Recruiting the right people is repeatedly being listed to me as a top challenge business owners face. But with the right strategies and tactics, even small employers can make themselves an employer of choice with the best candidates just waiting for your job adverts. From connecting with your target demographic to optimising your job postings, here are 7 essential tips on how to recruit in 2023.
1. Identify Your Ideal Candidates
Before you even start recruiting, take the time to research who your target audience is and what they’re looking for. This isn’t about demographics like “mum’s within a 5 mile radius”, it’s about their skills, career aspirations and values.
Knowing who you’re talking to will not only help make your job adverts more effective, it’ll enable you to build an audience of potential colleagues. Consider where potential candidates are likely to be looking. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and TikTok offer great ways to build an audience and engage with potential candidates. Depending on the nature of your business and your team, you may find the same content resonates with potential employees as potential customers.
2. Write Job Descriptions with Clear Goals in Mind
When it comes to recruiting, having a clear job description is essential for setting information about the position and desired candidate qualifications. Don’t just think about the tasks, consider those “soft skills” like communication and teamwork - what does this look like in your business and what are you expecting? Avoid terms like “flexibility” that are open to interpretation or be clear about what this means in your business.
A job description goes into detail about the role, what is expected and the skills and qualifications the ideal candidate will have, don’t just copy and paste this into the advert. An advert needs to attract attention, stop scrolling with an appealing headline and talk to what the reader is looking for. Once you’ve attracted attention and given them a reason to be interested in the role then you can provide the intricate details of the job description.
3. Create Compelling Employer Branding Content
As part of your recruiting process, it’s essential to create quality content that will engage your target audience. This includes employer branding content such as job descriptions, written or video testimonials from current employees, company information and values guide, and even a blog that shares news from the industry and helpful career tips. This type of material will help you stand out from other employers for potential candidates to take notice.
Provide information on your website about exactly what you’re looking for in the recruitment process and what the process will look like so people know exactly what to expect. There is a lot given away about what it’s like to work for you just in your process, there is no point hiding it - you want to attract the right people for you and if that means putting others off, that’s ok.
4. Take Advantage of Social Media to Connect with Top Talent
Social media provides a great opportunity to connect with potential job candidates. It’s ideal for standing out from the crowd and attracting those who want to drive their career forward with the best employers.
We’re not just talking platforms like LinkedIn. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube will all help you reach your ideal candidates, just like your customers it’s about knowing where your target audience is. Using content you can build an audience before you’ve got vacancies, which means when you do have a job to advertise you’ve got people just waiting for that opportunity.
Content may directly link to company culture and what it’s like to work in the company, but will also overlap with your product or service marketing. Content showing your values as a company will appeal to those who want to work for you as well as potential customers.
Not everyone who applies for a job with you will be actively seeking work, when you’ve got an audience of people who want to work for you, they’ll apply because you provide an advantage to their career. If they hadn’t seen your content, they wouldn’t know that.
5. Optimise Job Postings for Searchability Online
Think about SEO (search engine optimisation) when writing a job advert. Job adverts are exactly that “adverts” - they need to attract attention, get in front of the right people. Think about keywords, and target phrases in the job title. If you’re using job titles unique to your business and that make sense internally, don’t use these in your job adverts, use the titles people are searching for.
6. Adverts That Give People a Reason to Apply
Once you’ve got the search result or stopped the scroll you’ve got to keep them interested. The advert is about them, what are they looking for, how is your job answering the problem they’re currently facing. In most cases, that problem isn’t unemployment, the answer isn’t the job. The problem may be a lack of training, lack of opportunities to develop a particular skill, lack of flexibility - what is your company is offering that will make someone want to apply.
Whilst your advert should attract the right people for your business and it’s OK to repel people who may not be right (if you need people to attend a site in Scotland, you need to tell people so those who are too far away can rule themselves out). At the same time be careful to avoid discriminatory language. Discriminatory language can range from the very obvious, the job title “dinner lady” is highly likely to put men off applying - to the more subtle. Research has been done showing that language matters, with some language being found to put women off applying for roles.
7. Build Relationships with Colleges and Universities
Finally, building relationships with colleges and universities is a useful route for bringing in people with the right attitudes and foundational skills who can be trained up. Consider attending career fairs, providing internships and mentoring programs, become known as an employer of choice for those leaving education.
In conclusion, there is no quick fix to the challenge of recruiting. Just like putting out one advert is unlikely to create an influx of customers, one advert is going to struggle to bring you the talent you need. Recruitment is marketing, it’s a long term game. It’s about being known to the right people, attracting the right people, being there when people are searching for a role as well as attracting the interest of those who are not.
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