Recruitment, like any other business practice, is constantly evolving with new trends. There isn’t a once-size-fits-all approach, but there are some golden rules every business can follow to sniff out top talent in an efficient and effective way.
If you’re wondering whether you should jump on Facebook for your recruitment or give video interviews a go to give an out-of-town candidate a chance to apply, the answer is yes! If you’re aware of new trends and adapt to these changes for a good strategy, you’ll be more likely to find the right people for your business.
Recruitment is not far from sales. Your goal is to attract talent, in the same way that you’re attracting clients and prospects. It seems that small businesses, as opposed to large, well-known companies, need to work extra hard to get themselves out there and find the awesome talent they deserve. Candidates have to want to work for you to push the button to apply. And for this, there are a number of strategies that you can follow to make yourself noticed among the job seekers.
Develop a great advert
The first step in recruitment is advertising for the position. A great advert is absolutely crucial in attracting the right talent. Times have changed since listing bullet points that read like a job description. Your advert needs to excite and entice people. Focus more on why someone would want to work for you, not what skills they must possess to be successful in the role.
For a small business, it is often the first encounter a candidate will have with you. Much like a CV, you have only three seconds to make an impression, so make it count. In the first two paragraphs of your advert, focus on outlining the benefits of the role, describing your company culture, and clearly selling the reasons someone should want to work for you.
Think about ‘where’ to advertise
Job boards may be the standard for job adverts. However it’s time for employers to think outside the box. Social media is now playing a defining role in the recruitment process, in particular reaching out to what recruiters call ‘passive job seekers’, candidates who aren’t actively looking but wouldn’t mind a change. These people aren’t on job boards, so you can’t reach them on Seek. However, they’re usually on social media.
Define your demographic and target market, then set up a campaign on Facebook that only drops your advert in front of people who fit that target market. Not only are you hitting a wider market, than active job seekers alone, you are also only spending your budget to reach the people you want to reach. There are businesses out there who can help you manage these campaigns.
Provide a great experience
Several factors come into providing a great candidate experience: a seamless process, detailed information and regular updates.
For a seamless process, look at your online capabilities. How difficult is it to actually apply for a position? Do they have to be on a desktop computer to apply? Do they have to jump through hoops, pages and pages of questions, or register to your website? Let’s be honest about it, everyone hates entering their personal details online. Including a registration step on your website or a convoluted application process may be a hindrance for candidates in putting in their application and you could be losing some pretty amazing talent among them.
For detailed information, a great careers page is an essential tool for describing yourself as an employer of choice, sharing your values and explaining why you’re a great place to work for. It can be either a stand-alone page or site dedicated to recruitment, or a part of your existing website.
For regular updates, liaise with each candidate, to confirm reception of their application, and make sure to notify them if they haven’t been shortlisted. You never know what may happen further down the track! It doesn’t take much to make candidates feel valued.
Check your applicants’ skills
Before making your shortlist, ask yourself what is important for you: skills, aptitude, experience, personality / culture fit, or something else? A candidate’s CV may show what positions they have held before, but not whether they are able to do the job you require of them now. People often exaggerate their experience in order to look good on paper.
You may need to test for skills and aptitude. Testing enables you to find out without a doubt whether the personal assistant you’re looking to hire can actually use a computer, or the sales assistant has any good customer service skills. If you do this early in the recruitment process, you will quickly know where they stand and you won’t need to go through several rounds of interviews before finding out they don’t have the skills to perform well in the role.
Evaluate your applicants’ cultural fit
Most employers will consider aptitude and personality fit over skills. Techniques such as phone and Skype interviews, or video introductions – where you ask the applicant to record a video message or answer some specific questions – enable you to pre-screen candidates and get a good idea of their personality before you meet them face-to-face.
One of the most important things to remember is that job seekers are not just applying with you; they are applying for multiple positions. Therefore reviewing applications quickly and having a method of identifying the best applicants fast is critical.
Undertake final checks
Once you’ve conducted face-to-face interviews and established your top candidate, make sure you undertake reference checks. Call the contacts given and ask them questions to ensure that they will be a good fit for your position. Be wary of receiving references from people who weren’t direct managers, it’s unfortunately too easy to fake it.
Once you’re satisfied, all you’ve got to do is put an offer on the table!
Recruitment isn’t rocket science, but it’s important to get it right in order to find and hire the right talent. From creating a great advert to providing all your applicants a great experience, each step is critical in attracting talent in today’s recruitment landscape.
About the author
Sharon Davies is the founder and managing director of Talent Propeller, a recruitment company operating across Australia and New Zealand.