Employer Branding

Hiring Clients: How to Recruit the Best Talent

A guide to attracting and successfully recruiting the best talent for your business.

You often see blogs giving advice to the candidate/job seekers-

      • How to write a winning CV
      • How to use LinkedIn to find yourself a new role
      • How to get yourself headhunted
      • How to get recruiters to call you
      • How to use Job boards effectively

The list is literally endless.

Yet rarely do you see blogs or articles aimed at giving advice to the hiring client! I don’t suppose it is because people assume the clients won’t be reading the articles- of course they do! Lots of my client comments on my LinkedIn Pulse blogs and also share my guest blogs for Undercover Recruiter too.

Most markets are skills short now and so the quest for talent attraction has become one of the single most important marketing strategies for most hiring companies.

But how can YOU differentiate your message to the target market?

I have decided to make a useful step by step guide for employers to use to ensure they are incorporating these simple but effective methods into their candidate attraction.

1. Invest in a dedicated talent manager/internal recruitment professional.

The benefits of employing a dedicated person to focus on developing a constant talent pool of people are plentiful:

  • Long term view is an advantage with senior hires- speaking to these people on a regular basis means that when they decide to come on the market, they will most likely call someone they have a previous dialogue with and the Talent manager should be making regular updates with those they see as ideal hires for the future
  • Understanding of market trends- the constant brand ambassador means they get to know market knowledge before others will- if they are speaking to competitors and also active candidates in the market.
  • Engage with third parties whom they trust and have a mutually respectful relationship with. This is not to duplicate the cost of hiring people. It means there is a central contact to manage all applications made- no more fighting over who introduced the candidate.

2. Employ an experienced social media professional.

The reality is, most of our decisions are made via posts we have seen on social media and although I am not a fan of people publishing job ads on twitter, to have a focused employee dedicated to managing the various social media streams is vital. It corroborates the message your overall brand is setting out to achieve but having a dedicated person/team means if it a continual message not a “tweet when I remember to” campaign.
Each social media channel has its own nuances, peaks/troughs, and your dedicated Social media guru will know what to share, how to share it and whom to engage it with.

3. Meet good people on a speculative basis.

If you have previously spurned spec calls from recruiters, regardless of your market, you are possibly missing out on a) the recruiter wanting to act as your brand ambassador in the future, if you alienate the recruiter on this spec calls, they will probably spec said candidates out in future to your competitor. b) you are missing out on the right people even if it is not the right time for you. Don’t be pedantic about it. I would always suggest meeting people even if it is for pipelining purposes- as long as this is spelled out beforehand. It means then when you ARE ready to hire, you can speak to them with familiarity.

4. Manage your 3rd party recruiters.

I challenge anyone of my readers to say “I don’t use agencies/recruiters”. If that is your response, I think you seriously need to move on from this rather rare stance! Your choice of recruiter(s) should be regarded as your partners- they are your external ambassadors in the market, they are your market knowledge- who is available, who is exclusive. They will work harder for you if you a) reward them with better than market average fees and b) you are honest in your feedback. Treat your recruiter like a true partner and I promise you, you will remember this tip and realise how easy they can make your “hiring” life!

5. Give prompt feedback.

I am astounded when I hear from friends or colleagues that they never heard anything back from a prospective employer- this includes CVs sent as well as face to face interviews. It takes literally minutes to either pen an email rejection or even to use a template if you interview high volumes of people. This embodies part of your company’s customer service policy. Don’t leave customers waiting or wondering. I always advise constructive and candour if possible. Equally, be prepared to listen to feedback on your business, the process, your opportunity.

6. MAKE a decision.

Please don’t dilly dally with people’s lives. Make a firm decision and communicate it as soon as you can. If someone isn’t a cert in your mind and gut, then they are not right for you. Use what benchmarks you can but don’t try to make the shoe fit! And always leave your door open for good people- as you would say this to the candidate- it is the same for you as the employer. People TALK and you would want potential hires to hear how efficient and professional your business is.

7. “Work for us” page.

Create a page where your audience are engaged with you, participative candidates will want to follow your timelines and then when you post your live vacancies, will respond immediately. I know most companies have a “work for us” page on their own website. I think the most attractive companies will have a testimony page of their actual employees and have overview job specs rather than generic job ads which make you look like you are constantly hiring and therefore, possibly desperate. Make your “work for us” page stand out with clear benefits, unique selling points and examples of people who have done well in your business.

8. Internal referrals.

Not one to do myself or fellow colleagues in recruitment an injustice, however, I often say I would prefer to lose a placement to someone going to work with a “no brainer” friend/ex-colleague (although, there is a peril with this from the candidate’s perspective, which I have written about before). A great reward scheme should be a good incentive to get your existing staff to think of who they know within their own social circle- these are people you would not necessarily attract through other means.

9. Always show empathy.

Was it so long ago you were sat in the candidate’s chair/in their shoes? No? Then show them the respect and empathy that YOU desired. If it is memorable for you to know what they are feeling, communicate this to them! We are all humans and in certain situations, we share the same emotions regardless of our personality traits. It is likely you were also nervous (as well as excited, hopefully!) about coming for an interview. So, have a heart and be kind in the interview/process. Be normal. It will make the candidate feel very at ease. Show courage, patience and be brazen in your decisions.

10. Sell it to us!

One final word from fellow business owner and recruiter of recruiters in the South coast, Louise Ogilvy of People Prospects.

“We are noticing a real change in the way that recruiters are viewing their next move. The emphasis seems to be moving away from purely the financials to now include the softer benefits. We have clients who are being really creative in terms of making themselves stand out from the crowd, a push on flexible working, a more grown up attitude towards working from home, the latest i-phones etc. More so than ever, before making a decision candidates are asking to see in black and white the full benefits package and we are certainly advising our clients where we feel that they need to be implementing changes or increasing what they can offer to attract the best in the market place.”

In conclusion.

One of these methods in silo may get you results on an ad hoc basis. But as the battle/war for the best talent continues to get more competitive, only by incorporating ALL of these elements into your hiring strategy will you be certain to attract YOUR best talent pool in the current climate and beyond.

I hope you have found this checklist useful. As you read it, you probably nod through most of it but are you doing ALL of these things? Have I missed anything glaringly obvious? If so, please comment and thanks in advance for RT, Likes and shares.

Image: Shutterstock

By Lysha Holmes

Lysha Holmes is founding director of Qui Recruitment established in 2005 to completely challenge the traditionally poorly perceived service offered by other Rec 2 Rec providers. Lysha as Qui Recruitment is dedicated to representing the best talent to the best suited roles, focussing on placing recruiters of all levels in a candidate led service across the NW.