Attracting Candidates (Feast & Famine) How do you attract the talent you need for your business?[Posted 07/01/2020 11:40]

Your role is LIVE on the job board. You have spent a couple of hours writing and editing the vacancy advert. Making sure it has all the technical and compliance information, the corporate branding, the correct contact details. Now you can just sit back and wait for the perfect candidate to come through the portal, straight into your inbox EASY.

You check in a few hours later. Nothing. Still there are 28 days…

One of the frustrations for businesses and the issue we are presented with time and again, is how to attract a decent selection of suitable candidates into organisations?

You would like to think that the perfect candidate is just waiting for your role to become available so they can jump to it and apply right away. You just type up a quick advert with everything you need and “voila” candidates will rush to you…

The reality can be very different. As a recruiter, candidate attraction and engagement are the life blood of our business, ongoing every day. You can have a dozen roles, but with no suitable candidates, you will fill NONE.


Let us have a quick look at the numbers….

Small businesses account for 95% of all private sector businesses with 76% national employment rates (only 3.8% unemployment) and total employment in SMEs over 16.3 million (60% of all private sector employment in the UK) the competition for talented staff is fierce.


The key to successful attraction, engagement and recruitment of the talent you need is simple…Your Employer Brand… Your EVP, Employee Value Proposition.

It is a very broad subject, but there can be no doubt that the recruitment process is part of this value. You may not be aware, but your reputation as a recruiter and employer will spread amongst candidates and quickly….

It may not always be easy, or seem like a priority, but developing your employer brand can have such positive impacts on other areas of your business. Being an employer and a good one is a challenge and should be celebrated.

Businesses often overlook the background activities needed to present their business as an attractive place to work.

When you ask when they need someone to start the reply is usually ‘as quick as possible’ 

In a highly competitive, full employment market this can prove to be frustrating. You need to remember you are not ‘doing them a favour by interviewing them’.


Then there is the other end of the spectrum when you have what seems like a simple role to fill and you are inundated by candidates. For certain generalist roles we have closed off at over 200 candidates. How do you manage this kind of candidate overwhelm?


You have entered the wonderful world of recruitment where EVERY candidate is different. 

If you are a growing business and likely to be looking for staff over the coming year, talent acquisition must be at least a small part of your business activity, especially for key roles. Building a potential candidate pipeline will always pay back when you most need it.

Think of your recruitment as a marketing campaign. Your potential candidates as your ‘best customer’

Here are some ideas on how to make sure the candidate experience reflects the quality of your company


What are the skills, values, experiences abilities & capabilities that you require?

*The more details here the better


*Do include the key attributes you need, but the ads are all about the candidate.


*Candidates should know what to expect and have every opportunity to shine. (NB Feedback is ESSENTIAL!)


*Engagement emails, starter packs, an invite to a social, buddying system.


*Settling your new staff member into your business will be the best investment.


They will be more productive, embedded and ‘part of the team’ quicker. Here is where you truly make your staff sticky

The main thing to do to attract and recruit the best staff for your business is to highlight the benefits of working for your company.

The process should be robust & Include assessments for essential skills; however, it should be the same process for every candidate.


List reasons why you would make the best employer.

Take a look a The Times Best Companies List for some ideas on what matters to employees:

You could bring this all together in a Company Profile for candidates. You can also include in your marketing some staff testimonials and spotlights on your staff. Here are some key areas to cover.

  • A clearly defined role with meaning full work (Your company vision)
  • Ongoing training (self-development is a key area of importance for most people)
  • Easy to reach. Public transport / Parking
  • Part of success ongoing career development
  • Growing, exciting
  • Vision
  • Authentic
  • Award winning
  • Progression

Now you need to find where your candidates will be and focus on these areas. Make sure you include a small advert with your own marketing. If you are feeling really brave you could make a short video

  • Job Boards
  • Adverts
  • Your own website
  • Staff referral scheme
  • Social Media
  • Local Community Websites & Groups
  • Connections
  • Graduates
  • Apprenticeships
  • Linked In
  • Job Centre

Too many candidates may seem like a dream but not necessarily as all must be administered. Candidates now have one click applications available and are out of area, salary or a not having a key specific requirement for the job (i.e. driving license)

One of the major skills of an experienced recruiter is that they can scan main details on a job boards or CV in seconds. There are automated systems Ai that do this, but for those organizations who do not have the need for that level of recruitment a keen trained recruiting eye can save them hours.

You can search in CV’s for one specific word or phrase or essential skill and if zero references in the CV to that term, it is unlikely that the candidate has the right skill base

If the role is a broad one, it is worth adding a note at the bottom of the advert. Thank you for your interest in the role, if we have not responded within 7 days you have not been successful on this occasion.

All candidates who are contacted and screened but not selected, must receive a polite ‘Rejection email’ 

Invite to a 1st stage group interview wherever possible. Make sure you ask them to CONFIRM THEIR ATTENDANCE (1 IN 5 RESPOND, 1 IN 3 GENERALLY ATTEND)

As with the implementation of any plan that focuses on a specific goal or outcome, it needs to be regularly reviewed until completion.

Make the role a business priority

If things are not going to plan and the ‘stats’ do not add up, review adapt adjust & tweak.

The reality about this essential business function is that it NEVER STOPS. As sure as the need to pay business tax. …..

The only difference is that there is pleasure from connecting with humans 😊

Recruitment never ends,

So, make your staff sticky.

If you would like to discuss anything form the WONDERFUL WORLD OF RECRUITMENT, WE ARE HAPPY TO HELP.

Just give us a call or book a consultation. We offer FREE 30-minute Initial Consultations

0800 3689456

We help our clients recruit like the experts.