If you want to build the best possible team it is important to know how to attract the best candidates. Attracting the right people to your company can be very challenging, and once you’ve got them you want to hold on to them. We have put together this guide to help you out.

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How to attract the best candidates

Write descriptive and in-depth job adverts

If you want to attract candidates that have lots of the desired skills and experience for the role then make sure that you provide lots of detail about these in the job description. Start by providing some information about your company and why you stand out. Then provide an overview of what the role will involve, and what the candidate will be working on. Next, give a more in-depth breakdown of the responsibilities. This works well in bullet points. After the responsibilities, list your requirements. This could include a range of technical and ‘soft’ skills. Finally, detail the benefits of working in this role for you. Do you offer flexible working? Will there be regular reviews for pay raises and promotions? Do you encourage healthy lifestyles and include gym subscriptions? Are you family-friendly and offer things like childcare vouchers?

Make sure you offer competitive salaries

It is no lie that higher-paying jobs attract more applicants. If you have the budget to increase the salary slightly then that may be enough to attract some fantastic candidates. Make sure you research and stay on top of the salary expectations for different roles.

Another very important aspect of this is setting realistic expectations for what the salary will get you. If you are asking for a very high skilled candidate with niche requirements, then the salary needs to match this. If your salary is far too low, then the best candidates will be put off and go elsewhere.

Offer good benefits

According to this article half of employees would leave their current employment if they thought they could get a position elsewhere with more perks. The most popular perks are flexible working hours, bigger pension contributions and extra holiday. You should also take into consideration the age of the candidates you want to attract. For younger candidates, help with housing and unlimited holiday are huge bonuses. For older people, free tea and coffee, private healthcare and larger pension contributions are most desirable.

As people are expected to work longer and answer emails and calls outside of work, they demand more from companies. There are so many jobs out there now with these benefits and perks that to attract the best candidates you need to keep up.

Market the job

Start with two main questions. Who is your ideal employee? And what platforms will they be using to find you?

One of the most effective ways to get the best candidates is to really know them. Think of advertising the job like you would any other marketing campaign. Try and create an avatar for your ideal applicant like you would create a marketing avatar. Answer the following:

How old are they?

What gender are they?

Where do they live?

What kind of property do they live in?

Who do they live with?

Do they have children?

Are they married?

How do they get their news?

What hobbies do they have?

What are their worries for the future?

Here is a much more comprehensive list of questions. You don’t have to answer all of them, but the more you answer, the better you know who you’re targeting the better you can speak to them.

Once you’ve answered these, figure out which social media platforms they will use and promote the job on these. Remember that visual posts tend to do better than text ones.

Create a good reputation for yourself

If you have a great reputation as an employer, then it follows that more people will want to work for you. In the age of Glassdoor reviews, it is important to make sure people are being put off before even applying. The best way to do this is to take care of your employees. See our retaining talent section for ways to create a positive work environment. Word of mouth is a very powerful tool and should not be underestimated.

Give insights into what it’s like to work for you

Nowadays, many candidates search for a company on social media before interviews. Sites like Instagram and YouTube are a great place to give a little insight into what you’re like as a company. Try and make sure you communicate your company culture on there.

Act fast

Our final, and most important, point is when you find the right candidate, act fast. At Ignite we have seen many companies lose out on their ideal candidate simply because they weren’t quick enough. If you recognise that a candidate is great, other companies will do too! You don’t want them to beat you to it.

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Stamp out negative office behaviour

Your company may be brilliant on paper but if the office is not a working environment then a lot of people aren’t going to want to stick around. Make sure no employees aren’t facing racism, sexism or homophobia. This may not be blatant. Quite often these prejudices and biases can be institutional and go under the radar in companies that lack diversity. It could even be small things like having very traditionally ‘male’ orientated social events. Something like watching football at a pub every week may not suit everyone. Try and put on a range of activities and events where everyone will feel included.

Offer opportunities for progression and development

One of the things that is most integral in job satisfaction is having the opportunity to develop. Encourage learning and gaining new skills. Having regular one-to-ones opens up an opportunity to discuss performance, pay, concerns and promotion.

Be understanding

Being understanding and considerate of your employee’s personal situations can be key in retaining talent. If your employees have children, they will most likely be grateful for flexible working options. Employees facing a tough time in their personal life may really struggle for a while. If you show care and compassion in these situations they are much more likely to come out the other end happy and ready to give their all to their work again.

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Using a recruitment agency to source your candidates

At Ignite we are specialist recruiters for the tech, digital and data spheres. We have many years of combined experience working in this sector and have worked with many different clients over the years. These are our tips, from a recruiters perspective, for how to get the most out of your partnership.

Dedicate time to it

In our experience, the clients we have had the most success with are the ones who dedicate time to the recruitment process. If you have several roles to fill, then try and meet with your recruitment partner for a few hours to discuss them. Let them really get to know your company and your culture. When your recruiter sends over shortlists of candidates take time to look over this. Finally, give a lot of time over to the interview process. Finding the right candidate takes several stages of CV screening, phone interviews, and face to face interviews. Make sure that you also put time into providing detailed feedback so your recruiter knows what to change and improve.

Give a good detailed recruitment brief

The more information you give your recruiter regarding your role and requirements, the better their position will be when it comes to resourcing and filling your vacancy. Address the following points:

What is the reason for the vacancy?

Have you already made any efforts to fill it?

What will the interview process be like?

When do you expect to have the vacancy filled by?

What is the role and what are the responsibilities?

What do you offer?

You can find our in-depth guide here.

Offer a good fee

There’s a huge discrepancy between paying 8% and 25% recruitment fees. However, recruitment done well is far from a commodity service. Having to pay in the region of 8% to an agency may seem attractive initially (especially if you are on a limited budget). However, we would suggest adding more financial weight to your investment.

It is important to remember that recruiters only get paid if they place a candidate for you. It is a very time-intensive process. Picture this scenario…

An agency recruiter has a choice of two roles to choose from, they both pay £50,000 salary.

The two roles are from two different clients, one client has 15% terms agreed with the recruiter. This will result in a £7,500 fee for the agency and an extra £1500 for the recruiter in their monthly pay.

The other client has agreed to 20% terms. This is a 5% increase in fees for the client but represents a 25% increase in fees for the agency at £10,000 and an extra £500 commission for the recruiter.

The result of this means that the higher recruitment fee will be the priority every time!

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Putting this into practise

We hope you found these tips useful, now to put them into practise! If you need any specialist recruitment advice or help filling roles we would love to hear from you. You can get in contact here.

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

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