• Tempting the best candidates Tempting the best candidates

How do I attract the best people to my business?

Tempting the best candidates

Two identical roles can get very different response rates. And at the moment that matters more than ever because, as I say in almost every blog currently, there are not large numbers of candidates looking for a move.

So what are the top two steps, in addition to offering a competitive remuneration package, that you can take to maximise your chances of attracting the best candidates, before you impress them with your slick, efficient recruitment processes?

Improving application rates in the short term

Candidates want to be passionate about what they are doing and yet so many job descriptions we see don’t effectively communicate the extent of the opportunity they are meant to be advertising.

Ideally, the description will highlight what makes the company, team and role exciting as well as articulating the future opportunities i.e. the company’s vision and the prospects of the role to grow. Candidates want a positive story or ambition to engage them. Using dynamic and positive language in the description and highlighting recent successes or achievements as well as the key elements of the job and remuneration package/ benefits is a great start but many employers are now going beyond this.

Leading employers are creating employee profiles – for example, “Anne, the part-time mum” or “Jon, the holiday worker” and creating case studies that help target candidates relate to how they might fit into the company and showcase the prospects it offers them. Videos with a company overview or job description are also increasingly common though think carefully how you do this as a video autoplaying in the middle of the job seekers’ office can reduce applications...

Mid to Long term – build your reputation as an employer

Whether you are using job boards or headhunting to fill a role, your business’ reputation is critical to your ability to attract candidates. Not every company can be glamorous and cutting edge but people want to work for organisations that other people respect which means

  • you need to be able to articulate your success stories;
  • there needs to be a consistent narrative about the company’s vision and values.

In companies with a strong sense of purpose, employees are able to articulate what motivates them and what they respect about their employer. When, as recruiters, we can sense this passion and commitment it inevitably translates into our ability to pitch the role and application rates soar and feedback post interview is invariably more positive. Not only does this investment in the brand reduce your cost of hiring and attract better applicants, it also builds your company’s reputation within the supply chain, the wider industry and the community primarily through extended networks of associates, friends and family as well as being reflected on sites like Glassdoor.

It is never a bad time to invest in your employer brand. But at the moment it is particularly important.

Clare Wight is managing director of Clarity Appointments, a fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals a regional director for The Employment Agents Movement (TEAM). Her email is: clare.wight@clarityteam.co.uk