6 Ways to Make Attracting Top Talent Easier in 2024
- February 5, 2024
Following the pandemic businesses across the country have gradually started to find their feet, slowly but surely accepting and adapting to the multitude of changes the post-pandemic market has thrust on our shoulders. Employers have recognised and respected the change in status quo concerning the expectations set out in current client and employee demands and seem to be reworking their hiring strategies accordingly to keep up.
Last year however, wasn’t quite the year of progress many would’ve envisioned, and while it’s certainly true that finding the right talent in today’s market is rarely ever a straightforward task, many will agree that few years have brought more challenges when it came to both the recruitment AND retention of top talent.
The UK saw as many as 1 million vacancies go unfilled nationwide in these 12 months, and despite the sharp rise in the availability of candidates on the back end of the year (in part due to widespread concerns over job security), the hiring appetite across the country had notably reduced, with permanent staff appointments rapidly declining in Q4 and businesses hesitant to commit to new hires due to continued economic uncertainty. The candidates that did make the shortlists were either not considered adequate enough or lacked the necessary skills companies looked for in their hires, with an Xpert HR report revealing that poor quality applicants and a well-documented skills shortage were, according to surveyed employers, the biggest reasons for this difficulty in hiring.
From a retention perspective, it is very much a similar story, with 26% of respondents admitting they struggled to keep a hold of new hires, 44% saying they struggled to compete with competitors’ salary and benefits packages, and 58% of HR professionals saying they were offering more appealing pay and benefits to tackle this issue. Undoubtedly, this points to a clear shift in demands and priorities of younger professionals, in particular work-life balance and a greater sense of purpose in the work they do on a day-to-day basis.
For any business intent on growth this year, there is therefore no better time than now to put your recruitment process under the microscope and lay the groundwork needed for it be successful – particularly against a backdrop of continued economic uncertainty and a skills shortage still prevalent in the sector.
Recruitment can be, and often is, a laborious and multi-faceted process, but here are 7 steps to ensure you start on the right path this coming year >>>
1. A Focus on Flexibility
A direct and perhaps one of the biggest consequences of the widely reported skills shortage is the sudden shift of the industry towards a more digital tech-oriented manner of working and the incorporation of such tools into business practices – something that’s sure to change demand for certain skillsets in a variety of sectors. What is poignant about this fact however, is how it will actually emphasise the need for soft skills in the near future. With AI technology set to spearhead the streamlining of procedures and more work to be commoditised, what will be highly sought after by employers skills-wise is the ability to deal with human beings, and the qualities that best serve that purpose.
However, if some of the inflexibility found in businesses across the sector continues to persist, the search for talent of this calibre will only get harder. A paper published last year by Harvard Business School and Accenture revealed that a huge number of skilled hidden workers are shut out of employment simply due to the lack of flexibility present among employers today. Hiring companies risk being oblivious to the reservoir of talent right under their noses if they fail to adapt to the changing demands of today’s professionals.
It therefore serves your business far better to begin looking at how you can better serve the candidates you want working at your company. Whether this requires a sit-down with your recruitment team to discuss how such accommodations can be made and communicated throughout the hiring process or a talk with your management team to improve existing business practices to better support its employees, it is a must for any company seeking to remain attractive to prospective candidates.
2. Update Your Hiring Strategy with a Focus on Candidate Care
As you begin to rework your hiring and business practices with your candidates in mind, the central theme of empathy should be the thread that runs throughout your hiring process, as this is what virtually all job seekers are looking for at the end of the day.
Show your candidates you have their best interests in mind and are invested in delivering the right level of support at every stage of the application process, by implementing strategies for better candidate care. This could involve simplifying interview processes to enhance accessibility through the option of flexible interview locations or the use of screen readers during assessments. This could be especially ideal if you’re looking to hire remote and hybrid employees.
Remember to implement and establish channels of communication with your candidates throughout the hiring process too. Regular communication is key to a good candidate experience.
3. Refine Your Employer Brand
Your employer brand is what gives your company the edge over the competition in your search for talent. It’s how you ensure you appeal to candidates with what your business has to offer, whether that be an excellent salary and benefit options, a sense of purpose, shared values or great career development opportunities.
Despite its recognised importance in any successful hiring endeavour today, many companies still struggle to utilise it effectively to position themselves in front of their target audience. If you find yourself questioning the efficacy of your brand, then a good starting point will be to define what makes people actually want to work with you. Ask your team members what convinced them to continue with the company, and what they find most appealing about working there.
- Do you have a supportive leadership team?
- Does the company offer excellent opportunities for professional development and growth?
- Does it foster an employee-centric culture that eliminates many of the problems professionals encounter in the workplace, such as burnout?
Once you know what makes your business unique, the next step is to get it publicised as much as possible.
Don’t forget that existing employees can help here – particularly those that are engaged and are already good advocates for the business and brand.
By giving them a voice to provide prospective candidates with insights into the employee experience, you add much more credibility to your message and get the attention of the right individuals. Use testimonials, success stories and positive feedback to your advantage and make them known on social media as often as possible to expand your reach
4. Review Your Digital Footprint
Establishing a compelling employer brand is pivotal for attracting top talent, but its effectiveness hinges on strategic exposure to the right audience. A strong digital presence is essential for any business today. Presently, approximately 86% of job seekers incorporate social media into their job search, and prospective candidates frequently turn to the web for insights into a company’s culture through reviews.
Ensuring that your website provides an insider’s perspective on your business operations is crucial for the credibility and authenticity of your employer brand. Clearly articulate your values, mission statement, and vision to engage the interest of potential candidates while maintaining a consistent presence across the social channels frequented by your target candidates. Don’t forget to assess and update your appearance on job review boards too.
5. Spark the Interest You Want Through Your Job Descriptions
Your job descriptions are one of the first things potential candidates will examine when deciding whether they want to work with you. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure you’re conveying the right information. Don’t make the mistake of putting off potential hires by listing too many unnecessary or “preferred” skills.
Highlight only the characteristics and qualities you know you’re going to need most. At the same time, make sure you’re avoiding any language in your descriptions that may show unintentional bias towards a specific audience.
When writing your descriptions, don’t forget to showcase reasons why your candidates might want to work for you. Draw attention to your unique company culture, your salary package, and even the available training opportunities in place.
More help to ensure these turn the heads of the right people can be found here.
6. Bring in the Experts:
When it comes to attracting talent, undoubtedly the best tool you can possibly have in your arsenal is the services of an expert in the field – one that takes the time to understand your company’s business needs, and acts with your best interests at heart, while giving you the support you need at every step of the process. This is what makes the expertise of a specialist recruitment partner so invaluable for hirers as not only can they position your business in front of the right candidates – a task becoming increasingly harder by the day in today’s market – but they also work with you to build a talent pipeline and ensure your recruitment process remains efficient and effective even when not actively hiring. Amongst several other benefits that come with such partnerships, perhaps one of the most beneficial is that the longer you work with them, the better they can understand the needs of your business, and the better the fit and quality of candidates they can find for your company as a result.
At Clayton Recruitment, we work with businesses such as yours to make this a reality, no matter the staffing requirement asked of us, and are committed to adding real value to the businesses that partner with us for their hiring needs. Our team make it their mission to ensure you get nothing less than the support and the talent you need to make your recruitment endeavours successful – and are on hand to provide guidance throughout the process wherever necessary. If you are currently weighing up your options and feel that your hiring efforts could do with a little extra help from a recruitment expert then there is no better time than now to get in touch with our team for an informal chat about how we could help. Give us a ring on 01772 259 121 today or contact us here.
About Clayton Recruitment
Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989 and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.
With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.
If you are building your existing team or looking for your next career move, we can help. And, if you are currently employed, you can be assured of complete confidentiality, professionalism, and honesty throughout the process – as standard.
Click here to speak to one of our experienced specialists or call 01772 259121 for more information on how our exceptional recruitment experience can help your career aspirations.