Some of the reasons for this include a shift in employee expectations, some of which many government contractors simply aren’t going to be able to accommodate. For instance, people probably aren’t going to get to work from home as much as they’d like, if at all.
But then that’s the recruiting roadblock that we don’t often talk about. The truth is that we’re often getting in the way of our own recruiting efforts, and that’s no good at all.
Below, we’ll talk about 5 ways to boost your recruiting power as a government contractor.
1. Clearly Define Your Elevator Pitch (Employer Value Proposition)
There’s something about your company that makes people want to work there. Heck, you’re working there, right? So what is it? And, more importantly, are you communicating that to potential recruits?
Essentially, you want to have clearly defined reasons why somebody would want to work there. Do you have an exceptional company culture that emphasizes teamwork and camaraderie? Are the time off benefits really attractive? Do you order in lunch every Friday to treat the employees?
Starting a new job is a big change. It means a shift in the day-to-day lives of the new employee and probably their family as well. By providing a clear Employer Value Proposition, you’ll allow the recruit a glimpse into some of the ways in which this job will make changes that will be welcome and positive.
2. Understand Your Ideal Candidates
When we hear terms like “target audience,” we usually think of marketing and advertising. Those are areas where it’s important to make sure that the right people are getting your brand’s message to improve conversions.
Well, maybe it’s time to think of recruiting like you think of marketing then. At least when it comes to understanding who your target audience is. Identify the key roles that are most important to your business, roles that you’ll be hiring for, and then start building strategies to speak directly to those people. Identify the type of candidates that you think would be a perfect fit for your needs, and then build out your recruitment plans around creating pipelines to those people specifically.
One exercise that is always helpful is creating personas of your ideal candidates. Create people who encapsulate the types of people you’re looking to hire. Give them names, hobbies, families, recent life events, etc. The more fully you flesh out these people to match what you’re looking for, the more accurately you can target them.
3. What Does It Really Feel Like to Apply at Your Company?
According to recruitment data providers like Appcast, 92% of people who begin a job application process online abandon it before finishing. Think about that for a second. Only about 1 out of every 10 people who click on “Apply” for your job listings is actually finishing the process. How many potentially wonderful candidates are you losing without them ever actually submitting the application?
The fact is that online job applications are often just too cumbersome and ask too much from the applicant upfront without selling them on the job.
How is your company’s application process? Are you aware of how long it takes and how involved it is? It’s not a bad idea to take a run through the process yourself from the perspective of an interested candidate.
Once you understand the process, you can identify areas where maybe things could be rearranged or you can trim off some of the fat.
4. Personalize the Experience
Just as starting a new job, and the job-searching experience as a whole, is a very personal thing, so, too, should recruiting be a personalized process.
By engaging with candidates on a personal level, you’re showing that you have interest in them as individuals. Too many companies treat the whole process like an assembly line, one candidate goes into the interview room as one comes out. Stop that.
A great place to start is on your own website. If you require applicants to create a login, have that pay off by recognizing them the next time they login to your site. Have your site remember their information and display relevant job openings and news.
Also, make sure you’re utilizing technology to its fullest. For instance, people have phones now. Ask if they want to be texted updates about their application status or new job openings, and then stay in touch.
If you’ve hired someone, but there’s a 3 month security clearance waiting time before they can actually start, check in with them from time to time to reassure them that this is just the process and make sure they haven’t lost interest in the role. After all, the world of GovCon is a weird one sometimes.
5. Show Off Your Company Culture
There is sometimes a stigma that GovCon companies are boring places to work. We have no idea why anybody would think that, but it’s up to you to dispel that myth.
The fact is that your company has a culture. Sure, maybe you’re not rolling around on yoga balls in shorts and sandals and throwing frisbees at each other like a tech startup in San Francisco, probably. But your culture is there, even if you’ve not really thought of it before.
This doesn’t mean you have to overhaul your website to have a hipper tone or anything. You can just start small by doing the little things like posting fun pictures you took at a company picnic on LinkedIn. You could write blogs, or engage in community events like a local softball league.
Even if your work isn’t the most exciting all of the time, your company culture isn’t boring by any means. So let people know about it!
We Can Help You With Recruiting
Maybe you don’t feel like dealing with the whole recruitment process right now. Maybe your hands are full with other more pressing work. That’s okay, too.
At BOOST, we’re experts at all that back-office stuff that a lot of GovCon companies simply don’t have the bandwidth to handle. Accounting, HR, combing through contracts, pricing, and, yes, recruitment, too.
We can take a look at your existing recruitment process, create a new one for you, or even just handle the recruitment ourselves for your company. We specialize in solely working with government contractors, so we know what makes your company different. We understand the candidates you’re looking for, and how to reach them.