4 Ways to Attract and Hire Top Talent

Colleen Niese headshot

Colleen Niese is a principal at The Marlyn Group, where she partners with clients to assess the existing scope of services and identify opportunities for improved performance.




Throw ‘Em the Keys and Let’s See If They Can Swim!

This saying best sums up the historical view that it was perfectly acceptable to treat employees more like a commodity than an asset. If an employee could figure out how to do her job with little to no corporate support, she was set for a long career in parking. And if not, she was replaced with another candidate right behind her waiting to give it a try.  

But as attracting new talent has become more competitive, companies today are working even harder to attract and retain talent. Below you will find four practical ways to improve your processes for recruitment, application, and interviews.


Your Website Is Your First Impression

Today’s candidates, especially those who are savvy and can bring high value to your organization, give equal measure to the opportunity itself and the employer offering it.  To broadcast who you are as an employer can be very easily accomplished through your website and social media. I suggest you look at both, given each one serves the other in terms of page hits, likes, and shares.

Here’s an interesting exercise to gauge how your company’s career page is being perceived:

  • Gather a small group of folks who represent current and prospective company employees and play word association with your website
  • Highlight sections of the webpages, one by one, and then show the whole webpage (in that order). Ask participants to write down the first word that comes to mind for each section (and the whole page) on a post-it
  • Then, on hanging flip charts around the room, organize their post-it responses by each section and debrief

That’s only half of the equation. Once you identify what’s working and what’s not, the next step is to decide what you’re going to do with these insights.  Brainstorm with the same participants and discuss changes that would either capitalize on a strength or improve a weakness. Finish off the meeting with an action plan that includes circling back to this same group with a review of the final changes before launch.


Don’t Overlook The Power Of Social Media

Once you have the website set, it’s time to look at your social media channels to make sure they represent your brand accurately and drive potential employees to your website.

In our annual job seeker survey, 54% of the respondents say they go to LinkedIn to explore job opportunities, while 24% search employers’ Facebook pages.  If you’re looking to prioritize, make sure your company’s LinkedIn page has updated messaging and content (much of which you can pull from your career page, newsletters, etc.).

Then encourage your employees to like and share posts.  Many of your team members have hundreds if not thousands of connections in their own networks. One post can be seen by up to tens of thousands of professionals–and potential job seekers–for free!


Make Sure The Online Application Process Is Seamless

There are many easy and useful ways to ensure all candidates experience your company’s culture from the very beginning of the application process. Examine your own application process with these key points in mind:

  • Clicks matter! More clicks just mean more drop-offs. Ideally, it should only be:
    • Three clicks from home page to the application
    • Two clicks from the career login to the application
    • Four clicks to complete the form, end to end
  • Your ATS (Applicant Tracking System) likely pumps out all sorts of interesting data for you to examine to improve the hiring process:  job posting sources to hire ratios, job opening to hire dates, drop-off rates by page, and more.  In the composite, these stats will tell you where you should spend your time improving the overall applicant experience.
  • You can never over-communicate with a candidate. Candidates are in a bit of a vacuum, and a day of silence can be interpreted as lost interest, which means they may move on.  Even if you’re not ready to move forward with a candidate, tell her that and give her an idea of when you will be.


Review Your Interview Process

Now that you’ve attracted candidates into your pipeline, make sure the interview process reflects your messaging and culture.  Keep these pointers in mind:

  • Avoid “gotcha” questions, where the candidate is being tested rather than evaluated.  If the list includes questions that “cleverly” test integrity, trust, ethics, etc., replace them with those that are based in experience or behavioral preferences.
  • The dating game approach of waiting several days between interviews is long gone.   Today’s studies reveal top candidates last only hours in any given pipeline. Being responsive actually demonstrates a positive cultural attribute not desperation.
  • Examine what happens to those applicants who are rejected at any point throughout the process. Does your company let them know they are no longer considered?  A huge opportunity to sell and live your brand is by treating those who are no longer active in the process with professionalism and compassion. If you have any doubt, just think Glass Door, where applicants can review your interview process.


The Future of Recruiting in Parking

Our industry will continue to evolve in terms of the profile we want to attract to keep up with today’s demands. Companies who systematically sell their brand, culture and leadership throughout the hiring process will win the day in the talent war.  


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