Friday, September 9, 2011


If you traveled many years ago, motels would position themselves along major roads with a large neo sign outside of their front office.  The sign would indicate “Vacancy.”  It shined brightly from dust to dawn and you could see it from miles away.  The main purpose of the sign was really to draw attention and that rooms were available.  

This reminds me of the vacancies that we have at our organization.   Unfortunately, our competitors more than likely have vacancies as well.  We are actually competing for the same talent. 

We have to understand that organizations, no matter what industry, compete for the same talent.  A neo sign indicating “Vacancy” is not enough to bring the talent to your organization.  It takes a lot more.  Traditional means of recruitment has changed dramatically over the years.  With fierce competition and the introduction of social media, it keeps us constantly looking at new and creative ways to attract and retain talented people.  Rightfully so, recruitment is becoming more aggressive Vs passive.  Going after a competitor’s talent is not off the table and there should be an expectation that competitors can, and will come after your talent as well.   

Recruitment is no longer just a function of the HR department.  It is really an organizational strategy.  Employer branding is becoming a key component of recruitment.  It defines the image of the organization as a “great place to work,” to its current employees and to the external public.  It is really the organization’s culture and image that sets it apart from its competitors.  It will be the driver for attracting and retaining talented people.  Competitors can quickly copy, counter or even exceed many other initiatives that you implement.  Culture and image are difficult to imitate.  They take many years to build.  

Build your Brand and Let it Shine
If your organization is a great place to work, show it to your employees.  Explain why and what incentives your organization offers.  Get their buy-in, as they are your greatest allies in supporting the brand.  Once you have established a strong brand internally, take it to the next level by announcing your organization to the world as a “great place to work” and the “employer of choice.”  You can get local and national recognition by applying for “best employer” awards.  These include awards for diversity, Working Mothers, AARP Best Employers For Workers Over 50, and many others.  Nominations for individual employee awards can highlight the organization as well.  These may include, business person of the year awards, under 40 leadership awards, and others.  They don’t cost anything to apply, only your time and effort. 

Applying for awards does a lot more than gaining local and national recognition.  It forces us to take a microscopic look at our entire operation and reveals our strengths and areas of opportunities.  It also gives us better insight on the innovation and initiatives other great organizations are achieving.  Most importantly, it drives us to do more and become even better.  Due to the rigorous requirements to achieve the awards, organizations try harder and actually become better, just from applying.

Empowering Recruitment   
Recruitment begins with the organization focusing on building a stronger brand image, both internally (employees & stakeholders) and externally.  In order to draw talent, we have to be able and willing to adapt traditional and nontraditional methods of recruitment.  It’s a matter of empowerment. 

If employers can brand themselves extremely well and create an internal organizational culture that every employee is a recruiter with the full ability and capacity to draw talented people to the organization, it can do wonders to recruitment efforts.  If you have 2,000 employees, you should have 2,000 recruiters.  They are your social networks, executive search firms, niche recruiters, agencies and headhunters.  If you empower them and give them the incentives, they can have a much greater reach than any other means. 

Recruitment is competitive.  It’s effectiveness is based on an organizational perspective Vs an individual recruiter.  It’s really about an organization’s total reward system.  This means, all the tools available to the employer that may be used to attract, motivate and retain employees.  

As a matter of fact, I believe recruitment should be a part of every job description for every employee in the organization.   

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

~ Joseph Conrod Sr. SPHR

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