A guide to future recruitment: Lessons learned from consumer behavior


July 27, 2022

Greg Canning

Dr. Greg Canning

Within the past seven years, recruitment and retention of employees have been forced into the major decisions a company now must make. Companies must also consider questions about finance, operations, sales, etc.

Certain pieces of employee relations remain the same as before 2015. Still, there is one main difference between now and then: Interaction between a company and its employees parallels how a company approaches and reacts to its prospective customers.

Both groups want to be “sold” on the value your company provides, and both want the power to select the company they deal with. The way people have become accustomed to buying goods and services has trickled into how they want to search for jobs — low-touch, quick and relatively easy.

“Who are we as a company?” is now not only asked regarding the branding put forward for the sake of the customer but also when it comes to the company’s relation to its current and future employees.

A company needs to ask that introspective question because it becomes more challenging to attract and retain talent in an ever-competitive job market without a coherent answer. This qualitative assessment provides the ground from which other quantitative assessments may be made.

As a starting place to answer the question “Who are we as a company?,” companies must look first at their employees and consider:

  • What attracted them to the company in the first place?
  • What has made them want to stick around one, five, 10, 15 or 20 plus years?
  • How can you use your current employees to tell the company’s story for you? (From a practical point of view, you can also incentivize your employees to recruit for you if you offer referral bonuses that reward successful hires.)

Just as prospective customers have typically done their research about you online and possibly even purchased your services online, job candidates want to do the same. They have already seen the employment page on your website or looked on a website like Glassdoor. The feedback from interviews with your current employees provides the best advertisement for your company (think of them as Google reviews).

Another innovation within recruitment, driven by technological developments in marketing, involves how interviews are scheduled. Consumers want the ease of use in the digital era, and job-seekers are no different. Both groups want to schedule either the service to be performed (consumer) or the interview date/time (job-seekers)—this gives both groups a sense of control.

Scheduling software that allows candidates to select a time for a job interview by looking at a recruiter’s calendar provides the ease of use they are looking for. This feature also facilitates the job of the recruiter by saving time — no more “phone tag” with prospective employees. It will likely be a feature that sticks around after the pendulum swings the other way, and the power leaves the job-seekers and returns to the companies.

For recruiting efforts to be successful in the future, human resource professionals need to focus on developments in marketing and consumer behavior. The way in which people prefer to purchase goods and services will transfer over to unexpected areas like recruitment. It already has.


About the Author

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Dr. Greg Canning is the operations manager at Economy Exterminators. Pest control is the family business, so it was always around while Dr. Canning was growing up. Dr. Canning’s first step directly into pest control came in the summer of 2002 when he worked as a pest control technician during his summer break from university. Dr. Canning enjoyed it so much that he returned to work the following summers until graduating from school and moved on to graduate school. Before starting in a corporate role at Economy Exterminators, Dr. Canning got his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Catholic University. He then taught Philosophy for several years at Catholic University, University of Maryland-College Park, and Assumption College. After coming back to the family business and working in several strategic and management roles, Dr. Canning now serves as the Operations Manager of Economy Exterminators.

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  1. Mark Fritschle says:

    Thank you