— September 16, 2019
My client is the place that helps you figure out your high end vacuum cleaner by phone or live chat They also sell lines of credit, enrol employees in benefits plans, talk you through furniture assembly and reset passwords for obscure software.
As call centres go, this one is pretty good. They offer above average pay, which means it’s still pretty low but slightly better than babysitting and entry level coffee pouring. They have benefits, free parking, chairs that go up and down and a pizza on Fridays.
What they are lacking is people. Like so many businesses that rely on low cost labour, this company is feeling the pinch of full employment. It’s taking longer to hire, employees stay a shorter time and they’re getting plenty of ghosting (that thing where people just disappear) by both candidates and brand new hires.
All of which means, in addition to the call centre business, they are also now in the recruiting business, which they are scrambling to figure it out ahead of the busy winter season. By “they” I mean the VP of sales and marketing and their recruiting team of two. Make that one – the other one didn’t show up for work today.
Unpredictable staffing is hurting their ability to go after new clients and to guarantee the service levels they offer existing clients. This isn’t unique to call centres; restaurants, agriculture, retail and countless other types of business are in real trouble in a competitive labour market.
If this is feeling uncomfortably familiar you need to pull together a basic recruitment marketing toolkit pretty darn fast. Here’s a very quick and dirty set of tools to fast track your recruitment. We’ll unpack these in the coming weeks.
Look at your employer brand
You already have an employer brand, whether it’s any good or not is another discussion. As you think about how attractive your company is for candidates, you will, at minimum, want to come up with an employment elevator pitch and some messaging about why you’re better than the competition. Talk to your recruiters about what’s working and what they need.
Smooth out the candidate experience
Like employer branding, candidate experience is a longer conversation, but you can do some basic housekeeping by looking at the application process. Go through your careers site (on a mobile phone – that’s how your applicants do it) and look for points of friction that might cause a candidate to abandon ship. Talk to your recruiting team about the tools they use to manage the whole thing — those could also be causing delays, unpleasantness or terrible experiences.
Clean up your job postings
Most job postings are based on job descriptions and that generally means both of them are pretty terrible. The point of the job posting is to help candidates understand what it’s like to work there and to help them decide whether or not to apply. Focus on communicating culture, working conditions and employee experience, versus qualifications and skills. The more video you can use, the better.
Deal with your bad reviews
Reviews on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor can tank your best recruitment marketing efforts. We know that 70% of candidates look at reviews, so this is a critical thing. Happily, it’s also easy. First, make sure you are responding to any and all reviews, and not with some robo-response. A human response. Second, encourage your existing employees to post about their experiences.
Keep in touch
Why would we go to all the time and expense of attracting an application and then throw it in the garbage when the candidate either declines or isn’t a fit? If this were a sale, our sales managers’ heads would explode. Oh, wait a minute: it is a sale. We’re selling a job. So we need to do what good sales and marketing teams everywhere do and that’s fill and nurture our funnel until it’s the right time for that person to re-engage with us.
These should give you a place to start thinking about getting your recruiting working a little better. Stay tuned as we dive a little deeper into each area over the next month or so.