UK businesses are faced with a number of challenges at the moment and not least of that list is recruitment. It’s at the top of the agenda in boardrooms across the country. But why? A record £37.2m people are now in employment (according to figures from ONS) which has led to increased competition between businesses seeking to add talent and skills to their teams.
This increased demand has led to a candidate-driven market, something we’re seeing at all levels across many industries and sectors. Often, candidates are now the ones in control, with the pick of offers on the table from prospective employers.
So, in a candidate-driven market, what can employers be doing to ensure they don’t miss out on attracting the top talent they need to grow and succeed? And *spoiler alert* the answer isn’t necessarily to pay more.
From Facebook to Linked In and everything in between, these digital platforms are the ultimate (and free!) way you can communicate directly with your customers and potential employees. Don’t just stop at sharing your latest job opportunities - make sure you are using it to your advantage and are showing off how great it is to work for you! Cute office dog or Pizza Fridays? Go for it!
UPDATE YOUR OFFERING
There’s no doubt that salary is important, you need to ensure that you’re paying in line with industry/area market rates. But pay isn’t the top reason that employees leave roles, which tells us that today’s candidate is looking for something that goes beyond receiving a bigger pay packet each month.
Workplace culture is the best place to start – are you offering a positive environment where employees are trusted, made to feel a part of the bigger picture, given autonomy and opportunities to train/upskill?
Secondly, review what benefits you offer. You could consider introducing a formal benefits programme where employees get discounts on shopping, travel and entertainment, or even something as simple as negotiating reduced rates on a gym membership at your local leisure centre, or offering free fruit. Wellness benefits are a huge trend at the moment and they don’t have to cost the earth.
SHAKE UP YOUR ADVERTS
Job boards have thousands of live adverts at any one time, candidates scrolling through are bored of seeing the same old phrases. When every opportunity is listed as ‘exciting’, they seemingly become less so…
Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd and always put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. Think about what’s great about the role and/or company and shout about it! What are you offering that your competitors aren’t? Whether it’s an early finish on a Friday, flexible working opportunities or the great training you offer - let your business’ personality shine through!
Recruitment should take lessons from marketing and remember that adverts are all about attraction - getting candidates to click that ‘apply’ button, rather than scaring them off with a prescriptive jargon-filled list of duties. The assessment part comes later on at interview, you need those applications first.
“THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX”
When recruiting, you might refer back to your trusty person specification with a lovely long wishlist of everything you’d like your perfect new hire to be. In an ideal world, you’ll find a candidate who ticks all of these boxes. However, we’re not recruiting in an ideal world, and it might pay dividends to use a little creativity when recruiting. Can you look to other sectors which might offer you candidates with transferable skills?
Research has shown that there are a number of talent pools which are widely underutilised by employers. Demographic groups such as over-50s, ex-offenders and people with disabilities can sometimes be overlooked in recruitment processes. Employers should ensure their recruitment processes are accessible and inclusive to avoid missing out on these potential sources of talent.
PLAY THE LONG GAME
As we’ve said, when it comes to certain roles it may seem logical to look for someone who already has the skills necessary to do the job. If you’re finding it more and more difficult to find those candidates or if you know certain skills are going to be essential to your business in the future, consider whether it’s time to think long-term and start building a talent pipeline. By developing strong links with schools, colleges and universities you can inform students about future opportunities and shape learning outcomes to suit your needs.
Recruitment is what we do and we love sharing our insider knowledge! Our trained and experienced consultants are experts in their local markets. To discuss how we can offer support with your recruitment strategy, contact your local branch here.