists than others. We’ve looked at examples where several companies had the opportunity to talk to the exact same specialists. In these examples, salary often wasn’t even the sticking point. But why did some companies never seem to convince the “right” candidates?
Scrutinize your "candidate application to interview" conversion rate!
There is a saying that "less is more" and that is often a valid argument. However, as a recruitment platform, we’ve been lucky to have seen a great amount of recruiting processes and can therefore share our take on this: Often, valuable candidates remain unseen (or unspoken to) by companies that tell us afterwards that they would have loved to have a chat to the respective candidates (at least a brief chat). It's best to work with numbers and document your conversion rate. Question your strategy if this rate is unusually low (below 10%).
Scrutinize your conversion rate "contract offer to contract acceptance" in detail!
Look at the raw numbers: How often do you convert a candidate you are interested in into a new employee? Then look at the whole interview process, from beginning to end. At what point did the most objections and queries arise? At what point was the process stopped or accepted, and by whom? Analyze how exactly the process ended. By phone, by email, with a final query or request?
Once you have analyzed these rates and developed a plan in which direction you want to improve your numbers, you can develop an apt recruitment strategy that markets less the “company switch” and more the “upgrade for specialists”.
🐦 Communication is key
Communication is a valuable and very helpful tool. Present a distinct plan to specialists, and not only a plan of your company’s future. Presenting the great job your company is doing only appeals to job security, and at best, to fascination for your company. Take an extra step and introduce a precise plan for the future of the specialist you’re talking to! That way, you appeal to the "upgrade" the individual can envision for him/herself.
🐦 Provide transparency at all times
Inform all staff, including existing staff, about innovation. It's always nice to hear something first-hand. Therefore, communicate changes to existing staff as well, and show them what improvements and plans you have in store for them. The “upgrade strategy” should be applied to existing staff as well.
🐦 Don't be afraid of changing your strategy
Especially with existing staff, strategy changes can cause unease as an individual may feel threatened, since their comfortable status quo is being stirred up. “Can new staff overtake me with their career plan?” It’s a perfectly human reaction. However, as mentioned in our comment on transparency, you should credibly present a career plan to existing staff that is just as appealing to them as the respective plan is to new staff. If your new strategy still doesn’t meet with approval, you can question the mindset of the staff member in question.
🐦 Collect feedback and discuss interim progress together
Don't make the mistake of promising a strategy and discussing a plan. Put the plan in writing (even in application interviews) and set deadlines for meetings in which you discuss the employees’ progress. (Of course, the latter step is only possible after successful recruitment.) At best, arrive at your interim meetings with an analysis of the last few months and an outlook for the future.
If you proactively promote your staff’s career upgrade over a longer period of time, you will integrate the new “upgrade strategy” into your company culture. This will have an effect on your applicant interview quality, on your recruitment in general, on candidate acquisition, and on the long-term retention of specialists.
Never stop optimizing. And now: Pick your dream specialists!