How Attractive Is Your Company To Potential Employees?
August 26, 2016
In the life sciences industry there are a finite number of the highly skilled commercial and R&D staff that your company needs to attract in order to succeed.
An enormous amount of time, effort and financial investment are used to recruit talent into the life science arena so there is a need to compete powerfully in order to impress (and then retain) the best in the market.
In today’s highly connected world top performers will judge you on your ‘employer brand’ as part of their criteria for who they will or won’t work for.
Therefore, an important goal is to ensure your employer brand is one that candidates will line up to be a part of.
Building Your Employer Brand
1. Analyse where your employer brand stands now. The first step is to ascertain what your current employees, the public, and potential candidates think about your company and what it is—or might be— like to work for. Run focus groups and issue surveys, and also have a good look at your past hiring and consider whether your candidates were really the ‘cream of the crop’. (And if not, why not?)
2. Push your innovation credentials and culture. Scientists and salespeople alike are drawn to companies which represent an innovative and competitive culture where they will be allowed to thrive. Your job when hiring is to transmit an image of an innovative and exciting culture to the candidate pool.
3. Talk about company values in a way that inspires. Your company mission and culture needs to be something that candidates can identify with. Update dry mission statements and remove wooden language to better reflect what the company goals are in an engaging fashion, and ensure that your message is consistent right through the company and its literature.
4. Make your job specifications- ‘stand out’. Of course talk in detail about the specifics of the role, but don’t forget to make it about people and values as well. Talk about company culture, talk about the people involved, talk about future opportunities, and talk about expectations—and do it in an engaging way that allows the person to imagine themselves in the job and drives their enthusiasm to apply.
5. Focus on the greater purpose of the work. Dan Pink’s research showed that humans are motivated heavily by the idea of purpose: that is that their work is meaningful in some way. Tap into that common human desire for meaningful work by focussing on the important role of life sciences in transforming human health and happiness around the world.
6. Ensure that your company social media presence has personality. Get as many people as possible involved in posting interesting content, whether on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or your internal messaging boards. Consider whether your social media reflects your values, and ensure that your social media message also returns to this idea of greater purpose as a common theme. A good social media presence creates a narrative that candidates will identify with and latch onto.
7. Showcase what your team have already achieved. Success stories act as social proof to candidates, so shout your achievements from the rooftops. This is a particularly powerful strategy with top graduates if you can feature exciting work done by past interns, new hires and star performers.
You should definitely feature success stories on your website, but also put a link in your job spec and perhaps talk about some of them during the interview process.
8. Make your team page interesting. Most ‘Meet the Team’ pages on websites are rather dreary, with little personality in the employee bios, accompanied by awkward or overly stage-managed photos. Inject some personality onto the page by getting your employees to write about themselves and their jobs in an authentic way. Most importantly, get senior figures to create warm bios for themselves which make them appear accessible.
9. Talk about the Future. Candidates need to know that there are opportunities for development and advancement in your company. Focus on the skills they’ll master, the challenges they’ll meet, and the possible roles in the company in the long-term.
Finally, one little word of warning. When crafting your employer brand, don’t create a façade that won’t be borne out in reality. You’ll only lose your top hires if they feel they’ve been duped by a false employer brand.
If your company culture is formal and top-down in hierarchy, there’s little point in pretending it is otherwise, as you’ll just attract candidates that don’t ultimately match your values. Instead, focus more heavily on the most attractive facets of your employer brand, whether that’s an industry-leading reputation, exciting projects, or past successes.
Life Sciences is a burgeoning field full of exciting opportunities, but the great candidates necessary to fulfil that potential are fiercely limited. It’s therefore worth assessing your existing employer brand to ensure that you are attracting the best employees out there.