How to bag your best candidate

Wow! As I am writing this blog, we are frantically working on more vacancies than we have ever had before!  It is fantastic to see how buoyant the recruitment market is and considering where we were this time last year, it is certainly something to be grateful for.

However, I am also experiencing first-hand in our own quest for candidates but also hearing from countless companies that they are struggling to fill their roles.   We are not seeing an abundance of people applying for jobs and sadly often where we are, their skills or qualifications don’t quite match what is required for the role.

Pre-Covid, unemployment was at the lowest it has ever been, so we are skilled at working hard to attract good people however there are some other compounding factors that we are now faced with making the challenge even greater.  These are;

  • People are more nervous about leaving stable roles to venture into the unknown in light of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic
  • Employers are working very hard to retain the talent they have – when faced

 

Tips to bag your perfect hire

 

Employer brand

 

In today’s hiring market, recognising the need to create a strong employer brand is essential. Those that fail to even acknowledge this need will undoubtedly struggle when it comes to hiring and retaining people.

If this is a new concept for you the best place to start is within.   Ensure that you have a firm understanding on what your values are, what culture you have or at least want to create and how your current employees are feeling.   If there are any areas that need work, get these fixed as soon as possible as whether you know it or not, if there is general unrest amongst your current team, this will find a way of reaching the outside world.

Once your house is in order, set your tone of voice and ensure that this is consistent through all the channels that you use to communicate with clients, candidates and suppliers.

With your communications you want to bring your company to life through stories and visuals rather than relying on words alone.  People love to see relatable content and when it comes to hiring, if you can share real life success stories it will undoubtedly appeal to those who may consider working for you.

Do not be afraid of technology and review platforms, instead embrace them and use them to their fullest in sharing positive reviews.  Encourage employees to place reviews on Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Google and Glassdoor so that you build your brand in a positive way.

It is imperative to protect your brand through ensuring the best possible service to anyone that applies to your company for positions, whether they are right for the roles or not.  Ensure that you communicate swiftly and effectively so their experience remains positive, in the same way that you would with a potential customer.

 

Values

 

Now more than ever, people are becoming more in tune with their purpose and what is important to them, extending beyond just the financials.   Ultimately, if someone is finding that the company they work in, does not fulfil their own values it is only a matter of time before they seek to go elsewhere.

You therefore need to work hard at the outset to ensure that you are talking to candidates through your adverts, website and all content about what values you operate with so that potential hires can identify with them and feel attracted to what you stand for.

Equally you need to ascertain their values through the hiring process so you can ensure a match is made early on and the messaging stays on point throughout the negotiations.

 

Multiple funnels

 

As with any marketing effort, it is important to have multiple channels to enable inbound leads and hiring is no different.   I am certain that you no longer rely on just one way of attracting new customers to your business so why would you approach recruitment in this manner?

We fully appreciate that companies want to minimise spend when it comes to recruiting but there are lots of ways you can still implement multiple funnels and keep costs down. Ultimately, the most important thing when hiring is finding the absolute best candidate for your job and you want to keep your options completely open when it comes to attracting talent.   The cost of not filling a role either quickly or at all can be devastating – see our blog for more information on this.

What is available to you in terms of hiring funnels;

  • Careers page on own website – fully updated and relevant
  • Recommend a friend scheme in house
  • Social media posts
  • Advertising
  • Recruitment agency
  • Linked In
  • Relevant industry resources (jobsites/publications) if in a niche profession

As per the above, make sure that all posts are consistent in tone and messaging.

 

Don’t delay – act quickly

 

One of the biggest frustrations we find and candidates talk about is when an application is made and there is radio silence for days or sometimes even weeks!  People are moving incredibly quickly so if you do not respond promptly there is every chance you will miss out. If you are serious about hiring, make sure you block time out of your diary in the near future to carry out interviews. Don’t think that you can keep a candidate waiting weeks before you are available to meet them as once again, by the time you have squeezed them in the chances are they will be already snapped up!

You want to keep the process moving along at a steady pace and don’t hold out to receive candidates, keeping the first one waiting as the market is not allowing for this.  If the first person that has applied, ticks all of the boxes, just get them processed and therefore you won’t lose out if the first one ended up being the only and best one!

 

Make your offer irrefusable

 

If you have been through a structured interview and vetting process and you’re sure you have found the perfect candidate, you are at the point of offering them the job.  It is important through the process that you clearly establish what the candidate is ideally looking for in terms of salary, package and conditions and please do take this on board before positioning your offer.

We have seen on several occasions, clients offering below what the candidate requested or the bare minimum above their requested amount and this leaves you wide open to a decline and worse still, a counteroffer.  In a climate where people are feeling unsettled and craving security, it is not unsurprising that if their known employer makes an offer they can’t refuse, they will most likely stay put and you will lose them.

Whilst no one wants to pay over the odds for anything, consider the cost of having the role vacant longer, not finding someone as good as them again and the hassle of having to start the whole process again.  What is the true cost of this mistake?

What’s more, an underwhelming offer can land rather negatively with a candidate and make them feel devalued from the outset which will negate all of the work you have done in getting this far.  Not the best way to start your relationship.

My advice is to try to exceed what they wanted and reiterate how your role fits with the other aspects of what is important to them.

 

Onboarding

 

So, you have managed to find your perfect hire and they have handed in their notice. Job done. But is it?

Ensure that offer letters and contracts are sent out promptly. We suggest clients have a 48 hour turn around policy from when an offer has been formally accepted. If proof of ID or credit checks are needed in order to carry out background checks it can be useful to send out these requests at the same time.

Take the time each week to check in with new hires at least once a week prior to them joining. Perhaps post or email documents for them to read over or an up to date staff handbook to browse over prior to their first day. If you are working with a recruitment agency they should remain in contact with their placed candidates and notify you of any questions or concerns prior.

A thorough induction can make or break the success of a new starter to the business. This year has created a lot of uncertainty with people being placed on furlough, risk of redundancies, and general instability.

It is not unusual to hear from candidates who have contacted their old employers within the first few weeks because they haven’t felt welcome, or things have seemed unorganised in their new place of work.

A welcome breakfast or takeaway lunch can be a simple and low-cost activity to introduce a new person into a team and it is something fun and informal. A shadowing half day is again another way for a person to get better acquainted with the team and the company.

Have a plan in place of who will be involved with training, when and where you need people to be and what resources already in place. A fully equipped desk, computer logins and resources to start working are all small but easy things to help someone settle into their new surroundings as quick as possible.

If you’re still unsure whether your onboarding process is detailed enough why not visit our blog on virtual onboarding.

With the vacancy count higher than ever now is the time to ensure you are at your best in order to attract the best. If you would like specialist help to recruit and promote your company why not get in touch and let us help you today!