With talent availability at its lowest since the 70's and with demand for talent increasing, one of the primary challenges facing employers as we move in to 2018 will be attracting and retaining the best people.
Here are our top nine tips to help you do just that:
1 Write better job descriptions
The more information we have, the better we can present you in the very first instance. Your job advert may well be the very first time a potential candidate comes in to contact with your company or brand – so make it positive! And memorable.
The way in which your copy is written can deter great candidates from applying and whilst we conduct research and apply best practice in order to identify and hook talent from the off, companies who simply write functional descriptions with dry lists of responsibilities and requirements can alienate qualified candidates from considering the role. Try to avoid convoluted prose, inject some personality to the requirements and focus on what your company can do for potential employees, and you'll attract candidates who better fit your needs.
2 Focus on soft skills
The candidate with the exact experience necessary for the role, may not be the right person for the team. By considering soft skills, such as interpersonal and communication skills, thought processes and emotional intelligence, you may identify an array of factors that don’t show up in a CV or portfolio, which ultimately influence the hire you make.
Although sourcing a candidate with the right skill set may seem like the most important factor in finding the best fit for a particular role, the truth is that skills can be acquired, but ‘fit’ – that combination of traits that makes someone right for your business - cannot. To aid with this you may want to consider implementing psychometric testing to your screening process.
3 Improve interview techniques
Not all agencies or brands have a dedicated HR team and even when they do, interviewing very often falls under the remit of the line manager and HR may or may not play a part in this. As such, interviewers have busy day jobs and often find themselves pressed for time. Plus, if it’s not their regular remit, they may lack confidence in their interviewing abilities, or lack the experience to notice red flags exhibited by candidates during the interview process.
Taking time out to prepare for interviews will always yield better results. It might also be worth considering interview training for line managers - we also offer advice on interviewing best practice so give us a call if you’re unsure of how to go about things.
4 Allow the candidate to interview you too
This is a topic that we’ve covered before and believe is crucial to securing the best talent for your business: always remember that interviews are a two-way street. A badly conducted interview can have just as much impact on a candidate, as a bad candidate performance can have on the interviewer. In a talent led market it’s important to maximise your chances of securing the best candidates, by projecting a positive impression of your business, its vision, the team culture and opportunities open to people joining. Getting this right can be the pivotal difference between your candidate accepting an offer from you and not your competitor.
5 Remain flexible in your thinking
The default thinking around marketing industry hires is that a degree is a non-negotiable pre-requisite. But this demand doesn’t guarantee that you’re getting the best person for the role and with an increasing number of people who are prioritising work experience over studies, the degree requirement on an application form is rapidly becoming a limiting factor in talent acquisition. Diversity in the workplace is incredibly important and being so “prescriptive as to rule people out of consideration based on their lack of degree, is arguably as limiting to creativity and productivity as a lack of gender or ethnic diversity”.
In order to be economical with your time and resources, it’s also important to remember that whilst you’re passing up candidates that maybe 75% perfect for a role in search of someone who ticks all the boxes, you allow someone who can reach their potential with a little coaching to head to a competitor, whilst potentially waiting a long time for your perfect hire to come along. Be flexible in your approach to screening potential employees and remember that sometimes the best hires aren’t always the most obvious ones.
6 Use your website to inform potential employees
Your website is a portrayal of your mission, values, and products or services and it should resonate with your staff and company culture, projecting an image that is authentic and attractive to future recruits.
Create an employment/team/work for us section which offers information about your available positions and describes why potential recruits would enjoy working with your company. It’s an opportunity to display the work ethic you promote, as well as a demonstration of the fun stuff too.
7 Be known as an excellent employer
Becoming an employer of choice requires a superb reputation for offering a rewarding employee experience. Consider your employee levels of retention, staff motivation, recognition, flexibility of work-life balance and social involvement. Encourage your employees to review your company profiles online and post about the awesome work they deliver themselves but also to congratulate the triumphs of others.
8 Embrace social media
There’s huge value in a company that is up to date with the latest trends in the marketplace from wellbeing to tech, allowing and encouraging its employees to engage in pop culture and share creative ideas. Keeping up with emergent technologies and platforms can help to engage your current workforce (be it via silly snaps of office life on Instagram, or celebrating award wins on LinkedIn) as well as helping to attract new talent. Social media offers an opportunity for a company to inject a sense of fun to its employer brand – there’s a myriad of do’s and don’ts in this arena but common sense must prevail, if it’s NSFW, it’s not suitable for social media!
9 Get ahead of the curve
…and start your search now. Get in touch to start mapping out your recruitment strategy for 2018 with one of our consultants today. We’ll gladly discuss how we can add value to your talent acquisition requirements for the year ahead and beyond.