Transparent Employers Will Win the Talent War

If you’re working currently, you have at one time or another sought out new employment. You may also know that it is a time-consuming endeavor for which no true silver bullet for success exists. There hasn’t been a year where there isn’t some smoke signal alerting the masses to a severe deficit of qualified workers to fill jobs. My position is that the issue is more perceived than actual. There are many variables that will contribute to the difficulties employers will experience in attracting and retaining talent. One of the more salient issues will be around how open and honest employers are about everything from their hiring process to the less attractive cultural aspects of the company.

The Employer-Candidate Disconnect

Employers say there are few qualified candidates to choose from and jobseekers claim they aren’t being contacted in the numbers they would expect, so where is the disconnect? Perhaps, a lack of transparency is the culprit.

The Tesla Difference

Last October, Tesla shared further details on the construction of their Gigafactory in Nevada. In this announcement, they not only went into considerable detail about their investment plan, but they announced that they will be hiring 6,500 full-time employees to operate this facility. They didn’t stop short of providing a number of jobs to be created; they also shared the roles to be filled along with the hourly rate to be paid.

If I’m a jobseeker and Tesla is a company I admire, I now know when they will be hiring, whether or not there are jobs that fit my background and if the wages meet my salary requirements. Based on what I know, I can start to make an informed decision about whether it makes sense to pursue opportunities with them. There’s still no guarantee of employment, but the difference is: I have more information than less to go on.

Employers say there are few qualified candidates to choose from and jobseekers claim they aren’t being contacted in the numbers they would expect, so where is the disconnect? Perhaps, a lack of transparency is the culprit.

How many times have you applied to a job with a basic job description that was written so vaguely it left you confused? Better yet, how many job postings have you seen with a detailed listing of open opportunities and the rate of pay? Outside of government jobs that require upfront salary disclosure, there aren’t many.

So, why is Tesla poised to win the talent war? They didn’t just build a facility with profits and the bottom-line being the primary focal point. In addition, they didn’t address staffing at the 11th hour when they were finalizing the construction. Instead, they created an operational expansion plan that included a focus on workforce and succession planning and they let the public and prospective candidates in on it. They know what they need and are being both proactive and transparent about their plan-which will undoubtedly facilitate their recruitment efforts.

The Jellyvision Example

Jellyvision is a Chicago-based company that makes fun and engaging interactive software to explain complicated topics like:

Root Square 0415

“health insurance benefits, health care reform and financial wellness to help employees make important benefit-related decisions.” They recently opened up to JobBrander.com about everything from their culture to navigating their hiring process.

It’s impossible to read the article as a jobseeker and feel like you don’t have a sense for how you could become employed by them. They go to great lengths to discuss what makes them unique as an employer. Additionally, they disclose what they value as an organization and what kind of people/personality types are likely to thrive there.

Candidates want a return on effort. This translates to what you (the employer) are offering in return for their efforts.

Return on Effort

While we know employers always want more, it is abundantly clear that jobseekers have caught up with that sentiment. They want to know more about your company than job duties and where to apply. For example, a 2014 Glassdoor study reported 95% of jobseekers cite “an open and transparent environment” as important when evaluating a company for potential employment. Candidates want a return on effort. This translates to what you (the employer) are offering in return for their efforts. The sooner employers can connect the dots; the more attractive you will appear to jobseekers.

Being transparent means respecting prospective jobseekers enough to be honest about how you operate your business. Your particular modus operandi isn’t going to work for everyone and then again, that shouldn’t be the goal. The goal is to attract the right people for the right roles in your organization. While it has been popular in the past to withhold employment information with the hopes that we don’t alienate potential job suitors; the time has come to be upfront and open about it all.

 

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Janine is the Owner/Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations, LLC, a talent management consulting firm. She is also the Founder and Chief Blogger at “The Aristocracy of HR”. Her career spans over ten years in HR. Janine is a dynamic speaker, entrepreneur, and an important and respected voice bringing business savvy to the discipline of HR. A globally-known figure in Human Resources and Business, she contributes for TLNT.com, Performance i Create, Womeneur, Hiring Boss Asia, and IRIS.xyz, where she isn’t afraid to tackle the obstacles and issues facing employers and employees alike. She has been quoted by Maternity.com , SHRM, US News Careers and has been featured by Black Enterprise and Ebony Magazine. From guest hosting Twitter chats to webinars, she proves that innovative HR has value and is fast becoming the new business imperative.

  • Great article. Transparency goes beyond buzzword territory and hits home for a lot of folks… including me. It’s honesty, and the Golden Rule in action. I would love to see more organizations follow suit.

    • Janine Truitt

      Stephanie, I’m glad you liked it. I agree with you that it goes beyond being a buzzword. I’m not sure when it became cool to be dishonest in business, but we’re there. I hope more organizations take notes as Tesla, Jellyvision and others lead the way. Thank you for reading.

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