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Attracting and retaining top talent is a key part of the operation of a successful government contracting business. And often, the ramp-up needs to be fast.

Increasingly job seekers are doing their research to see if they align with your brand values and are interested in being part of your organization before investing their time in your application process.

Your ability to identify the right people and quickly engage with those individuals will determine whether you win the competition for top talent (or not). Here are six tips you can use to attract candidates and help them self-select (or deselect) before you both invest time and resources.

1. Map Out and Review the Applicant’s Journey

Job seekers are actively looking for quality employment opportunities and the journeys they are asked to follow can be arduous.

Your B2G marketing strategies must include a deep understanding of the steps your applicants are taking. Your task is to meet them along their journey, supporting their every move with the key information they need. As you appeal to them in convenient and inspiring ways, they will be more compelled to connect.

Typically a job applicant will follow a journey like this:

STEP 1: The Search

Searching for positions on job boards or researching companies with a high employee review rating such as Forbes’s best places to work.

STEP 2: Self-Qualify (or disqualify)

Based on what an applicant sees in the job description, advertisement, or in company branding, they will decide whether it’s a fit for them to proceed or not.

STEP 3: Make Contact or Apply

At this stage, there is interest.

It’s critical to have a simple way (even multiple ways) to capture the contact information for qualified, interested candidates in order for you to follow up.

From the applicant’s perspective, they need easy ways to throw their hat into the ring. This could mean talking with a recruiter, applying for a position, or downloading a checklist or guide to learn more about the position or the company. If a qualified candidate expresses interest but does not apply, you need to have a mechanism to follow up.

STEP 4: Learn More About the Company

Whichever path they take (connect or apply), applicants attempt to learn as much as possible before they decide to commit to a company. This could be within their early-stage research or prior to the application or interview process.

Provide quality materials that are easily accessible at each of these stages and track the applicant’s progress along the journey.

STEP 5: The Interview – leading to being hired or not

The last step is the interview process. This needs to be smooth, convenient, and fully aligned with all materials and experiences above. Provide information that helps manage expectations on the hiring process and keeps your top candidates informed.

If, at any point, the process or message is unclear, the applicant can lose trust and interest. Keep them engaged and excited about the prospect of working for your company.

2. Design Effective Processes & Materials

The HR team has the tough job of finding, hiring, and retaining great people. Support these efforts with intentional methodologies and materials.

At each juncture in the applicant journey, you will want to provide the information and inspiration your prospective new hires need (and expect). The following table demonstrates what you must supply at each point:

Stage in Applicant Journey Methodology Materials/Information
Research Opportunities Visit the website & social media channels — how and how often do you update and maintain the website? Downloadable Content:
  • Benefits info
  • Team culture
  • Thought leadership
  • Day-in-the-life stories
Self-Qualify Take action upon a “Yes, I’m Interested” — what tools for engagement do you have built into your online presence (website, job boards, social media)?
  • Save the job listing (create a login)
  • Explore jobs, find more details as needed
  • Download job posting
  • Begin the application process (to come back to later)
  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • Send a message
Apply or Contact Us How easy is your entire application process? Is it on a job board or the company website?
  • Include essential brand messaging in the job posting, especially if it’s on a job board
  • Make the application process easy for the applicant: to import a resume, replicate similar fields from one section to another (address, name, etc.)
  • Include a contact person and a way to reach them
Study the Company Visits the website & social media channels; Speak to employees or message them on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and other sites. Do you have inspiring messages in each location and downloadable content with lead capture vehicles? Provide downloadable content:
  • About the company: mission, vision, values
  • Annual report
  • Leadership team (LinkedIn profiles)
  • Benefits info
  • Thought leadership articles
  • Day-in-the-Life stories
  • Social media feed or links
Interview Email, text, and phone communications; Do you have a transparent and easy process for the applicant to confidently follow and participate?
  • Easy access to the contact person and multiple ways to reach them
  • A tracking vehicle (for employees and HR) to know exactly how the process will progress from each step
  • Reinforce brand messages with each contact
  • Manage expectations: provide clear steps for the following stages of your process with timelines
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3. Be Consistent Across All Channels to All Audiences

Your high-level brand messaging (to your customers and prospective customers) is one of the inputs your prospective employees also see. Work with your web design company (one that provides messaging strategy support) to confirm the marketing messaging aligns with the messaging coming from the HR recruitment team.

Highlight your brand and core values prominently and consistently wherever they appear — including on social media — and even in places like employees’ LinkedIn profiles.

You may be surprised how various stakeholders can display the corporate brand or represent the corporate culture. It can become diluted or miscommunicated and create confusion. By paying close attention to consistency across all channels, you can build trust with your prospects. Learn more about the power of messaging in this recent blog post.

Review sites represent a channel that can get forgotten. Maintain your review accounts, like Google Reviews (if applicable), keeping them up to date with current information, including any employees or roles mentioned. Monitor them closely for positive reviews (to highlight or feature) as well as negative ones to mitigate their impact.

4. Publish Profiles That Make You (and your employees) Proud

Speaking of social media and review sites, this is a place prospective employees look to decide if you’re a good fit for them or not.

Design these with customers and employees in mind. Proudly feature all the great things about the company. And do this on a regular basis.

When prospective employees see great things reflected consistently on social media, they may feel drawn to be a part of those activities and their resulting impact on the community. This is another powerful reason to stay current with all social and review profiles.

5. Let Applicants Press the Easy Button

The top priority for the application process is to make the process frictionless for the applicant and efficient for HR. It needs to be easy on both sides.

Once you understand your applicant journey, have your HR team walk the process and actually apply for a position. Discover precisely what your applicants are asked to do in order to apply for work with your B2G team.

If there are areas of friction, make the investments required to fix the process and improve the applicant journey. You don’t want to have great candidates turning away because they have to enter information multiple times or waste time doing tasks that don’t make sense. Make it easy.

Automation can support your HR team’s process by facilitating reminders or replies to keep information moving between HR and the applicants efficiently and smoothly. You can even design campaigns to engage applicants to keep in touch and apply for other positions if the first one isn’t a good fit.

6. A Transparent Hiring Process Builds Trust

Prospective employees need to know what is going on throughout their process. If at any point they are not certain, this can be enough to have them disqualify themselves from the application or interview process.

Instead, build trust with your applicants, as if they are valuable employees, by clearly letting them know what to expect (and when), and following through with clear communication throughout the process.

The Bottom Line to Attracting Top Talent

To attract top talent, you must meet candidates where they are with the most appealing message, position, and process. Give them everything they need in order to know, like, and trust your company and your people. With consistent messaging and transparent procedures, you’ll build and keep a winning team.

Ocean 5 Builds Outstanding Websites for Business

If you’re not sure where to begin, get a Free Website Evaluation to learn how your site is serving you now and how you could utilize this powerful tool to attract and engage top talent as well as new business.

Ocean 5 creates websites that are fully customized to meet your business objectives. Our sites are technically advanced, responsive (mobile-friendly), professionally designed, and provide an outstanding user experience. We use Growth-Driven Design to build a digital platform for accelerated lead generation and long-term success.

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Need Help Attracting Top Talent?

Ocean 5 is helping both B2B and B2G companies attract and hire top talent. If you would like to learn how we can help you, please contact us.