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Making the Most of Recruiting Efforts in the Capital Region with Employer Branding

In a post-pandemic economy, the way you recruit new employees has likely changed dramatically. Not only have the expectations of job candidates shifted in the age of virtual teams and work-from-home models, but labor shortages have also impacted the recruiting landscape, making it more difficult today to attract top talent in the greater Albany area than it has been in recent years. 

According to statistics cited by New York’s Department of Labor, the Capital Region’s unemployment rate fell from 4.8% in 2021 to 2.7% in 2022.  A recent internet search showed more than 22,000 openings in Albany and surrounding areas. Couple this with CNBC research showing that 73% of job seekers are only “passively” looking for a job and the challenge to hire top talent is clear.

To engage the right audience among job seekers and turn the most qualified job candidates into enthusiastic “hot prospects,” savvy H.R. managers are employing strategies that have traditionally been associated with their marketing counterparts. This approach is both gaining traction industry-wide and paying off for businesses.

Consider Glassdoor research published by People Managing People which shows that 86% of H.R. professionals surveyed now describe their recruiting efforts as “becoming more like marketing.” Research cited by Small Biz Genius reveals that, for more than 80% of H.R. leaders, employer branding has a “significant impact” on their ability to attract talent. 

Like any successful marketing campaign, creating an employer brand that resonates with job candidates in the Capital Region and speaks to their values is both an art and science. Here are a few tips to help make this strategy work for you:

Create Candidate Personas

Commentary published in The Ascent emphasizes the importance of understanding – and documenting – exactly who the ideal candidate is for any given position, and that involves research.

Similar to the buyer personas typically developed to drive marketing campaigns, a candidate persona is “a fictitious profile that represents your ideal job candidate for a specific role. It includes their characteristics, skills, qualifications, educational background, where they’re from, interests, etc.,” the website notes. Personas should be comprehensive – are they a New York-native or new to the Albany area? Where do they get their news and information? Who influences them both nationally and in the local Capital Region? Do they live in Albany, Schenectady, Troy or one of the area suburbs? Ultimately, developing candidate personas can help clarify what your organization needs an individual to bring to a position – and the kinds of messaging and strategies your H.R. department needs to leverage to attract the right individual to the job.

Maintain a Best-in-Class Digital Presence

We all recognize the power of social media for marketing outreach, and social media should play a major role in your recruiting efforts as well. According to Zippia, 79% of job seekers use social media when conducting their job searches, which is why maintaining an updated, active presence across social media sites is a must – including connecting with candidates that reach out to you and advertising new positions as they become available. And with some 46 million students and recent graduates active on LinkedIn,” according to Zippia, leveraging this popular social media platform is essential to your recruiting efforts. You should also leverage industry-specific and local LinkedIn groups to which your ideal candidate might be a member.

Remember, too, that once candidates respond to one of your online job postings, their next stop in the job hunt is often to the career landing page on your website. So, make sure your open positions are easy to search and your company’s brand is clearly defined there as well, including your organization’s mission, values, and any other attributes that make your company stand out and communicate to candidates why your workplace is a great place to work. 

Follow-Up with Candidates

The most successful marketing campaigns often follow a layered approach in which prospects receive multiple communications across various channels. Your recruiting efforts should employ a similar strategy. According to experts, candidates can quickly lose interest in a position with your firm if they do not hear from you fairly soon after being interviewed. A simple thankyou note or follow-up call will help keep candidates engaged and the conversation going – and, as with any marketing initiative, the more personalized your follow-up communication is for the position and candidate at hand, the better. 

Turn Employees into Brand Champions

Like sales teams following up on qualified leads, enlisting employees in your candidate search can help you bring on board the very people they prefer to work with. Often, Albany-area employees prove to be your best source of vetted applicants and your best brand ambassadors as well. 

Be sure to reward their efforts by offering attractive incentives. Cash bonuses work well, with the industry’s median award for a successful referral today around $1,000, notes SHRM. The site recommends offering the same referral bonus regardless of the level of the position being filled. This sends a message to employees they are all equally valuable, regardless of where they are on their career path, promoting good will organization-wide and further encouraging their help in the recruiting process.

Bring in the Experts

With the scope and complexity of H.R. responsibilities continuing to expand, many organizations today can benefit from outside assistance with their recruiting efforts. Outsourcing recruiting can help your organization gain the added networking outreach needed while boosting your brand equity in the marketplace as well. 

As with any other major H.R. outsourcing initiative, selecting the right outsourcing partner is essential to successful recruiting. Look for an organization that brings a depth of recruitment experience and both Capital Region knowledge coupled with industry-specific experience to the task. This will ensure that your efforts are served with the skills and expertise needed, and that your contracted recruiters can “hit the ground running” to successfully fill positions as quickly as possible. 

The right Albany-based firm will conduct strategic analyses and planning of your internal goals for the position – and of the market landscape as well, to ensure that the candidates they bring to the table align with your brand mission, values, and objectives. 

Also remember the importance of reputation. Firms with strong networks of contacts already established both within and outside your industry will be best positioned to help you connect with and vet a variety of well qualified candidates and ultimately attract the best talent for the position and your organization overall.

M3 Placement and Partnership Can Help

Located right here in Albany, but connected to top talent pools throughout the country, our experienced recruiters are there for you every step of the way, providing the comprehensive services you need to fill open requisitions and transform your workforce. M3’s vast network of established contacts helps you cast a wide net when seeking top talent at all levels, and we are available to step in whether just a single key new hire needs to be secured – or entire teams of new professionals. 

To ensure your success, we fully immerse ourselves in your business – providing coaching, offering best practices, and recommending long-term process improvements, from advisory services and multi-channel strategies to tools and technology recommendations that will help boost your hiring success for years to come.

See how outsourcing your recruitment process to M3 Placement and Partnership can help your brand grow and thrive even in the most challenging environments. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.