Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Everything you need to know to secure top talent

By Jonathan Bennett

Securing the very best talent can often be a challenge. Candidates now hold even more power than ever and while the rise of social media platforms like LinkedIn has made it easier than ever to access talent, they have also enabled jobseekers to be more selective. As a result, many companies have been left to battle against one another in order to meet demands.

Rather than taking a reactive approach, organisations will need to start reviewing their resourcing cycle – from attraction and recruitment, right through to retention – so as not to lose out and to remain competitive.

In this blog, I will explore the common mistakes employers make during the recruitment process, and provide a do’s and don’ts checklist on what companies should/should not be doing if they want a successful hiring process in the future.

What should businesses be doing?

Be aware of the competition

Knowing the other opportunities your candidate might be exploring is crucial in the hiring process. This can be achieved by encouraging candidates to be more open about the competition as a way to increase their value. Use this knowledge to your advantage and play on your organisation’s strengths and differences when liaising with candidates. For example, showing them why your company is so distinctive by emphasising some of the benefits that they can expect if they join can help you to stand out.

Highlight these benefits

Going beyond the traditional workplace expectations will set you apart from your competition. For example, our Workforce Horizons report found that 92% of HR and resourcing professionals believe flexible working will be key to attracting new talent by 2025. Further to this, our recent A to Gen Z report found that organisations that offer opportunities for flexible working can benefit from improved staff retention across a range of age groups. Showcasing competitive non-salary perks and benefits, as well as offering your candidates a competitive remuneration package will help to give candidates an offer they cannot refuse.

Invest in your interviewers

As representatives of the company, it is essential for interviewers to be trained to the best possible standard before meeting candidates. After all, first impressions are an important factor in the decision-making process. Creating a connection with candidates is one of the best ways to increase their interest in joining your company, so employers must ensure that interviewers are well versed in what they need to convey.  Part of this is remembering that the best managers are not necessarily the best brand ambassadors or interviewers, so investing in interview training can be a critical part of the process.

Showcase your company culture

Giving your potential candidates a taste of company life is very important, as nearly 80% of millennials look for a good cultural and personality fit with an organisation and co-workers before considering career potential. Examples of this include holding team lunches with prospective candidates or inviting them to a company social event in order to determine whether the potential employee and employer are right for each other. Social situations like these also provide opportunities to showcase your employer brand’s authenticity to potential recruits.

What should businesses not be doing?

Don’t treat every candidate in the same way

No two applicants are the same, which is why it is essential to understand the reasons behind their decision to leave their current role. Discover their career goals and motivations, and use these insights as a basis for future conversations and the end offer. To sway their decision, ensure that each candidate feels like they are individually appreciated. Engaging with their personality traits, skillset and past experience, for example, can help make them feel recognised and valued.

Don’t waste their time

To keep the hiring time down to a minimum, group interviews together so they fall on the same day, or at least within a couple of days, as opposed to a number of weeks. Not only will this prevent candidates from waiting around and potentially losing interest in a role, but it will help interviewers make comparisons between candidates more effectively. Additionally, it will help shorten the hiring cycle and save your organisation money in the long run. 

For an effective hiring process, checking in with applicants on a regular basis to see how they doing and if they require any further information about the role before coming to a conclusion is crucial. Finding out what other propositions they have on the table can also be central to securing them.  

Don’t be beaten on salary

Knowing your market and what you are up against is absolutely crucial in the candidate race. As salary is one of the formative factors in the decision-making process, conducting market research to scope out your competitor’s wage promises is essential. This will inevitably help you to save time in the long run too, as there will be less need for salary negotiations. Having this upper hand in a candidate-led market can be extremely beneficial and help employers to increase their sense of control. 

With candidates becoming increasingly selective and, more often than not, having the choice of several offers at once, employers cannot afford to take a leisurely approach to recruitment. To secure the top talent that you have worked so hard to get to the offer stage, you must make your applicants feel appreciated. Know your competition and what they have to offer, and make sure your interviewers are up to speed on the candidates’ experience and salary expectations for their next role. If you follow this do’s and don’ts guide, you will create an effective hiring process in no time. If you don’t, you will find yourself missing out.

For more insight on these top tips, feel free to comment below, connect with me, or follow me on Twitter @JonBennett_UK