Attracting the right talent to your business

Attracting the right talent to your business

Entry-level job candidates make up a large proportion of the job market. Yet many employers are struggling to recruit. Total Jobs consulted some top talent experts, to help employers develop their recruitment practices.

Here are some ways employers can attract the best new staff to their roles.

Build greater flexibility into job descriptions

Thinking outside the box, when it comes to writing job descriptions, and recognising worth in different experiences and qualifications can help.

Experienced career mentor Penny Davenport said: “Qualifications are a great barometer for screening potential candidates but don’t give the whole picture. Education isn’t for everyone. Some people have a bad experience, which puts them off schools; others have learning or maturity issues, which hinder their progress.

“Many people can’t afford to go to university or don’t have a mentor to steer them but still have an extraordinary amount to offer. In many instances, those with excellent formal qualifications lack common sense or independence of thought.

“Box-ticking exercises may exclude brighter potential employees. Where possible, employers can identify different qualifications, which may be of interest to them, or could highlight relevant experience as having similar weighting in the application process.”

Simplify the application process

Making the process of filling out forms easier, using online technology, helps attract talent, because it makes the application process more focussed for the applicant and employer.

Talent guru, Ron Stewart, who runs the Jobs4Group and is chief executive of Jobs4Medical, said: “When it comes to application forms, I believe that the process needs to be made easier for applicants by allowing candidates to apply through multiple channels.

“Online application forms and an upload function available for CVs is a simple, efficient application method. It focusses the candidate’s application and the employer is able to ensure they have all the information they need.

“If recruiters are looking for staff on LinkedIn, it makes sense for candidates to also be able to submit their LinkedIn profile page, in place of a CV. This is a great way for an employer to see skill endorsements from the candidate’s connections and contact references.”

Offer career development opportunities and company benefits

These show employees that they are valued; promote self-esteem and raise staff retention and commitment levels.

Willma Tucker, principal consultant at Right Management, said: “Investing in career development opportunities is a great way to attract, engage and motivate employees.

“It demonstrates to employees that they are valued and gives a clear message regarding the importance of their contribution to the workplace.

“If organisations want to attract a wide pool of talent and be regarded as an ‘employer of choice’, they need to have flexible working practices in place.

“Employers who accommodate different workers’ needs, have a more productive workforce overall.”

Provide constructive feedback

When a job candidate is not selected for a role, feeding back their strengths and weaknesses is a useful way to attract talent.

Ron Stewart added: “Constructive feedback is essential for helping candidates understand what employers are looking for.

“That same candidate might return for another interview, six months later, having taken feedback on board and now fulfilling the criteria needed to be a successful employee.

“Providing feedback takes time, but is worthwhile. It is good practice, common courtesy and projects a positive image of your company and its work culture.”

Make use of online recruitment opportunities

Appropriate use of online recruitment facilities can help firms find the best-suited staff. This includes broad job sites for general jobs and more specialist sites for certain roles.

Ron Stewart explained: “With our working generation being increasingly likely to relocate and commute for the right job opportunity, employers need to advertise further afield, than in the local newspaper.

“Depending on the industry, I would recommend employers use niche recruitment websites.

“Due to the specific skills needed for certain roles, including doctors or chefs, the opportunities are not relevant to a large percentage of job seekers.

“Niche recruitment websites target only a specific range of candidates for a selection of jobs. For example, Culintro for culinary-related jobs, and Jobs4Medical for the healthcare industry.

“When recruiting more broadly, larger job boards have a bigger candidate database, meaning there are more relevant applicants. This will produce a larger number of applications from candidates with relevant qualifications, meaning more choice for the employer.”

Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, can be utilised by companies to promote their work culture and advertise job opportunities.


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