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2022 is right around the corner and talent planning is already underway. In an age of changing employee priorities and talent shortages, it’s time to get creative about the best ways to attract top performing talent.

“Post and pray” works on occasion, and headhunting works too. But the best results come from a holistic solution: Recruitment evangelism. 

So what is recruitment evangelism? It’s the concept that the whole company should take part in talent attraction. The outcome is a scalable, recruitment-focused culture, as well as an audience of interested, qualified talent that’s waiting and watching for the right opportunity with your organization.

Here are a few ways to get started.

Build a top workplace

The best foundation to attract high-performing talent is to be a great place to work. Regardless of the size or kind of company you lead, you can treat people well, challenge them, and also make them feel valued.

It gives your employees something to evangelize about. Healthy, supportive cultures have other benefits too, including better business performance. Work with your senior leadership and human resources teams to understand where you are so you can develop a plan.

Involve your team

Job candidates behave like consumers. They research and social-source information about job changes just like they do brunch spots and pet groomers. Encourage your employees to leave reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed so candidates find authentic information about your company.

This can feel like a loaded request, so here are some additional pointers to help you ease into it:

  • Encourage authenticity and ensure anonymity. Review sites are serious about protecting anonymity. There is no way to track who wrote reviews or delete unflattering ones, which can help team members feel more comfortable leaving their feedback.

  • Personally invite high performers to leave reviews. Here’s why: High performers attract high performers. People who do well often enjoy their work and therefore can provide the kind of feedback job-searchers look for. 

  • Leaders have a different perspective, so encourage reviews from them. (Yes, even the C-Suite.) Instead of listing perks and benefits, they’ll talk about creating value for the customer, market opportunities, and growth. This is a different perspective, and using a high traffic public forum to talk about company direction is exciting. No need to list titles — “Operations Leader,” “Technology Leader,” or “Senior Leader” work just fine. 

  • Repeat these processes. Current reviews have more weight with candidates and impact star ratings on review sites. So ask for reviews often, and look for ways to differentiate the kinds of reviews you’re collecting.

Encourage visibility

Your most effective recruitment evangelists are your employees. They know the business and culture, and they have skilled, like-minded networks to leverage. They also have a vested interest in bringing in top talent who they enjoy working alongside.

With that in mind...

  • Encourage employees to be active in their professional communities. Support them as they volunteer for panels, hold positions within professional organizations, or share thought leadership pieces on LinkedIn.  

  • Ask them to share company news and career opportunities on their social media channels. This is good for business and great for talent attraction.

Invite referrals

Statistically, your best hires are referrals. Here are some numbers based on a LinkedIn study:

  • Referrals are four times more likely to be hired. Hiring referrals also results in an average savings of $7,500 per hire (in productivity and sourcing costs). 

  • Referrals have longevity. 45% of employees sourced from employee referrals stay for longer than 4 years, while only 25% of employees sourced through job boards stay for over 2 years.

Remind employees of talent needs in the company, and incentivize them to look within their networks for qualified, culturally aligned people who might be a great fit.

Engage your candidates

On average, companies hire 10% of the candidates who enter their talent pipeline. This means 90% of candidates are not hired and will walk away with an opinion of your company. 

And whether they were offered the role or not, candidates can be an evangelist for your employer brand if you treat them well.

Treat candidates with the same genuine care you do for your customers. Encourage your hiring managers — at all levels — to be expedient, confident, and decisive during the process. Require that your recruiters carefully track the status of all candidates and communicate frequently with warmth and gratitude. Hold everyone involved accountable.

There’s no way to guarantee every person will walk away with a positive opinion, but following these steps will go a long way in creating a good experience for each candidate.

Talent acquisition team evangelism

Fortune favors the prepared. Loop your talent acquisition team into your business strategy and allow them to contribute to your global human capital strategy. Include them in leadership meetings so they can fully understand and prepare for the evolution in talent needs.

This means your team can keep the candidate pipeline full while helping you stay abreast of the market conditions and trends that affect your company’s ability to compete for high performing talent.

Incorporate these initiatives to your talent strategy so you can track the changes in volume and quality of candidates you see.

Cheers to 2022 and a fruitful year of talent seeking!

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