I came into the Recruitment Industry in the early part of 2000. Being new to the industry, I had a lot to learn and needed to figure out how I could use my previous skills and experiences from my previous roles. My first experience was at what was then one of the largest, if not the largest, independent recruitment agencies in Kent. The office was located on a prominent high street location with hundreds and hundreds of potential candidates walking past the office each day. Having a pub opposite and an amazing café also nearby increased the amount of footfall that would pass our office each day.
The one thing I found easy to pick up was how to recruit staff. When I first started within the industry, everything was so simple and black and white. If you needed someone to put a round peg in a square hole, that’s what you advertised for. It was very simple…
Job title: Round Peg Square Hole Operative
Basic role: To place a round Peg into a square hole
Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm
Location: Any Town
That’s all people were really interested in.
Excluding the local newspapers, we didn’t really use any paid advertising as, in the early part of 2000, the internet and social media wasn’t in use as much as it is today, so we relied heavily on passing trade. Every time we needed to recruit staff, we used one of our advert display slots in the window, and very quickly people would come in to express their interest. Phone calls from prospective candidates was very minimal, but I would estimate that we would have had 20+ people walk in per day that had noticed a basic vacancy advert in our shopfront display.
Fast Forward 20 years and finding where best to place a vacancy to actually be seen is like trying to find a parking spot at a Shopping Centre in December. Things have changed so much from my early career in Recruitment back in the early 2000’s. As an industry, we now have so many different advertising platforms to choose from, whether paid or free, and we have to be mindful which channels are used to attract the right type of worker for the specific role we are advertising for. Every job board claims to be number 1 and job boards alone aren’t likely to create the results that you wanted. You’ll most likely need to advertise on more than one avenue to maximise your audience!
And it doesn’t just stop there! Vacancy posts must now have as much detail added to them as possible. Gone is the day of a one liner, now it’s all about
Job title, location, responsibilities, duties, purpose of the role, pay, benefits, work pattern, shift pattern, holiday entitlement, bank holiday working, if overtime is available, and if so how much is the pay, person specification, why it’s a great place to work, brief history of the company you are advertising for…
But it doesn’t just stop there either! Once you’ve written an essay to attract candidates, you have to ensure that your adverts are worded in a way that can maximise Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), not just for search engines but also so that if you are using a job board, candidates find your vacancy on there when they search for your key words there too.
At the start of this post, I mentioned about placing vacancies in the shop window, and after 20 years’ we still use this method. Our office is situated on a main high street location, but habits have changed – walk ins are less and less, phone calls are on the increase, and to be honest most people who now read our window ads are stalling time and wonder what the A4 bits of paper hanging in a window are for. We’re an established brand that have been around a long time, still using some traditional methods but excitedly keeping up with the new ways of doing things alongside these.
Much more time is spent today planning and executing job ads than ever before. Resourcing for a candidate has become a science and a fulltime job, with more and more businesses using an agency to do this part for them to save time and increase the volume of candidates they’ll receive.
I can’t help but wonder: has technology made it easier or harder to find jobs and post jobs; are there too many job sites and avenues out there than we need, or have they all become necessary to stay one step ahead of our competition and be seen by candidates and customers alike? Either way, the landscape has changed, and we need to continue to keep up with new ways of resourcing candidates if we are to stay ahead.