When you sit across the desk looking at a college grad at the beginning of a job interview, don’t be surprised if they don’t look as nervous as the newly minted graduates whom sat there in years’ past. There’s a bit more confidence, a bit less cold sweat because they know that they are interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them.
This graduate-confidence grows depending on what role you are hiring for. Recently the Wall Street Journal reported that graduates and academics who had studied data science were in such demand that they could command $200,000-$300,000 annual salaries.
The data scientist shortage is somewhat of an extreme example, but stories of top talent shortages, in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and outside of these areas has created a 2 to 1 gap of demand versus supply. Accordingly, a Georgetown study shows that top talent salaries for tomorrow’s roles has been growing for the last 15 years.
So those Talents that you really want have lots of choice when it comes to jobs. After every interview they are assessing your employer brand and company as you are their skills and attributes.
The best are now choosy. It’s a fact. Here’s what you can do about it:
Building an employer brand around your core company values is the most impactful thing you can do. Top Talent is just like your top consumers. Your HR planning will provide you with what roles you need. But this is just half the equation. Job boards are old news for this generation of Talent, and you will have to be in more channels than ever. So it’s vital to invest in understanding where your top talent are coming from. Are they coming from the top colleges, from cross-industry, from more experienced positions? You need to know where the talent pools are before you start communicating.
Next is understanding in what your top talent are looking for in an employer so you can match your messaging to these preferences. The growing salaries in key future roles are now table-stakes – you will have to pay the current rate to even be considered. But with many of the historical ‘closer’ attributes like salary and job stability gone, you will have to bring some of the more subtle attributes of your employer brand to the surface. In 2014, the most popular attribute from students in America was work-life-balance. What does this mean in the context of your company? Do you have a special culture? Are you focused on being sustainable? Is your company building a better community as well as top notch products or services? These are attributes that can make you win the reverse-interview.
The old adage is still powerful when building your employer brand. There are more channels than ever where Top Talent are consuming content. Newsfeeds, Tweet streams and College Campuses are all now just torrents of content that flashes by in a moment; it will be imperative to be ‘always on’ with Talent as it may take a few passes to get noticed and then more to begin building a relationship.
Just like in sales where you need to be sure that you are top of mind with your clients until they are ready to buy, employer brands need to be the same. You need to have the right assets ready and available to be consumed by Top Talent as they are moving through the employer funnel and getting closer to their choice. Marketing and sales call this lead nurturing; employer brands should call this talent nurturing. Like with many relationships, they are supercharged when there is serendipity because of the thoughtfulness of one party in doing something unexpected but deeply appreciated. With Talent, by being there in between moments this can be your opportunity to be that serendipitous employer information provider.
As we’re quickly approaching the end of the year and if you’re starting to ponder 2015 and the challenging road ahead, think about the conversations with new Talent whom are spoilt for employer choice. Are you ready for the interview?
About the author
David is Univerum’s Global Vice President of Product and Head of Digital for the Americas