Want to Recruit Top Talent? Start Thinking of Work as a Product That You Sell. — This is going to be BIG

So many times, I’ve heard founders ask me, “How do I find great engineers?” or “Do you know any great salespeople?”

It always felt like the wrong way to approach the problem, but I wasn’t quite sure why. I realized that you would never ask this question if you had built a consumer app and were trying to get customers.

No one ever asks, “Where do you find users for my dating app?”

That would be strange, because they are everywhere, but “finding” is not the challenge. The challenge is to convert them.

Instead, start with the value proposition of the product itself and make sure it’s clear why someone would want to use it in the first place compared to all the other dating apps out there. You’d make sure it’s clear to someone who ends up in your funnel through message testing and user interviews.

Once you’ve got that squared away, you’ll start testing multiple acquisition channels, regularly optimizing them for profitable conversion.

To me, that’s the way you need to think about your hiring process, and to do that, you need to start thinking about the job as the product you’re selling.

You sell “work” to your clients, i.e. talent. Talent pays for the work with their time and experience. The work is very expensive because they spend a lot of time buying the work you are selling, so it will be a very thoughtful purchase.

The value proposition of “buying” work for the consumer is not just receiving money, but also a great work environment, challenging problems, and perhaps a mission worth working on. Consumers are not a monolith, so not all consumers will. You value each of these things equally, so you need to think about customer personas when you’re selling your work product.

Is your target customer an alpha who wants to feel like they’re working with all the stars on only the cutting edge problems? Are they creators who enjoy solving problems for a community of people like them? Or are they just focused on making as much money as possible? Perhaps they are looking for a nurturing environment where they are encouraged to grow their skills and learn new things.

Whatever it is, you would never try to sell a consumer product without thinking about it this way, why does everyone hire this way?

This is because companies are stuck in the mindset that they are the customer and are in the market buying talent. When you are the buyer, no one checks your suitability as long as you have the money to pay. This is why founders are so confused about why the process isn’t working for them.

“I have the money… why is it so hard to find someone?”

When you flip the script and realize you’re selling your job opportunity to a discerning client, you not only go into sales mode, but into product marketing mode, making sure that what you’re offering clearly meets the needs of customers and that it is quite obvious to them that it does.

To that end, here are some questions you must have answers to if you’re going to be successful in recruiting:

  • Who is this work product for? What specific employee persona are you a great product for?

  • What is the value proposition that differentiates your work product from every other company trying to sell work? Is it better money? The opportunity to work with better people? (And how obvious this is to candidates.) Harder problems? Growth opportunity? Try to be objective with this. What are you selling that I can’t get anywhere else?

  • What sales channels are you trying to get your job offer across? Are you continuously measuring and optimizing your efforts in these channels?

  • How are you borrowing or buying audiences to get your work product in front of potential customers who aren’t already following you? Are you sponsoring ads? Are you talking about your business in places where potential customers are likely to gather? Or are you just posting job ads which is kind of like getting your CPG product on retail shelves, but without doing any in-store marketing or activation?

There are a lot of opportunities out there for talented people and until you think of yourself as a seller versus a buyer, it will feel like everyone else is just trying to throw money at them without considering marketing in a different way.

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If you are looking to recruit top talent and build a high-performing team, you need to think of your job openings in the same way you would think of selling a product. At Ikaroa, a full stack technology company, we have been putting this philosophy into practice and have found it to be immensely successful.

By treating each job opening as a distinct and valuable product, recruiters are presented with an opportunity to think more strategically when developing recruitment strategies. Whether it is through the use of advanced analytics, targeted advertising, or social media campaigns, we strive to create recruitment strategies that speak to the unique needs of each job opening.

In order to get the most out of recruitment campaigns, recruiters need to create meaningful experiences for potential candidates. This means developing an attractive job description and leveraging premium job boards, as well as ensuring easy pathways to job applications.

It also means looking at each job opening as its own distinct “product” and determining how best to market it. For example, if you are looking to hire someone with a specific set of skills or experience, you may want to create a short video showcasing a successful example of someone who has used those skills on a project or within their job. This helps to set the job apart from others in a memorable way and can help to distinguish your company from competitors.

At Ikaroa, we continually put this philosophy into practice and work hard to ensure our job openings are as compelling as possible. We recognize that in the modern job market, employers are competing for top talent, which means taking a strategic approach to recruitment is essential. That’s why we have embraced the idea of treating our job openings as distinct products and are actively using targeted advertising, targeted job board postings, and data-driven recruitment strategies to ensure we are successfully finding the best candidates for our team.

To find the top talent in today’s job market, you need to start thinking of work as a product that you can sell. With the right strategies and tactics, you can create recruitment experiences that will attract the best candidates and help you build an amazing team. At Ikaroa, we are proud of our commitment to this approach and look forward to finding the perfect candidate for our open positions.


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