With the demand for the best talent at an all-time high, there has never been a greater need for employers to be noticed and well-regarded by potential applicants. Job seekers are becoming more discerning in their career moves and employers need to communicate effectively why their organisations are great places to work and why people should join them. Below are just a few tips and suggestions from the team at Resources Group which have been compiled from the candidate feedback of thousands of interviews in recent years.
What really makes you different?
Be clear and genuine about what makes you different from other firms, and keep telling people in your advertising, social media and recruitment campaigns. Just saying that you are a ‘dynamic business’ or a ‘leading firm’ won’t be enough. Try to take yourself outside the business and think “what is truly different and good about us?”, and be honest. Have a good look at what your competitors are saying about themselves and when writing about your business, try avoid the over-used adjectives, such as being ‘inspiring’, ‘innovative’, ‘creative’ – this may be true, but other firms are probably saying the same, so it is unlikely to stand out. Perhaps the best source of inspiration and feedback for creating a compelling account of what sets your firm apart and why people should join you above all others is to ask your recent hires why they joined. What were the key selling points they saw in your firm? Why did the job appeal? Who else did they see when they were interviewing and how did they compare to you? How do they find working with you?
Listen to feedback
Not always easy and it can sometimes ‘grate’ on the ego, but try to get feedback from those applicants you have offered who have turned you down. If you are using a recruitment consultant, they should be able to help here (at least the good ones should!). Frank feedback and constructive criticism is seldom easy to hear, but it might be revealing and provide you with valuable insight which you can use to adapt your approach in the future.
Have an efficient recruitment process
Fact: delays are the single biggest reason why employers fail to recruit the person they want. Those employers with the most successful track record of recruiting the best talent have the most efficient recruitment processes. Arrange interviews promptly. Try to be flexible with times and offer early mornings or evenings if possible, at least for first interviews. Give quick feedback to your recruitment consultant. If an interviewer or line manager can’t make an interview, try to find someone else to do the interview rather than just postponing. Simple stuff, but highly effective.
Engaging job advertisements
There are countless articles on what makes a good recruitment advertisement. In our experience the most important thing to remember about ad writing is to emphasise, and keep emphasising, what’s good about the job and/or your company. So often we see ads just listing the responsibilities of the job and a checklist of ‘you must haves’, but this rarely engages or makes people feel “That’s for me!”. To write a good job ad, simply ask yourself “What is the best feature about the role or business? What’s the second best?” and so on. Try to list around half a dozen positive attributes, and: ‘voila’ - the key points are all there and the rest should write itself.
Fresh and active social media
As many employers these days look at social media to form an impression of applicants, so do applicants to gain an impression of the employer. So, get noticed and make your social media content relevant and, above all, update it regularly.
Use the interview to sell your business
Keep it positive. The ‘prove to us you are worthy’ approach to interviewing is a turn-off for most interviewees. Try to keep the interview up-beat and friendly throughout.
Tell people what’s good about your firm. Have a quick introduction in mind to run through at the start and cover succinctly the key selling points of the business and/or role. Try also to involve other team members in the interview process, especially those colleagues who are at the level you are interviewing. This will allow the interviewee the opportunity to gain a better feel for the business and its culture, and to hear good things from their contemporaries!
Word of mouth
Word of mouth is a major influencer in the recruitment marketplace and if people have not been successful at interview, they are more likely to say positive things about your business (and to other potential hires) if they feel the recruitment process was reasonable and courteous. So, always keep it positive, close the interview amicably and if people have not been successful at the interview, inform them or the recruitment consultant as soon as possible.