How to Avoid A Common Recruitment Pitfall

How to Avoid a Common Recruitment Pitfall

If you run a business, or if you’ve ever just read a management article, here’s an easy question for you: What is your company’s most valuable asset?

A Google search confirms that just about everyone says it’s “your people.” If you accept this conventional wisdom, you might also agree that in order to constantly replenish this asset, it’s important to recruit the best and brightest people you can. After all, keeping employees motivated and productive is hard enough. One of the best ways is to hire people who come pre-wired with ambition and accountability.

But many business-to-business (B2B) companies have a recruitment blind spot. Even ones that are killing it on the sales front, with profits rolling in, often find they cannot hire enough employees to keep up with demand. The number — or caliber — of applicants is not what they’d hoped for.

They just don’t see all the talent that chooses not to apply.

This is often because, compared to their consumer-facing cousins, many B2B leaders think their branding is somehow less critical to their success. Company growth and a good compensation package are important incentives, but they are not enough to attract the most ambitious applicants. The top of the class wants to work for companies they perceive to be visionary and forward-thinking.

A business might have fantastic technology or innovative services, but if its logo appears to be designed by an engineer in his spare time, or if its website seems dated and clunky, it just leaves a poor impression.

Oftentimes, the first contact someone will have with a brand is online. It’s the first place they go for information and to gauge the culture. It’s where they decide whether a business is a mom-and-pop or a mover and shaker they want to work with.

Whether it’s a potential employee or potential customer, your brand matters. Your brand is their perception, and their perception is your reality. Your business is being silently judged by people you’ve never met. They are looking for a visually stimulating representation of your business model and your thinking. They will typically go a step further, hoping to find a vibrant social media presence. They might be impressed by robust content that seeks to not merely self-promote but also to enlighten.

Nowadays, young people are advised they need to have their own online assets in order to present well. The smart ones know 93 percent of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social media profile and reject them if they seem unprofessional, according to a recent survey from Jobvite. Businesses of every stripe would be smart to follow the same advice. It used to be said that “clothes make the man.” Today, the genders are more equally represented in business, but our virtual outfits are no less important.

Your employees may be an important asset, but given that perception is reality, your online presence just might be the most important asset to the long-term success of your business and brand.

Originally published in Sacramento Business Journal  – Aug 30, 2017, 7:00am PDT
© 2017 American City Business Journals

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