The Morning Call “Lehigh Valley Workplaces” column: Prove to me why I should work for you
Recently, I was reminiscing about a time when recruiting involved running a classified advertisement and waiting for the phone to ring. That was enough.
In a tight-knit community like the Lehigh Valley, applicants may have heard of a company from a friend or relative who worked there, or maybe because of the business’s marketing. Companies only needed a marginal website to prove to job seekers that they were worth considering.
Fast forward to today: With national unemployment numbers less than 4 percent, a robust website is essential for attracting the applicants you need. A website that does not promote a company’s workforce, unique culture and employee benefits is akin to a help wanted ad from 10 or 20 years ago that offered no job details. Why would a quality candidate apply?
The competition for top-rated employees is beyond fierce. The skilled-talent shortage was made clear in the recently released Lehigh Valley Education & Talent Supply Report from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. The report highlights where employers have specific issues to address, now and in the future. We are in a new era where companies must market to future employees much like they do to new customers. Bland and predictable career pages don’t make companies stand out.
I spoke about this topic with Kyle David, president of the Kyle David Group, a technology solutions company in Allentown. Career pages, he explains, are a critical focus for so many of his clients across the country.
“People buy everything online; why not a job?” David asked.
David offered some solid advice for companies and managers looking to improve their career pages. These tips can be used by employers, and are good to know for prospective applicants as well.
- A successful career page showcases your work environment realistically. Know your company culture and the personality types that fit well within it. Illustrate that on your website. Applicants are looking for more than a job, they’re looking for what makes you different.
- Know what you are looking for in an employee. How will you recognize a prize applicant if you don’t know what you want in a team member? David compares this with people who are on an elevator, but don’t know what floor they were just on or which direction they’re headed. In his company, he wants people that ask, “Where does this elevator start and stop?” “Who should be on this elevator?” and “Where are the stairs?” And for job applicants: Ask yourself what elevator do you want to be on? Applicants need to know themselves to find a good match.
- Find out what motivates top employees. Then showcase this information on your career page, elsewhere on your website and on social media. Like-minded people attract like-minded people. Applicants can use this information to identify organizations that offer a company culture where they have a better chance of fitting in.
- Videos can showcase your workplace. Videos are popular tools for marketing, including to potential employees. David says that employer-branding videos should focus on current employees, using their voices, unscripted. Make sure the videos are relatable to the type of A-list players you are seeking. Applicants will know the difference between a slick marketing piece or an authentic glimpse into the culture and people that make up an organization’s workplace.
If you are a job seeker, be a smart consumer of the online information. You’re not looking for a job — you’re shopping for one. Keep in mind that companies that invest in making their career pages informative and inviting are also more likely to invest in their employees.
The company careers page is a living digital document that will continue to evolve. Because of this, I plan on writing about this subject again. Let me know what you look for in a company career page — both the good stuff and the red flags — both as a visitor and within your organization. Your feedback can lead to more lively discussion!
This article first appeared in the Lehigh Valley Business Cycle section of The Morning Call on August 21, 2018. The original article can be found here.