May 5, 2022
May 5, 2022

Recruiting Tales - How to Turn Mass Firing into Mass Hiring

Lewis Mc Cahill

The corporate world is changing, fast, and a lot of previously safe businesses are looking pretty shaky. 

Twitter was bought by billionaire Elon Musk, leading to a potential mass exodus of employees. Once he has officially gained full control of the company, there is sure to be a lot of “restructuring”, leading to plenty of quality talent being open to new offers. 

Netflix is also teetering on the brink. After announcing their first drop in subscriptions in a decade, their valuation dropped by over 30% in just 24 hours. To pour more petrol on the fire, they then announced that they would be clamping down on password sharing and account hijacking, further increasing their drop-off rate of subscribers. 

As the ripples of this poorly publicised decision came through, a secondary blow was announced with the declaration that they would be including ads in their streaming services. 

Netflix used to be seen as the cable killer - destroying the traditional idea of television and giving more freedom, accessibility, and fewer commercials to their audience. 

Now, after this tirade of mishaps and poor decisions by the Netflix execs, the layoffs have begun

After just seven months of working at the company, a swathe of employees have been axed from the Netflix payroll with no warning and just two weeks of severance. 

This isn’t the first time that Netflix has gained notoriety for poor work practices and a relatively negative working environment. 

This excellent article by Michael Lin on why he quit a $450k a year job at Netflix explains it all with excellent insider detail. 

But what does this all mean for recruiters? 

Netflix is one of the Top 5 tech companies in the world - that is going to change very soon. 

Twitter is under new ownership, which is leading to a massive amount of uncertainty and conjecture. 

Two of the biggest and most prestigious companies in the world are now teetering on the brink, which means all of their employees are now brushing up on their CVs. 

Even Amazon, the tech leviathan, just posted its first quarterly losses in 7 years

It’s important to remember what effect these actions have on their employee branding. 

People that may have once looked at Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, or any of the top firms as the ideal company to work for, are now seriously reconsidering their options. 

As a candidate, it would make no sense to join an unstable company while they are in such a turbulent and unpredictable state. 

For recruiters, this means that there are plenty more high-quality candidates waiting to be snapped up - it’s just up to you to find them.

As a recruiter, don’t be afraid to search out for these high performing, extremely experienced candidates. Remember, you can’t put a price on job security - if you can present that to these superstars, you may just find your team filled with a lot of ex-Netflix and Twitter employees.

How to Hire Superstars From Sinking Ships

The best way to capitalise on this uncertainty is to create a two-part approach to hiring top talent. 

1. Get Loud 

People can’t know you’re hiring unless you shout it from the rooftops. If you’re not doing it already, use all of your social media channels to promote your career options and hiring opportunities. 

Remember, posting a social message saying “We’re Hiring!” is not enough. You need to sit down with all relevant stakeholders and lay down a consistent talent attraction strategy. The first thing you need to do is find out who your ideal candidate is - what talents are needed? What areas or regions can you hire from? 

Find out where your ideal candidate spends their time, and publicise yourself there. 

Don’t shy away from paid advertising - job ads may not always be the most effective in clickthrough rates, but they are highly effective at creating awareness. Highly effective, targeted advertising to a select group can be a gamechanger in creating more visibility around your open positions. 

Next, use your team to your advantage. Everyone in your company will most likely have a LinkedIn profile - encourage them to share that you’re hiring. The best way to do this is to create a media post around your open positions (an interview with your founder, a podcast, or even a simple blog post can all work) and promote your team to share it on their network. 

Depending on the size of your team, you can have thousands of people viewing your open job positions. 

This, of course, casts a wide net, but this phase is not about direct applications, it’s about awareness. 

Next, you can move on to the second step, which is where your candidates will come from. 

2. Get Personal 

Make a list of your top priority roles that you need to fill. Find out all the job requirements, benefits, and your salary band. As soon as you have these at your disposal, make a list of all the talent at these companies that suit your needs. 

Then, take the time to create a highly personalised outreach message to your ideal candidates. Make sure that they understand that you’ve taken the time to learn more about them, and reinforce your empathy for their position and what you can offer them. 

Make job impact and security the main message. 

If a high-value candidate at Netflix or Twitter is suddenly uncertain about their future at the company, ensure that you can present them with an alternative that provides predictability and builds trust. 

What is more, you have to ensure that your candidate's experience is second to none. Make sure that your interview process is smooth, streamlined, and does not leave them in the dark. 

At ACELR8, we’ve been working hard on our own internal hiring approaches. We’ve even written an in-depth guide on how to make a fantastic candidate experience

As an added touch, we’ve also built a candidate handbook that provides all the information a candidate would need to know about our business, values, and benefits. 

Aside from these features, one of the game-changers that we’ve discovered is the Live Case Study. 

Expertise interviews and other forms of take-home tasks take a lot of time and effort for both parties. We found that this was adding significant resources and drop-off rates to our application process. 

As an experiment, we began hosting Live Case Studies. 

Instead of a lengthy take-home task or presentation, we host a live session with the candidate where we ask them a number of straightforward situational questions about the position. 

For example, if we were hiring a community manager, we would present them with situations around event management, stakeholder engagement, and community development. 

This way, we learn all about their expertise without the candidate being able to hide behind pre-prepared work or other people’s ideas. For the candidate, it also means that they don’t have to spend hours on a project and instead just have to show up with minimal preparation. 

In all, it’s important to create a seamless, stress-free experience that leads to high-value candidates feeling that their time is valued and appreciated. 

Above everything else, ensure that from the first outreach message you are providing a clear, predictable and honest hiring process. This is what candidates in uncertain times need, and it will significantly improve your chances of hiring them. 

Predictability isn’t Boring, it’s Safe

After a turbulent two (almost three now) years of Covid uncertainty, world-changing events, and a long list of impending challenges, try to be the steady source of calm throughout everything. 

It’s important that your candidates feel safe and comfortable throughout the hiring process, but this is just step one. 

Onboarding processes, quarterly employee surveys, quality benefits, and sincere values are the best ways of retaining and attracting top-level talent. 

After all, if you’re a startup or scaleup you may not be able to offer the same salary as companies like Twitter or Netflix, but you do have two secret weapons up your sleeve: 

Use these to your advantage, and make the most of other companies’ mistakes. 

Want to learn more about how to create a stellar hiring process? You can find plenty of expert hiring advice in our playbooks, guides, and how-to’s on our website. 

Want to work with us? We're always on the lookout for new talent. You can find all our open roles on the careers page

Does your business need help with hiring? Our expert team of embedded recruiters can work with you to find you the right talent with a modern approach. You can learn more about our services here.

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