Agencies are reaping the benefits, but businesses are wasting time and money recruiting the same candidates, who have no intention of staying with the first company on when the next company is just offering a little more.  This battel for talent, consequently, makes your seasoned employees upset because the newcomers are making the same salaries as they are with no experience.

Attract Motivated Job Seekers without Increasing Salaries

Published by Kathleen Houlihan on

Talent Reimagined -Dream2Career

Offering new hires larger salaries for entry-level positions is a very bad idea when there is a labor shortage. By continuing to raise the salaries to attract talent creates a bidding war among all the businesses seeking talent. Agencies are reaping the benefits, but businesses are wasting time and money recruiting the same candidates, who have no intention of staying with the first company when the next company is offering a little more.  This battle for talent, consequently, makes your seasoned employees upset because the newcomers are making the same salaries as they are, with no experience. This process creates resentful, hostile employees who are also going to start looking for another job and they will treat the new employees badly making the new employee unhappy before they leave. The vicious cycle is being repeated over and over in businesses across the nation.

It’s time to reimagine talent management and look for positive ways that businesses can attract, retain, and inspire best-fit candidates who will exceed production goals and add value to the company culture without having to continue to raise salaries.

Instead of offering more money and sign-on bonuses let’s fix the problem for good:

Cluster and Repackage Position Titles and Descriptions

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), there are over 11 million jobs open in the U.S. each month. Imagine that you are a job seeker, where do you begin streaming through all the jobs? The system of listing jobs on a job board is ineffective and difficult to maintain. Less than 35% of people find their job based on the job title. We need to start thinking about posting careers using a cluster method rather than just a list with keyword searches. Keywords are useless when you don’t know what you are looking for. Even advanced filters and Boolean searching has significant flaws because most users are not familiar with them.  It’s impossible to determine all the keywords that might be used to describe a position.

Dream2Career uses HIF cluster logic, which is aligned with the 16 clusters used by both the DoE and DoL and then translated into a common language that helps users find positions matching their personality and their career interests. The Horizontal Industry Framework (HIF) allows for job promotion using six personality clusters, Mavens, Processors, Protectors, Specialists, Naturalists and Visionaries. This process of organization works with current systems, and it helps the job seeker understand where they belong based on who they are and what they like to do. Just like STEM helps businesses communicate effectively across industries and with career seekers, the HIF categorizes all positions in the same way, providing understanding, structure, and personal connection to the career choices which leads to happiness in the workplace.

Attracting talent is a positioning problem. Career seekers are not motivated unless they see the job as value added. We need to think about that when writing job descriptions, especially for entry-level work. When a product is incorrectly positioned in the marketplace, even if it’s a great product, it will not sell. This is true for job posting too!  Positive messages bring in positive workers so keep the terms motivating and simple.

Shorten the Message

In a competitive market, getting to the point is most important. If you can list an entry-level job description with 5 bullet points or less do that! As much as you want a potential employee to research your organization and come to appreciate what you have to offer, that is not the way to attract people to your business. It is your responsibility to attract them to you! This requires thinking about a communication plan, instead of job lists that no one scrolls through and lists that are impossible to maintain having positions that you don’t currently need.

Generate Leads Using Position Clusters

Many organizations attempt to collect all the candidate data right off the bat.  Fifty-seven percent of job seekers are passive job seekers, and making the application process complex from the beginning is unadvised. It is not necessary to capture every detail about a prospect on the first encounter and the less information you ask, the more likely you are to get a response from the right kind of candidate. Consider creating an evergreen HIF communication process using career clusters. It will take a little time on the front end, but it will make the process easier to maintain, easier for the job seeker, and more cost effective in the long run.

Collaborate Locally

Helping people find their best path forward means being selfless and collaborative. HR professionals often know each other well, even from other industries. It is important to make referrals to colleagues when you have a great candidate who just stumbled into the wrong business. Make the recommendation to your colleague and help the job seeker find their pathway to success. Even if the applicant could do a great job for you, if they are unhappy, you owe it to your community to allow that candidate to become the best version of themselves. It will come back ten-fold if organizations stop trying to “steal” talent and help each other and help the candidates. We are all in this together, so let’s work together to solve the talent shortage.

Offer Quality of- Life Benefits

Improving the quality of life for all your workers will offer the greatest return on investment. When people are happy and they have hope that tomorrow will be better than today, they are more productive, and they create an environment that is fun and exciting. Offering local benefits, rewards, and recognition programs will make your employees feel safer and more committed to their career. This small mindset shift will lead to innovation and company growth that every business needs right now.

These steps allow companies to reimagine talent acquisition so that the process works for everyone, and it will help to put the “human” back in human resources.

If you would like to discuss ways to create evergreen communications plans for talent acquisition or if you are interested in using HIF logic, contact Dream2Career.

About the Author:

Kathleen Houlihan, CEO of Dream2Career, is on a mission to help students and career seekers find onramps to their dream careers. Kathy taught full-time at the university level for over 6 years and continues to teach as an adjunct while consulting for businesses and educational providers. She’s serves on several workforce development groups including the T3 Innovation Network and Midwest Credential Transparency Alliance and has a Ph.D. in Organizational Management, an MBA, and B.A. in Psychology.


Kathleen Houlihan

Kathleen Houlihan is a leader in workforce innovation and she is the Founder of an agency that reimagines talent acquisition and optimizes the system for candidates and employers. Her company, Dream2Career, provides human-centric ROI solutions that filter-in candidates who exceed expectations in the workplace.

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