Be aware, be agile, be awesome
Here in the Midlands and Central England, we are in a candidate-driven market, which means plenty of opportunities for candidates when they start actively looking for new opportunities. It’s standard at the moment for most strong candidates to have at least 3 interviews in the pipeline, and it is strong pipeline. Why? Because really good candidates are discerning, and rightly so. If they are interviewing, the company will have been well researched and considered. Be aware of this, and plan to compete for top talent! Plan to be compelling
There is a place for everyone, and candidates will look for different things. Your job as a potential employer is to really think about what makes your business attractive and set about finding that one person who wants what you can offer
Ensure those features are clearly communicated on all recruitment related communication: What is most compelling about your size, your culture, your location, your specialisms, the work you do, your vision, your benefits, your personal development strategies... and so on
Plan how you intend to communicate these features in the very first interview or telephone conversation. At Beyond The Book, we have some great ideas - so do ask us!
Benefits and Flexible working
With the likes of big tech companies and start-ups offering employee-centric benefits and flexible working environments, it’s very important to keep up with the competition if you can. Research and define a salary that is competitive. Balance your level of flexible working with the salary. For example, we have a client, who can’t offer competitive salaries, but offers 40 days' holiday. We’ve seen a lot of different ways to package up benefits, so do make us part of that research!
Get yourself a good reputation
These days there are so many platforms for candidates to do their research. If you have a bad reputation, any potential candidate will probably find out… and drop out. And that can significantly reduce your talent pool. There are plenty of ways that companies are
keeping their employees engaged and happy, such as training, mentoring, personal development, incentives, benefits and wellbeing initiatives. Happy employees mean longevity, enthusiasm, hard work and passion. You can actively encourage your happy employees to leave good reviews on Glass Door and Google. They will be singing your praises, and this in itself will breed candidates who want to work for you.
Create a positive interview process
It is essential in a candidate-led market to assume any candidate you invite in has a strong pipeline of other interviews. The interview is a 2-way process and you are being interviewed too! Of course, there will be people you meet who you don’t wish to progress, but what if that one perfect candidate is sat with you and you haven’t planned to win them over?
Candidates will be checking out the simplicity of parking, the vibe/culture, whether you are going to be a positive, engaging, nurturing employer, whether the job aligns with what they are looking for, whether people look happy and whether the environment has been designed to enhance the job experience. If you have a casual working environment, stick to conversational interviews to showcase your relaxed culture. If your business is more corporate, a competency-based interview won’t be a surprise.
Avoid outdated intimidation tactics that only serve to send your perfect candidate running, on the assumption that this is reflective of the culture. A straightforward interview process is an easy way to ensure a candidate’s first experience of your company is a positive one.
Having two, well planned, stages is perfect. Three stages could be too long. Adding a test or brief or presentation can work really well but plan it upfront so expectations can be managed.
Get them on-board
You’ve come this far and found your perfect new team member. Don’t let them fall out!
Whether you’re a super relaxed start-up or enterprise-level business it’s important to make sure a new employee has a strong start to their employment. First impressions are everything, and a bad initial experience can leave new employees feeling unsure, isolated and frustrated - as well as questioning whether they’ve made the right choice.
Initiatives to help this process could be
First day gifts
Structured induction programmes
Buddying up with other team members
First Friday social… and more
Above all, the quicker they (whatever the level) are fully engaged and up to speed on processes, procedures, and expectations of their role, the sooner you will have a fully functional and profitable member of the team.
This is a biggy! Many businesses are losing great candidates to misaligned timescales. If you are slow to invite candidates for interview they could perceive you weren’t as interested as other businesses who jumped as soon as they saw their CV, and if you take too much time inviting them back, they’ll perceive a lack of interest. So, you need to ask yourself, what slows you down?
Is it interviewers’ diaries and inflexibility? Plan for a back-up interviewer for that first interview
Is it wanting to see choice? If you see the perfect person the first time, don’t hang about. You should know what you are looking for - so why wait?
Is it a lack of appreciation for the dynamics of the marketplace? Hopefully, this article will help!
And the same applies when it comes to the offer. If the role has received sign off from the relevant departments, get the offer over to the candidate quickly, to show your commitment and reinforce your enthusiasm for getting them on board.