The candidate market is very likely to become a free-for-all in the coming months. According to a recent CNBC poll, as many as one in four professionals are contemplating whether or not to change jobs now that the market has found its sea legs after months of choppy water.
Though many of these candidates are eager for a change, most feel little to no rush when it comes to pulling the trigger. Unless your business finds a way to speak to a candidate’s true motives and desire, they will either opt to stay put or choose one of your more compelling competitors.
Going forward, your team will need to vocalize what makes your business exceptional. You don’t need the bombastic showmanship of an Elon Musk or a Richard Branson to win supporters. Even humble companies can boost their appeal if they speak candidly and confidently about what makes their business stand out.
At Capstone IT, we think of it as showcasing our uniques. From our own experience, here is how you can differentiate your business to candidates – and how the right IT staffing services partner can help out.
Start from Within
Before any organization successfully attract the right employees, they put their house in order. Everyone from your founders and tenured employees to your new hires need to know what sets you apart. On the surface, that’s not so difficult, but unless you’ve gone through a deliberate process of teaching and instructing your people about your true differentiators, there might be contradictions.
Let’s start with those organizations that cannot come to a consensus on their differentiators. Author and thought leader Simon Sinek talks about how there is very little dissention about “WHAT” an organization does, but that “HOW” (the things that make them special or set them apart) is a little fuzzier.
In the book “Find Your Why”, Sinek says this about your how: “HOWs are not aspirational. They do not express who we want to be. They express the manner in which we actually behave – the things we actually do – when we are at our best.” In essence, how you differentiate your company should be with qualities you live and breathe – not your better angels.
At Capstone IT, we’ve condensed our HOWs into uniques that our salespeople, account managers, recruiters, and everyone in between can understand and articulate. As you’ll see, we’ve broken down that information into three clear pillars below. Outline your own version of these and you’ll be better equipped to approach and persuade candidates to work for you.
Servant Partnership™: a radical approach to shared success
We want to help our customers, our consultants, and our communities thrive. That means your business needs are a key priority, and we will flex accordingly. It’s how we’re able to deliver precise solutions for our customers’ critical business issues, while facilitating the career growth of our team.
Quality Pledge: our commitment to unbeatable results
Quality is no accident. Businesses need the right people and solutions at the right time to thrive. By becoming a trusted advisor to our customers, we learn the exact formula to produce their success. And with our portfolio of technical assessments, we ensure that the talent we provide possesses genuine expertise and aptitude for the task ahead.
Employee Experience: the heart of exceptional work
Since the start, Capstone IT has found and employed IT consultants who help the industry to grow – and does the work to engage and retain them. We help our people build their capabilities and celebrate accomplishments while rewarding their output. As a result, many have stayed with us for years. That’s how we know they’ll show up, be engaged, and bring the energy it takes to do exceptional work.
Align with Candidates’ Motivations
One way in which some HR and recruiting professionals go wrong is that they take a tone-deaf approach to their consultants. Maybe they comprehend their company’s or customers’ differentiators, but they don’t know how to make them tangible for their ideal employees. Values and differentiators that could otherwise resonate with an individual might come off as empty words if not delivered the right way. Instead, think about what messaging connects with the types of consultants you’d like to hire.
Your outward web and social media presence is the best place to start. In the 2018 MRINetwork Reputation Management Study, 69% of candidates said that an employer’s brand strength is a key consideration in their job search. If, in their eyes, there is proof to the contrary about the validity of your differentiators (disgruntled Glassdoor reviews, absent social messaging, etc.), they might turn down your business in favor of a competitor. Here’s how to differentiate your business to a consultant audience on the web and social media:
- Job Ads – More than just providing information about responsibilities, job ads need to be treated as a sales and marketing tool. Your differentiators need to be front-and-center if you are going to mesmerize job seekers for long enough to get them to explore your website or apply. Again, make sure that each unique you showcase is presented in as tangible a way as possible.
- Glassdoor Responses – Candidates often go to Glassdoor to get the inside scoop on companies. Though the salacious is often more eye-catching, a brand that have a high number of positive responses is hard to ignore and offer a good sign that any interested candidate should move forward with their application. Encouraging the top performers and happy members of your team to post Glassdoor reviews can boost your appeal and even add some on-the-job differentiators you might have missed.
- Social Media Posts – It’s important that you showcase your culture on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Instagram (if applicable). A study conducted by Orbit Media found that 57% of B2B website visitors found them through social media platforms. Often, the key to good social media differentiation is to show your culture and values in a prominent way. Anyone who visits our Facebook or LinkedIn accounts, in addition to seeing our insights, will see examples of us living and rejoicing in our values. We’re open and honest about who we are and look to attract people of similar hearts and minds.
Yet differentiating your business isn’t limited to how you directly market to candidates. Even the case studies you create have some merit when appealing to candidates. In our example of a legacy app modernization project for a retail giant, we show all three of our uniques in action:
- Servant Partnership – Our client wanted local talent and though that was a challenge, we pivoted accordingly to satisfy their needs. That shows our consultants that we’re flexible in our approach to get work done that satisfies precise needs.
- Quality Pledge: Our technical screens, using third-party assessments and our own consultants to review candidates, show that we don’t want to cut corners and we take our reputation seriously. Plus, our industry experience prevents us from needlessly overextending the hiring process.
- Employee Experience: We talk about long-time consultants who were more than happy to help us when the need arose. That’s not uncommon for Capstone IT. Every year, we offer a retreat that all of our employees and their families are invited to go on and our top performers go on a special winter trip to celebrate their output.
It’s a great story that shows our uniques are more than just words. Identifying stories like these that can convey a similar message to potential employees (and your customers): you live up to your own values in all things.
Staffing with an Understanding Partner
Just as you need to be attuned to your differentiators, so too should any recruiting and staffing firm you work with. As an extension of your business, their account managers and recruiters should be able to articulate your uniques as well as those of their own business. At the same time, they should know enough about pitching the unique qualities of their customers to delve into who would love working for you and why they’d want to do it.
For example, when business leaders come to us for technical recruiting solutions, one of the first things we do is dig into their values and differentiators.
- What sets your services you apart?
- What does your business aspire to be?
- What types of personalities work well in your organization?
- What types of personalities don’t work well in your organization?
All of these things combined with technical requirements, business goals, and the other details we learn about your company to align our messaging. At the end of the day, effectively differentiating your business during the hiring process is a team effort – and a good staffing partner should strive to be a team player.
Want to learn how to differentiate your business to candidates with an IT staffing partner? Reach out to the Capstone IT team to attract candidates that value your uniques as much as you do.