Running an unsuccessful recruitment campaign is incredibly frustrating. These 10 tips explore why businesses struggle to recruit and identify what we can do to make businesses more attractive to potential employees.

Benchmark Salaries

Salaries are not everything but you should be within 10% of the market rate. People look for benefits such as paternity leave, flexible working and pensions. If you cash situation doesn’t allow you to pay market rate then you can compensate by being flexible in other areas to make the whole package highly desirable.

Consider the Commute

Consider your core working hours allowing employees to avoid peak travel. Traditionally companies liked to have employees living within an hours commute but as travel routes get more congested and technology improves this view becomes more Dickensian. Many businesses allow people to work from home or simply change the working day to allow for doing the school run and missing rush hour.

Promote Flexible Working

Employees highly value being trusted to work remotely and the flexibility it brings. Flexible working is not only valued by employees but also reduces overhead costs because businesses can operate from smaller premises. With a regionalised sales force flexibility also creates opportunities to enter geographical markets away from your headquarters.

Explore Pension and Other Benefits

Look beyond state pension and ask your people what benefits they would like. Gone are the days of final salary pensions, the emphasis is on employees not to plan ahead and we can support them to do that with good pension schemes. Fewer people take companies cars because of the tax implications; instead popular benefits now include cycle to work schemes, flexible holiday entitlement, private healthcare and gym memberships.

Offering Maternity/Paternity Leave

Recognise the importance of parenthood and offer flexible leave. Often a contentious issue because of the cost burden, more fathers are taking paternity and more mothers are going back early part time. If you are a small business then the cost of paternity may be too much to bear but you should provide a solution that works for all parties; reduced hours or working from home. The last thing we want is  to lose people because there we have not had an open conversation.

Enhanced Business Reputation

Consider how your business reputation impacts candidate decision making. When we buy products we read reviews in the same way that potential employees, clients and customers will research our businesses. If considered business reputation is often seen as a by-product of our daily activities, however, if we make a conscious effort to publish positive stories, engage with the community and support good causes we not only give something back but generate goodwill.

Deliver an Engaging Recruitment Process

Design a process that engages, supports and provides feedback to candidates. Businesses miss out on the best talent by not having a process in place, a simple candidate management system means we don’t pay a recruiter for a CV we had 12 months ago. Likewise candidates want to be engaged and excited by the businesses and every interaction counts towards this. A lengthy process that doesn’t provide updates and feedback will cause people to lose interest and potentially accept offers from the competition.

Enjoyable and Safe Working Environment

Consider the impact surroundings have on your employee well-being. We all like eating in a clean restaurant rather than a dirty one; it impacts our perception of the food, service and experience. The same principles apply in the workplace, working in a nice environment we feel valued and perform better. A business who invests in people will see better motivation and higher levels of engagement. However, some companies take this to the extreme and try to build culture and performance with perks and to their detriment ignore the other factors.

Offer Learning and Development

People look for businesses that provide further career development opportunities. Example, many business graduates will train as accountants with one of the ‘Big 4’ firms. After two years the majority leave to work for smaller companies who offer better career prospects. This provides the opportunity to recruit talented people who have undergone professional training but also makes us ask what are we offering to keep our people. Ongoing education and professional development will stand out from the majority of companies who don’t provide these opportunities.

Consider Corporate Social Responsibilty

The impact your business has and its reputation will resonate with potential employees. This goes beyond managing an ethical supply chain or supporting local charities to create an image that resonates. Wee need to consider how we treat our staff and customers, whether pledges we make are actually followed through and what the impact of our actions and statements can be. As millennial employees progress through their careers they are looking to work with businesses whose values they share.

Further Information

Making your business more attractive to potential employees is part of the wider strategy that we help businesses develop and deliver.

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