Employee Experience

How to Attract the Modern Job Seeker to Your Manufacturing Company

by Bridgette Palm
8 min

We’ve talked at length about how company culture isn’t just an incentive for current employees — it’s also the best way to attract new talent. Once a strong foundation is laid and your company culture is documented, it becomes an integral part of your brand story. Your brand story and organizational structure can then be positioned to attract a new wave of workers.

Essentially you need to treat your recruitment strategy like a marketing campaign. Except instead of prospective customers, you’re marketing your company to your ideal candidate.

In this competitive market, you need to understand your company’s value to a prospective employee and sell it to them.

According to a recent interview with corporate recruitment advisor Greg Savage, with the increasing global skills gap, current job seekers know they’re in demand and are comparable to consumers in that they’re researching and ‘shopping around’ for the right opportunity. Modern job seekers want the inside scoop on your company so that they can determine if they’re a good fit.

Over are the days of posting a job ad and waiting for the applications to roll in. Today’s best recruiting practices require you to put yourself in your candidate’s shoes and identifying what value they find in being an employee at your company. Effective talent attraction strategies keep your ideal candidate’s journey in mind.

Define your ideal candidate, put your company culture and brand story to work, and start attracting top talent.

Define Your Ideal Candidate

Before putting any sort of talent attraction strategy into action, it’s crucial to understand the type of candidate you want to attract.

An effective way to start defining your ideal candidate is by getting clear on the open positions you currently have and what skills are needed to successfully fulfill them.

Beyond the hard skills needed to carry out the job, dive deeper into the soft skills and character traits needed for both the job and for the team. Will this person need great communication skills? Is being a quick learner or problem solver an absolute must? Are you looking for someone who can take the lead or can collaborate well?

Looking at your current team can help you determine your ideal candidate as well. Take a look at who is working at your company now and what skill sets and personality traits they possess that you’d like to see more of.

With this information, you can create tangible examples of your ideal candidates that will become a foundational piece throughout the recruiting and marketing process. Just like targeted marketing is more effective, so is targeted recruiting.

Showcase Culture Benefits and Company Value

With the who determined, put yourself in your candidates’ shoes and identify what value they’ll get out of being an employee at your company. Identify the primary goals and challenges that will lead your target candidates into a job search. For millennials, they often value vision, growth opportunities, purpose, mentorship, and autonomy — otherwise known as culture benefits.

Promoting these benefits give your company a competitive advantage against those who are only focusing on traditional benefits such as a 401k or standard vacation time. That’s not to say those things aren’t important, but with 80% of Millennials looking for people and culture fit with employers, you need to give potential talent a reason to be excited about a future with your company.

Make candidates aware of opportunities like continuous education, flexible work schedules, minimal commute times, transparent communication, and access to leadership within the company.

Promote the region as well by educating candidates on things like local area attractions or giving them an overview of the surrounding neighborhoods. This information will help to create highly targeted job descriptions that go beyond basic job duties and give candidates a look into what it would actually be like working for your company.

Again, you can also utilize your current team to help promote the benefit and value of your company.

Give employees a voice during the recruiting process to add a level of relatability, especially if you currently have millennials on your team. Involve them during the interview process to talk to candidates about what they enjoy about working for your company and what the job is like. Or perhaps take them along to recruiting events to help represent who you are as a team.

With this information at the forefront of your recruitment strategy, it will be easier to attract top talent that’s aligned with your company, educate them about your organization and the available positions and convert them into applicants.

Map the Ideal Candidate Journey

Once you’ve created a clear picture of the type of people you want to attract to your company, it’s crucial to understand the journey they’ll take before submitting an application. Over 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate journey experience in which they later shared online or by word of mouth.

Being digitally optimized and understanding how a candidate navigates their journey before applying will allow you to provide a positive experience and less frustration for them along the way.

Similar to the buyer’s journey map you’d create for an ideal customer, the ideal candidate journey focuses on the path a potential candidate will take as they research and ultimately apply to your company.

Similar to the buyer’s journey map you’d create for an ideal customer, the ideal candidate journey focuses on the path a potential candidate will take as they research and ultimately apply to your company.

Living in a digital world, applicants no longer walk into a company and fill out an application. In fact, 89% of job seekers use their mobile device for their job search. There are also multiple avenues of research a candidate can explore. From your company’s social media presence and website, to job review sites such as Glassdoor.

The key to improving your current candidate journey is to map out each touchpoint along the journey, and put yourself in their shoes as you go through the research and application process. Google your company, analyze company reviews and social media profiles, and test out your mobile user experience. To go a step further, develop a strategy to foster authentic reviews from current and past team members.

Is it easy to find information about your company? Can you easily make it through the application both via mobile and desktop? If not, these are areas that can be improved to make things easier for candidates. The fewer roadblocks, the more likely a candidate is to complete an application.

The Impact of your Digital Brand on Talent

You’ve documented your company culture, outlined your ideal candidate and their journey, and determined the value your company can bring to top talent.

Now it’s time to promote your brand and get on the radar of potential job candidates. First and foremost, if you know you need a new website and you’re struggling for talent, you need to prioritize it.

First and foremost, if you know you need a new website and you’re struggling for talent, you need to prioritize it.

Today’s candidates judge companies based on web presence. Your website is your opportunity to promote your newly created brand story and provide a snapshot of your culture to prospective candidates.

Qualified candidates who are preparing for an interview will research your business and you risk breaking their trust if your website doesn’t have clear or accurate information.

An active and consistent social media presence is also a necessary component of accurately representing your brand to attract the right type of talent. In fact, 62% of millennials visit company social media sites to find out more information about your company and open positions.

Facebook is a great place to share culture-related content like employee activities, outings, and fundraisers. A client of ours recently boosted a blog post focused on the top 10 reasons employees love working for them and got twice the engagement promoting it with Facebook ads than they normally do.

LinkedIn is also one of the best platforms to leverage your company brand story and open positions as it gives you direct access to those who are actively job searching.

Websites like Glassdoor have also become a popular place for candidates to do company research. As an anonymous platform for employees, interviewees, and former employees to rank and read reviews, it gives job seekers a candid look at what it’s like to work for your company. Though you should never bribe employees to leave positive feedback, giving them the option to do so is still beneficial.

Asking employees to review your company on job sites like Glassdoor or share open jobs with their network on LinkedIn give your brand a personal touch.

These may seem like simple things but recent research has shown that 79.1% of companies that had employee advocates reported increased visibility for the company brand. We’d say with statistics like that, it’s worth it to ask employees to share their experience.

Attracting the New Wave of Employees

As baby boomers continue to retire and millennials become the largest segment of our workforce, tailoring your company’s recruitment strategy to this new wave of employees is going to set you apart from competitors.

With a deep understanding of who your company is and what type of people you want to be working on your team, it will become easier to attract top talent who see your vision and want to grow alongside you.

If your manufacturing company could use help creating a talent attraction strategy that tells your brand story, contact the Strategy House team.

Bridgette Palm
Bridgette has developed a career around content. Her work as a writer and editor began nearly ten years ago, and since she has harnessed her experience working as a ghostwriter for business owners to develop marketing strategies that connect businesses to their ideal audiences through content. When not devoting her eye to content revision and development, she can be found reading, enjoying the diverse and delicious Milwaukee restaurant scene, or taking long road trips to explore America.