The key to effective recruitment is more than simply filling a role as quickly as possible; instead, it is about giving your business the best chance of attracting the most qualified, talented candidate available for any given vacancy.
Naturally, this is easier said than done, given that this objective is sure to be shared by all of your competitors. Attracting the very best talent to your business therefore needs to be a carefully planned process, based around a recruitment strategy that highlights and leverages all of your most appealing qualities as an employer.
Here, the team at Employment Solutions share eight of our top tips for giving your company the edge when it comes to accessing the cream of the candidate crop...
Showcase the experiences of your existing employees
There are few better ways of demonstrating your values and strengths as an employer than through first-hand accounts from your existing staff. Endorsements of your company culture and working conditions will always be more credible and powerful when offered willingly by workers who have real-world experiences to back them up.
This can be accomplished effectively through testimonial videos, case studies and employee satisfaction surveys, as well as social media posts that give staff members a chance to represent the company. Review websites such as Glassdoor can also be a great venue for former employees to share their positive experiences of working with the company.
Additionally, it is worth considering setting up an employee referral programme, as this will help to provide a solid incentive for staff to act as brand ambassadors and keep a lookout for prospective candidates who would be well-suited to working for your company.
Strengthen your brand on social media
Social media is one of the most important and powerful communication tools available to businesses today, and can make a big difference to your pulling power as an employer. Most candidates will look up your social media profiles as a matter of course when considering an application, so it is important to ensure they will be impressed by what they find.
This means creating social media content designed to complement your recruitment efforts, highlighting the benefits and perks of working for your company. More broadly, it should also mean maintaining a committed, proactive approach to social posts, whether through sharing thought leadership content or fostering positive relationships with clients and customers through online interactions.
Remember: your social media channels will often shape a candidate’s first impression of your brand, so it is vital to make sure it is a good one.
Organise and attend networking events
Although in-person networking events have decreased in prevalence during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no reason to believe that they will not become important again when conditions return to normal. As such, recruiters should think carefully about how best to make use of this approach.
This might mean finding out about relevant industry conferences that are likely to be attended by potential talent and ensuring that you send out a representative to form some connections; it may also mean hosting an open-house event where keen professionals can come to visit your premises, meet with key figures and see how the company works first-hand.
Cultivate links with colleges and universities
Some of the best talent available in your field may not have entered the jobs market yet. In order to give your organisation access to the most promising young applicants, it can be a great idea to find opportunities to form partnerships with local colleges and universities.
This kind of outreach can take many forms, from featuring hiring advertisements in university newspapers and publications, to setting up workshops, placements, internships and open days for skilled young students to get to know what you can potentially offer them as an employer.
Creating an apprenticeship programme can also give college and university graduates another way of joining your team and receiving all of the training they will need to make the most of their potential.
Make your job listings clear and appealing
Creating an effective, appealing job listing is an art form in itself. Many companies simply provide a sterile list of expected requirements and credentials, without considering the important role these adverts can play in selling the role to a desirable candidate.
This is why it is vital to refine your listings to paint a clear picture of what candidates can expect from working with you, taking the opportunity to express key elements of your company culture, and explain some of the most notable perks and benefits they will receive by joining you.
By combining this with detailed information about salary scales, career opportunities and core responsibilities, you can ensure that anyone reading your job advert has every reason to feel enthusiastic about submitting an application.
Adopt a flexible approach to working hours and conditions
Attitudes towards traditional nine-to-five office-based working have been changing for many years, and this trend has now been accelerated significantly by the impact of lockdown. Flexible hours and home-based working have now become an expected norm in most industries, and it is up to companies to respond accordingly.
The most talented and skilled candidates available in your industry are likely to be spoiled for choice in terms of the number of roles available to them, so there is little benefit to making your organisation less attractive by imposing an inflexible approach to working hours and conditions.
By adopting a more open-minded approach to working arrangements, not only will you make yourself more appealing to new recruits, but you will also unlock new ways of enhancing productivity and improving work-life balance among your existing workforce.
Implement quick, responsive hiring processes
While it is important to take the time you need to come to the right decision about a new hire, it is important to ensure your interview and hiring processes do not become too elongated or drawn out. If you are taking weeks to evaluate and respond to candidates after an interview, you run the risk of missing out - especially if the candidate in question has multiple offers available to them.
As such, you should make efforts to make your hiring processes quicker and more responsive, maintaining regular correspondence with applicants to show that you value their time. By reaching faster decisions, you can fill key vacancies with less delay, while reducing the risk of your preferred candidate taking another job while waiting to hear back from you.
Create a reputation as a great place to work
The final and most important way of attracting the best talent to your business is adopting a holistic approach to making your company an appealing place to work. This should not simply be a recruitment-based goal - instead, it should be a fundamental value that informs every part of how your organisation functions.
This can take many forms. It may mean renewed investment in career development opportunities for staff, or new perks and benefits for employees; it can also mean a strong commitment to sustainability, social responsibility and charitable support programmes, which can be pivotal in building a company that people are proud to work for.
By embedding these efforts to create a productive, progressive and aspirational workplace in everything you do, you can ensure that your business gains a self-sustaining reputation as a great place to work. This, in turn, will make your company a prime destination for the industry’s most sought-after talent.
For more insights into how to give your organisation the very best chance of attracting top candidates, get in touch with the experts at Employment Solutions. Call us on 0161 839 53 53 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how we can help you to recruit for your current or upcoming vacancies.