"We're Hiring"​ is Not a Talent Acquisition Strategy

April 11, 2022

My team and I are on LinkedIn an awful lot. If you spend enough time looking through LinkedIn profiles and the newsfeed, coupled with hundreds of interviews and new client on-boarding calls you can get a sense of what is happening in a sector. The trends, what products and services are taking off, where the funding is going, where the talent is landing, what are the issues and how are leaders managing them.

One LinkedIn profile trend is hiring managers, leaders, and founders adding “We are Hiring” in their profile’s heading. It’s become so prevalent, I’ve begun to wonder what the effects are. On the positive side, you are signaling that your company is kicking ass and taking names. Business is booming and growth is exciting; “Hey candidates! If you are smart you should join us and be a part of it all!” If you are a leader, you are signaling that you’ve considered talent acquisition a serious enough factor to put some personal activity behind it.

Is a Profile Tweak Enough?

We’re several months into the trend and it seems to be continuing unabated. So if it isn't actively helping fill these countless roles, what if the “We’re Hiring” post is doing harm? Although I don’t have data if the approach is working in attracting and landing new hires, I think I can comment about how it works as a candidate sourcing strategy. The bottom line? It doesn’t work. We may post current projects from time to time, we have never placed a candidate who responded directly to those LinkedIn posts. All of our successful projects engage candidates with different approaches.  

When I see the message on a leader’s profile, I immediately assume there is something wrong with the talent acquisition systems or there is a culture challenge. I would venture a guess that a “We’re Hiring” message gets more responses from third party recruiters instead of inquiries from the candidates you really want.

Desperation vs. Enthusiasm

There are other downsides to the “We’re hiring” approach. In a talent market as competitive as the one we have today, consider the perspective of your prospective candidates. Seeing the phrase plastered everywhere on your social feeds can start to sound desperate; that your broader talent acquisition strategy isn’t working and no one good is applying for your roles. Instead of being an invitation, it can feel like a plea to “Please come work for us.” This can be especially true for managers, where hiring would be important to their perceived success at your company.

What's the Alternative?

Here’s the tough news: There isn’t an easy fix to the hiring strains of the moment, and being a leader who prioritizes talent acquisition means you should be prepared to put in some real work. Rather than firing off a quick tweak to your LinkedIn profile, spend some time evaluating and retooling your TA strategy. Mobilize your organization around those well thought-out retoolings. Think about training and empowering your hiring managers to conduct better interviews and attract candidates into your funnel. Engage a trusted TA partner on the mission impossible searches and let your internal team focus on the easier to fill roles. Take one hire at a time and apply sound strategies and tactics at each step.

I admit the title of this Musings was meant to grab attention. I realize “We’re Hiring” isn’t likely any organization’s cure-all for talent acquisition, but there are a surprising number of organizations that haven’t put the time into actually developing and implementing an effective strategy on the hiring front. I can assure you, a wing and a prayer social media update aren’t going to cut it..

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a line or give me a ring.

cory@salmelatalent.com // 218-590-4448

Photo by Ernie Journeys on Unsplash

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