Podcasts. My team has been working on recruitment ads that would run during popular podcasts. What recruiter has ever said those words? Reaching top performers in today’s crowded labor market requires thinking outside our experiential box, even outside the traditional notions of where we recruit. I have to go beyond popular assumptions about how to reach the right potential hires and go directly to our employees themselves. After all, they’re the ones who know what’s new, what’s pressing, what’s being talked about. It’s an exercise in alternative methods of reaching top candidates.

Think about the way modern job seekers search for opportunities. They browse search engines, social media and career sites to find jobs. There is no set path to your company career site. The same goes for most everything on the internet today. It’s a combination of word-of-mouth, advertising and other traditional communication methods. For top performing job seekers, the path is even less defined due to the sheer volume of recruiter outreach they are receiving.

Top performers have many job options

In today’s competitive talent landscape, top performers are in greater demand than ever. With plenty of options available to them, these candidates can afford to be choosy. Compared with other job seekers, top performers are 46% more likely to be attracted by a better company reputation and 29% more likely to be attracted by more interesting, challenging work. This means employers can attract top talent through strong employer branding and compelling job content that showcases the things that make a position impactful and rewarding. Successful job content is no longer a requirements-based job description.

If you’re looking to buy a new car, there are a few times when making that big purchase makes sense. When your car loses its shine or the ability to take you where you want to go, or you have simply outgrown it, it’s time to replace it. The same is true for purchasing our careers. As employers, we have to see ourselves as selling career opportunities. Which makes understanding the buying cycles of our potential talent just as important as recognizing their buying signals. When you target anniversaries and performance reviews as career conversation starters, your engagement rates skyrocket. Connecting with people who aren’t convinced to join your company not only requires great timing, it requires a great story.

Great storytelling separates your employer brand

Great storytelling through a company’s job descriptions, career site and Company Page attracts job seekers to your employer brand, just as great storytelling through an ad attracts people to a consumer brand or product. Inbound candidates are actively comparing your company to similar organizations. Highlighting company differentiators like culture, benefits and events on your career site and other inbound channels will attract great potential people who are passionate about finding the right fit.

5 creative ways to tell your employer brand story

  • Podcasts: Ask any good content marketer and they will likely tell you that the first step is to go where your audience is consuming content. The second, is to provide value by supplementing or curating that content. Sometimes the work is done for you and you can support those channels with a hiring message.
  • Social media: Snapchat has become a wildly popular service in the past few years. Over 150 million people use the app each day. You can’t ignore numbers like that or the ability to reach that many people from a recruitment standpoint. One of the reasons people have embraced the platform, in my opinion, is the forgiving nature of the content. It doesn’t have to be the perfect picture or video to resonate with people. Our reality detectors have become more and more advanced, and it has to be honest. Which is also why I like to use Spotify lists to share the musical tastes of employees. Every song conveys a feeling and what better medium for storytelling than asking your employees what songs are on the soundtrack of working for your company?
  • In-person events: Career fairs and networking events are still common practice for recruiters looking to meet potential job seekers. But these events provide a wonderful opportunity to highlight your employer brand. Yes, you can hand out t-shirts, stickers or other swag, but in-person events also allow companies to share their organizational culture. The people at these events are ambassadors of your employer brand. They should represent the best of your organization or specific team, like engineering - not just your recruitment team. I actually love to see companies using screens to highlight employee social content at career fairs. Employees are creating great content for social media that represent your employer brand (like here Inside Indeed). It’s up to us to encourage it and make the most of it.
  • Live video: This is a fun, transparent and creative way to share your organizational culture. There are unique and interesting things that happen inside companies of all size and industry, and platforms like Facebook Live and Periscope allow you to share it with your audience. Imagine seeing a 24 hour hackathon 'in person" or witnessing the joy of employee appreciation perks and volunteering for social good. Capturing and sharing those moments on live video are a great way to use those moments to attract job seekers who can identify with your employees.
  • Employee reviews: Just as reviews have had a profound impact on the way we shop, employer reviews are changing the way people search for their next job. The opinions and experiences of current and previous employees are significantly impacting how employers are perceived by potential employees. Sharing these reviews in your communication and on social channels also shows your employees how much you value their feedback. You can read reviews from over 2.4 million companies and learn about organizations of interest to you.

Understand how job seekers learn about your employer brand and be active on those channels. Use them to highlight the best parts of your organization. And don't be afraid to get creative.