Guest Commentator: Anna Papalia, Founder & CEO, Shift Profile @ShiftProfile

How can building an employer brand that appeals to top candidates help hiring managers and recruiters in the interview process?

The way to attract and retain top talent is to offer what top talent wants. Sounds intuitive, right? But it’s not. Here are four things you can do to attract and retain top talent during the recruitment and interview processes. First, your branding needs to be authentic. Second, you need to improve the candidate experience and third, and most important, interview better!

Coaching tip #1: Connect your messaging and your corporate values to what top talent wants.

The way to brand your organization shouldn’t be decided by what looks good on an ad. Your branding should come from something you already have, your mission, values, and goals. If your CEO has a compelling story, tell it in interviews. If you are mission-based, use that to recruit the right talent that believes in your mission. Lots of research shows that modern employees want their places of work to be charitable and mission-oriented. How can you make that connection in your recruiting and marketing materials?

Coaching tip #2: Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. The steps to apply for the job should not be time-consuming, tedious, and awkward.

Most companies are operating on an outdated model that they are in the position of power when it comes to recruiting top talent, but according to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics, there is a workforce shortage and there will continue to be. That means that top talent is going to run the show in the future. If you want to attract and retain top talent in your organization, first and foremost, you need to go through a fundamental paradigm Shift. Repeat after me, “I am not in the position of power anymore, the candidates are.”

With this Shift, some significant changes need to be made in the way you train recruiters, what you require of your applicants, and your own expectations. If your recruiters mismanage the relationship with candidates, you are ruining your brand. Companies need to focus on the applicant experience and take into consideration the time it takes a candidate to apply for a job. For example, don’t have applicants fill out a long employment application on your website before you interview them and please stop with the recorded interviews.

Coaching tip #3: Elevate the interview process by giving your hiring managers tools to interview better.

I have interviewed and hired thousands of candidates and I have co-interviewed with hundreds of hiring managers. Ninety-percent of hiring managers were never trained to interview. They Google it, shadow someone, or wing it. When it comes to hiring, companies do not prioritize the interview process. Sure, HR may do the phone screen and provide some behavioral questions for you to ask but it’s not enough. The most important business decisions happen in interviews.

Lastly, no matter how great your recruiting marketing is, don’t overly rely on it to get you the resumes you need. Top talent isn’t out there looking for a job; they are happily working and succeeding at your competitor and if you want them to work for you, you have to go out there, cold call, meet them at networking events, and make your case.

Shift Profile is a member of the Chamber’s Talent Action Team, a group of 140+ Chamber members focused on creating clear pathways for the alignment between individuals and employers to assure that we are training and engaging the region’s current and future leaders.