Recruiting? How to stand out in a flooded job market and reach candidates.

From For employers category

Job postings are continuing in a upward trajectory as more and more employers find themselves in need of new staff. What are the figures and what does it mean for employers?

The latest REC report showed available jobs in the South East, including Kent, increasing by 45.8% when compared with the end of December.

Their report showed an increase of 67% across the UK when compared with mid-January – that’s 729,497 more jobs available now than only 7 weeks ago! For Warehouse Workers, this increase was less, but there was still an increase of 8.8% job postings for this role alone.

So what does this mean for Employers?

If you are looking to hire new staff, you need to be aware that candidates quite frankly have more choice. You need them to choose you, and, anecdotally, backed-up by a reports of over 40% of workers considering leaving their current role, people are being less brand loyal. This means that your company name and brand alone are unlikely to sway the decision by itself.

So, how can you stand out amongst all of these other job adverts, fighting over the same candidates?

1. A clear and fair offer

Salaries are increasing and companies are getting more creative in what they are offering to potential employees.

If your job ad says that you offer “competitive rates of pay” then make sure that you tick off these two things:

  1. If you are not advertising the pay rates, or at least an honest pay bracket, make sure that you do. (You can get more of my opinion on this here: )
  2. Have a look at other job adverts in your area and see what they are paying – is your pay offer actually competitive, or is it average?

With ever increasing employment costs, it’s difficult to balance this with your employees rising costs of living.

2. Lifestyle offer and working conditions

Candidates are asking for more than just an increase in salary. Conditions within their contract and other benefits are being looked at and negotiated more than ever.

Listen to candidates and your current team, and find out what matters to them. This will help with employee retention too. You might even be surprised by some of the answers you get, and some suggestions might not cost you a penny more.

Here are some recent examples and success stories:

  1. We had two clients in one area offering vastly different conditions for the same role. One offered a higher pay rate, paid travel time between clients, a minimum guarantee of hours written in to the contract, paid training up to NVQ level 5 and flexibility around working hours. The other did not. Which did the candidates go to?
  2. A warehousing / online retailer client offered pay rates above the current market to their warehouse order pickers, along with truly flexible working arrangements, early finishes without losing pay when orders have been dispatched, private medical and dental cover, annual leave entitlements over and above the legal requirement and real autonomy to make a difference to company growth and performance. They saw applicant numbers at 10.7x the amount received by other similar roles in the area that only offered standard pay rates and terms.

3. Sell the opportunity

Historically, job ads might focus on the duties involved and the skills requirement. Now, you need to place more weighting on the benefits to the candidate, the lifestyle, the culture, anything that will persuade a candidate to apply for your job vacancy over the other 1,817,674 job adverts out at the point of writing this.

Be honest with yourself. If you litter an advert with words like “fantastic opportunity”, “market leading company” and “family-feel”, what does this actually mean to potential candidates? Could you be more specific and less generic?

Have conversations with candidates about what they are looking for, and focus a good amount of your conversation on them rather than on what you will demand from them.

4. Exposure, Exposure, Exposure

Putting together an attractive job ad is great, but completely useless if no one actually sees it.

With more and more adverts being shown to candidates as they search for their next career opportunity, being seen enough to generate applicants is itself a science. You want your job ad to end up in front of as many job seekers as possible.

But how can this be done reliably?

  • Job boards.

Using not only more job boards, but also the right job boards for your sector, will increase exposure. This is an expensive way of doing it, so using an agency that already has access to these job boards may be worth considering.

You also need to make sure that your job ad appears in enough searches when candidates search their chosen job boards. Write your ad copy with search algorithms in mind. Could you potentially alter a job title? Are you using key words effectively? Have you taken the time to work on the SEO of that job posting?

  • Your own website.

How does your current careers page perform online? Can you increase online exposure outside of job boards and do it more organically? As a recruitment agency, this is something we focus a lot of our energy on, and we’re pleased to say that our website performs as well as many larger job boards.

  • Social Media.

Are your social media posts about current vacancies being seen enough? Track engagement and make your social media presence work for you when you post job adverts online. Do they attract the same success as some of your product posts? How many potential candidates actually click through to your full job post? You cant rely on your usual followers here – you need to get your ad in front of people that are actively looking for work in your sector. Followers that may usually buy from you may not be interested in working for you. We focus a lot of our energy on getting visually grabbing adverts in front of people that are actively searching for work.

  • Candidate networking.

You might be fortunate enough to have access to a network or database of active candidates. If so, use them! If not, contact an agency that has one. Remember, despite them being warm candidate leads, they may not be interested and you’ll still need to sell the opportunity.

5. Be quick about it!

With more opportunities available to candidates, it is unlikely that your vacancy is the only one that they have applied for. Be quick about getting back to applicants, meeting them and making an offer.

We’ve seen companies with multiple interview stages, several hoops to jump through and drawn out decision making and negotiation processes miss out on their ideal candidates because another company offered them exactly what they wanted after one interview within 24 hours.

Streamline your candidate journey from the point they apply to the point that they start their employment with you.

How can you do all this alongside running your business?

If you’re struggling to generate a large enough volume of candidate applications, then the above tips will certainly help. However, it is time consuming and at times expensive. That’s where we come in!

We can consult on market trends, helping you to make sure that your offer is worth a candidate’s time. We can get your job vacancy seen by even more candidates, leading to even more applications. We can save you a lot of time with sifting through CVs and initial shortlisting too, which not only frees you up, it also speeds up the candidate journey and prevents them from going elsewhere before you get a look in. We can keep candidates engaged throughout the process and minimise the risk of them going elsewhere.

To find out more about how we can help you find more high-quality candidates, and find them faster, contact James on 01227 369922 or email [email protected].

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Kent Recruitment Agency

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