Improving staff attraction

Posted by Lawrence Bond January 1, 2021

You might think that there’s an irony for a recruitment consultancy trying to help you recruit directly! There’s a huge difference between a ‘typical’ agency and a knowledgeable consultancy.

As a small, niche business, we have all spent over twenty years working in and running recruitment businesses and by offering free advice, we know that we’ll build relationships based on adding value and trust.

Too often, Companies advertise a vacancy and rely on that to attract their ideal new recruit. Whilst this clearly works for a large number of roles, it’s not always that simple, especially when the position requires niche skills, languages, industry knowledge etc.

Wherever possible, we encourage our clients to constantly be looking for top talent, treating recruitment as an ongoing process and not an event. Otherwise you’re dependent upon the ideal applicant looking online at the same time as your advert.

A well planned recruitment strategy will clearly give you a competitive edge and once written up there tends to be numerous additional benefits as the process tends to create clarity on a number of associated areas. From experience, a good recruitment strategy works best when it’s communicated across the business with everyone having a role to play. This increases buy-in from your existing team members and ensures everyone is aware of the direction and growth that’s planned within your Company.

The marketplace of potential candidates can be broken down into two simple categories; passive and active and it’s important to realise that different approaches and techniques are required for each of these areas.

We’ve noted a few tips below and these are something we’re happy to discuss in far greater depth, offering free consultancy on these areas and surrounding topics.

Stage 1: Candidate attraction
Can you identify who your target candidate is? It may even be worth writing a ‘target candidate persona’ and continually question whether you’re talking to that profile. Furthermore, do you know what your offering is?
Your offering to potential recruits often isn’t the same as your pitch or “sell” to your clients. In this case it should be reasons why someone would want to join your business as opposed to their present business or a competitor.

Money’s obviously important, but it’s not always the key driver. Maybe ask yourself “what else?” i.e. What else would you want if you were “that” candidate?
Depending on the role, the target market/candidate may have different “drivers” or motivators and taking time to get into their mind-set and think like that target candidate, identify their likely influences and then position your offering accordingly will increase your chance of finding and landing that person. Is there anything that you can offer that your competition for that talent won’t offer? Do you actually know what your competition offers that you don’t?

Stage 2: Where’s your candidate pool?
Once your offering has been identified, communicating your message is the next challenge. You therefore have to identify where the target candidates are. This can take more thought than you’d expect but once you’ve identified this, you can clearly go there! This may mean advertising on targeted media (possibly both online and offline), joining relevant online groups/chats on LinkedIn and other social platforms, attending specific networking events or targeted headhunting via LinkedIn and other shared connections. Depending upon the confidential nature of your campaigns, it may be necessary to engage outside support (that’s often where we come into the process!).
You can also do a lot worse than speaking to your clients, suppliers and industry contacts. Who, and how, do they find new team members? If they mention us, great give us a call. If they mention someone else…give us a call!

Stage 3: The interview
Make your interview confirmations engaging. Most agencies send very ‘dry’ emails but a call and a nice invitation to join you for a productive two-way conversation is more likely to influence the candidates and their subsequent ‘gut feel’ of your business.
When the candidates arrive for interview, ensure that they’re welcomed as you would welcome a potential client. Make sure that your receptionist knows their name and that your teams are welcoming too.
If your interview process and the overall experience that the candidate gets is no different to the other firms in your sector, will that candidate leave the interview really wanting to work for you? Will they go and tell their colleagues & friends about you & your business?

The points above are just a few commonly overlooked areas and there is so much more to think about when aiming to attract the best new recruits. How to write adverts that are better than the norm, how to approach passive job seekers or even headhunt, how to create effective referral schemes (both internally and from outside your business) and numerous other factors come into play.

We’re happy to offer free consultancy to discuss this in more depth as it’s how we build relationships that are based on knowledge and trust.

Drop me a line and although it may be old fashioned, it will be good too talk.

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