Marketing Communications Manager at Teamtailor with a particular interest in work culture and diversity and inclusion.
In the most competitive job market we’ve ever witnessed, the shift in power from the employer to the candidate has caused many traditional hiring methods to become redundant.
Traditional hiring has typically relied on finding employees in more costly and time consuming ways, such as posting on job sites that operate on a cost-per-click basis. The shift towards the candidate has been synonymous with the shift towards recruitment marketing, now that candidates will specifically value factors such as company culture and work flexibility when submitting a job application.
Take Flexa for example, a platform that verifies jobs that are truly flexible. Flexa helps companies to stand out with their employer brand marketing by being as transparent as possible with their flexible working policies. Candidates are then able to save time understanding whether they’re able to work flexible hours, work from home, or take their pooch into the office, all of which are extremely desirable in the current climate.
With all of this in mind, how can candidates stand out in a market now geared towards their needs for the first time in history?
Add a personal touch wherever possible in the application process. Candidates have a lot of freedom in terms of influencing the process and they need to take advantage of this if they are to succeed. This might involve a thank you note following an interview or a gesture that makes the recruiter remember you. You may be expecting the company to show what they have to offer you in terms of culture, but don’t forget - you must also show what you can bring to fit into that culture.
Some companies will give you the option to show off your personality in their application forms, by letting candidates answer custom questions. So if you do come across something similar, make sure you take the opportunity to tell them about yourself, whether it’s your favourite travel destination, your favourite food, or your real-life superpower! Such icebreakers can really allow the recruiter to really get to know you beyond a work setting.
This means going that extra mile to demonstrate your desire for the role. Make sure you ask the right questions after an interview about something specific to the company and likewise prepare to be tested on what you know already.
You may also focus on being proactive with your communication, such as following up with a recruiter more than once or increasing the speed of your replies. Don’t take the easy way out and ghost anyone! Fine details like these can propel your application and ease a recruiter’s decision if it comes down to the wire.
Project a positive personality
As briefly mentioned already, the switched focus towards employer branding and recruitment marketing strategies has meant that candidates are applying for not just the role itself, but the culture of a company too. Candidates also need to emphasise what they can bring to this culture by projecting the right attitude and energy. A candidate with more enthusiasm and drive for the role can be the difference over someone with a more decorated CV.
You can also present your personality by developing an online portfolio and linking to your social media accounts. In doing so, you’re being as transparent as possible with the recruiter who now has all the information about what you are like in a social environment to determine how you would fit into the company.
It’s not only the emergence of recruitment marketing, but also employee advocacy and referral schemes that have sparked the need for candidates to sell themselves as a full package, both professionally and socially.
You as a candidate are a brand that needs to be sold in the most effective way to a company and as with any brand, comes a USP. So whatever your niche is, sell it.