The war for talent rages on, attracting and retaining the right talent has never been more important and is central to a company’s ability to succeed.
Gone are the days where the perfect CV just lands on your desk or when you do find the perfect candidate, you are the only company they are considering. Expectations are high and the market is fierce.
As an employer if you don’t pull out all the stops, the war will be lost before it’s even begun.
How can you as a business compete effectively in this ever-intensifying battle?
Key to that strategy for attracting talent to your company will be the construction of an effective ‘employer brand’.
Employer branding first rose to prominence about 10 years ago when companies started to invest the same attention and consistency to their employer brand as they had previously applied to their corporate and consumer branding.
This evolved into the development of an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) which describes the mix of characteristics, benefits and ways of working in a business.
This describes how an employer differentiates in human terms from their business rivals i.e. why should you want to work for them not the competition!
The rise of social media led to greater transparency about the employee experience ‘first-hand’ as opposed to what management tell you the company is like.
Websites like Glassdoor are a prime example of this, where employees and former employees anonymously review and pass judgement upon companies and their management.
When faced with what seems like an overwhelming list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’, where should a potential employer begin?
In my view, I think you need to go back to basics, “How would you like to be treated?”
You need to focus on building a positive experience for candidates throughout any recruitment process from start to finish.
You need to put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and keep asking ‘how would I feel?’
You need to define a perfect candidate journey and then take them on that journey!
What tips and takeaways can I share with you to help you on this journey?
The MR Recruitment 10 Tips for Recruitment Success
1) Define Your Value Proposition
This is ‘Your sell’, your ‘Why us?’. This is how you differentiate yourself from your competition.
Practice your ‘elevator pitch’ for candidates – this is a 30-second speech summarising who you are as a company, what you do and why the candidate should and would want to work for you.
This will be key to winning those perfect candidates. They should be left in no doubt as to why joining you will be an amazing career move!
2) Define the Critical Job Skills
This is an essential stage. Without knowing what you want, how will you know what you’re looking for or even worse, when you have actually found it?!
3) Identify Your Target Audience
Knowing who you want to attract is vital for both you and the candidate. If there is confusion around this and the wrong people are targeted, not only will you waste a lot of time in the wrong places but the candidate experience will be a confusing waste of time for both parties.
4) Write an Engaging Job Description
Ask yourself “Would you apply for the role?” A great job description should be a mix of the practical requirements of the role but also engaging content that encourages top candidates to apply and commit to the process. At this stage, you may be communicating with passive candidates so you really need to create an engaging job brief to stand any chance of tempting them to apply.
Writing an effective job description is sometimes considered an art form and it probably is to many, however the importance of it should never be underestimated.
5) Always Pre-Screen Your Candidates
This would usually be an initial telephone call to gather top-line information about the candidate and assess their immediate suitability for the role. This will help you not only save time meeting candidates that are not actually right but it will also be your first chance to really sell you and your company to the potential candidate.
Even if the candidate is not what you are looking for, leave them feeling that they have had a positive experience. You never know when your paths may cross again or perhaps they may know the perfect candidate they can recommend to you!
6) Structure is Key
Have an intelligent, rehearsed interview strategy in place before you meet with any potential candidates. A carefully planned interview structure will impress potential candidates and it will enable you to more effectively engage with the talented candidates you want to attract.
A poorly planned, rushed or an overly long, non-directed interview is likely to alienate your candidates both from you as a potential employer and your company.
At this stage always keep the “candidate experience” in your thoughts.
7) Be Flexible
Throughout the whole process you need to be able to adapt. What if a candidate is not a perfect match to your previously defined requirements? They only have four years’ treasury experience and you said you wanted six years’ minimum? Well maybe they are a fast learner and have the gravitas to step up to that role? If you are bound by strict rules and restrictive processes, you won’t be able to adapt to what is a rapidly changing “talent-short” recruitment environment.
8) Communicate with Clarity
This is essential. Things go wrong when communication breaks down. The biggest pitfall of this is not providing feedback to candidates that have not been shortlisted. Don’t fall into this trap – those candidates are just as valuable to your reputation as those that are shortlisted.
Is it so hard to treat them with the respect you would expect? What if you were in their position?
9) Engagement is Key
Involve your employees in the process. Companies who fail to do this, neglect their most important asset. Teams who participate in the process want to help the new employee succeed.
If a candidate sees an engaged and supportive team who wants them to join, they will be beating your door down to join your company.
You can’t get better than that in terms of candidate engagement!
10) Measure Results
Reflection is key. Assess each stage of the interview process, identify the positives and negatives, the successes and failures at each stage. Armed with that knowledge, you can improve and achieve the results you want.
As Peter Drucker, the famous management guru said “what gets measured gets improved.”
Remember you need to see it from a candidate’s perspective;