How to stand out in the New Year

How to stand out in the New Year

2015 is upon us and industry rivalry is as fierce as ever, so it is crucial that recruiters get the pick of the best candidates for their organisation. There are many ways you can improve your attraction to potential employees and stand out from the rest of the crowd. What follows are five tips to make your organisation more prominent than all of the others.

Communicate and make yourself clear

In 2015, why not simplify your recruitment process and ensure it attracts the right candidates for you? Job titles are a case in point. Some truly awful titles and descriptions have come to the fore in recent times, culminating in Apple recently advertising for an ‘icup technician’, when basically they want someone to make the tea.

‘I would ban the word “operative” and certainly ban “Jedi” in any job title,’ says recruitment consultant Max. ‘Candidates don’t want to spend lots of time finding out what a job exactly is. If the position is data analyst, then use that as the job title.’

Communication is key to recruitment too. ‘If you are keen on a candidate, let them know,’ says recruitment manager Louise. ‘If you are not convinced they are keen on joining your organisation, offer incentives. Workplace flexibility, for example, can be a good incentive for a potential candidate. Make sure you communicate and feedback constantly throughout the recruitment process. Let candidates know they are wanted.’

Sort out your social media

We all know its power, but there are still too many recruiters out there saying: ‘We have a social media presence.’ Actually, you need to do social media well and personalise it. For example, on Facebook, pub and restaurant operator Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has a page called Mitchells & Butlers Jobs which gives details about what the company is about and the jobs available – from pub and restaurant jobs to corporate jobs.

On its Facebook wall there is updated news ranging from details of M&B being named a top 100 Apprentice employer to the ‘Rising Stars’ awards, which reward valued employees’ efforts. People can even post on the site asking if there is any work in their local pub.

M&B head of human resources James Marriott says: ‘Using a tone of voice that reflects our brand, our Facebook page aims to explain the benefits of working for M&B to the candidates as well as using short, “day in the life” videos to set expectations around each job role.’

Are you any good to work for?

That is the question most people out there want to know. Is the company good to employees, are there benefits of working there (such as bonuses, pensions and holiday entitlement) and does the company offer career progression and the chance to advance within its structure? If you answer yes to all these questions, are you sure people out there know this?

Encourage your employees to talk about the good things you do, whether it is via the internet, pub or with their friends… it all filters through. If they have negative things to say, try to find ways to improve things in a rational and calm manner.
If a potential candidate comes round your office building, do the workstations, canteen and reception areas project the right message?

‘Quite often companies project a go-ahead company image, but are a bit bland in their approach to recruitment,’ says recruitment consultant Max. ‘Remember it is a two-way street – you get the person you want, he or she gets to work for a company that is worth working for and rewards good work, creativity and initiative. If a candidate is coming for interview make sure the reception, workstations and canteens project a company brand that is going places and is great to work for.’

Think differently

The marketplace is often pretty crowded for potential employees. Which one employer would suit them best? Which employer is most likely to catch their eye? We all do it. We all make a mental list of employers we would like to work for and they go to the top of the list. If someone is called in for interviews at a number of companies, they are going to have a favourite among them. So if you are, say, a small company competing in the recruitment market, how can you compete with the bigger hitters?

‘Take a step back,’ says recruitment consultant Max. ‘If you are a smaller company, trade on it. One IT company wanted an image of being young, small and exciting. It put forward a different culture – it had Wild West Wednesdays, regular Karaoke, paintballing and ten-pin bowling afternoons. It also promoted itself as great at retaining employees. They wanted to stay there because, as they put it, their working world was colour, while others was black and white.’

Surely that doesn’t work for every candidate though? ‘Of course not,’ says Max. ‘Some IT people would be appalled at a Karaoke night, but others love it. The company has a unique identity and workforce in a very competitive market and potential employees can readily see that.’

Be engaging

You’ve been talking about it for ages, so maybe 2015 is the time to do it. Why not change some part of your culture or address a pressing issue now? Employee needs are changing, and Generation Y appear to be less concerned about salary and more concerned about job satisfaction and a good work-life balance. While older employees are worrying more about being left behind with new advances, software and other initiatives.

So to make your organisation appealing to all, you should consider how engaging it is. ‘Older workers can sometimes feel shunted to the side,’ says recruitment manager Louise. ‘But their experience is vital. Engage them in how you see the company progressing and offer training in aspects of the work that might have changed and they are getting left behind on.

‘To attract younger people to the company, promote yourself as a progressive company which rewards good work, but promotes a healthy work-life balance. Subsidising or even providing a health and fitness centre, for example, is a good start. One company recently converted its ground floor to a gym and the benefits have been great. More people want to work there because they can see an added benefit, and they have a healthier workforce prepared to go the extra mile,’ Louise adds.

Conclusion

If 2015 is to be an effective recruitment year, it pays to take a step back and look at the offering you are making to potential candidates. Are you putting the brand and the right image across? What does a specific job entail? Are you engaging with your public and prospective candidates? Even just a little tinkering can produce an effective result and is time well spent.

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