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December 8, 2016

How To Make Your Firm Attractive To Potential Hires

We are facing an increasingly widening national skills shortage. In a 2016 Confederation of British Industry survey, 69% of UK businesses admitted that they are worried about not being able to find enough highly-skilled staff, rising from 55% the year before[1]. With businesses increasingly competing for this top talent, you need to know how to make your firm attractive to potential hires.

RecruitmentThe key to drawing top talent, is to give employees what they want, incentivising them to work for you over a competitor. According to Indeed, pay is still important to employees. Three fifths of those surveyed by the jobs site said that pay and compensation is the most important factor they take into consideration when they are looking for jobs. But what if you cannot afford to offer high wages?

Pay is not the only important consideration for job seekers. You could, for example, offer perks like flexible working hours, which 41% of those surveyed by Indeed admitted have attracted them to a job. It is key that you highlight the perks and benefits when writing job descriptions, but you must also ensure that your vacancies come to the attention of job seekers, for this strategy to prove effective.

Advertising vacancies

You would be advised to advertise your vacancies online, where job seekers are increasingly going to search for new roles. You may want to promote new roles on popular jobs sites like Indeed, Total Jobs, Reed and Glassdoor. Indeed, for example, now attracts over 200m unique visitors per month[2], so by advertising on this portal, you can ensure your job description is seen by a vast audience.

It is essential that you promote your open vacancies on social media sites. According to Aberdeen Group[3], 73% of UK-based 18 to 34 year olds found their last job through social media. LinkedIn, the social media site for professionals, can prove particularly valuable. It has over 400m users and contains tools to help you find employees.[4] You can buy LinkedIn job slots, which advertise your vacancy, allow you to change it as often as you like and send applicants straight to your tracking system.

Also ensure that any vacancies you post online can be viewed by applicants via mobile. Figures from Beyond[5] indicate that 77% of job seekers now use smartphones to look for positions, with 36.27% saying that this gives them the ability to react to new job postings quickly. Therefore, you should also ensure your company website is mobile-friendly, so it appears prominently in Google searches, allowing candidates to learn about your firm easily. Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to check this.

Value of reputation

It is key to remember that Google sees the information relayed on social media sites and job portals as credible sources of information, so it rewards these platforms in search rankings. This means that vacancies posted on these sites will rank prominently on Google searches for your name, but so will any negative content concerning your company. The first page of a Google search accounts for 92% of traffic, so this content is likely to be seen by potential hires, damaging your reputation online.

According to Ranstad[6], a human resources provider, 96% of new employees want to work for companies that treat their staff well. Meanwhile, 86% believe it is important for their new employer to have a good reputation in their community. Therefore, if potential hires find negative content when searching for your company online, they are less likely to apply for the vacancy in question.

Top companies

If you want to attract top talent, you need to develop a reputation as being a good company to work for. Here you might want to look at jobs website Glassdoor’s recently-released top ten companies to work for in 2017 research. Grading firms on a scale of 0 – 5, Glassdoor named Expedia the best company to for, for the second year running, awarding the travel business a score of 4.3.

Expedia was lauded for its staff benefits structure, company ethos and career development prospects. Commenting, Expedia’s Senior Vice-President of Retail, Gary Morrison, said: “One of the main reasons our employees love working here is they are given a voice to directly shape our path and are invested in our success, We empower everyone at all levels to share their ideas and test and learn new ways to make the travel experience better, which, in turn, fosters a creative work environment.”

Microchip developer ARM Holdings came second. The firm was heralded by employees for its “great” company atmosphere, clear communication between staff and managers, training programmes and career development opportunity. Rounding out the top three was home insurance provider Home Serve UK. Speaking out, its Chief Marketing Officer, Greg Reed, said: “We have worked tirelessly to create an exceptional culture, one which is based on a really simple philosophy: you take care of your people, they will take care of your customers and the rest will take care of itself.”

Strategic hiring

An employee from engineering consultancy Mott McDonald, summed up what top talent wants. They said that Mott McDonald is “a firm that you join for a career and not a job.” Yes, financial factors such as salaries and benefits are still big draws. However, the reason that people want to work at firms like Expedia and ARM Holdings, is that they provide the training and progression opportunities people want to advance their careers, along with the favourable business environment they need to excel.

When developing your strategic hiring plan, ask yourself how you can provide the career progression opportunities that top talent craves. Survey your existing employees and ask them what made them want to work for you and what they like about being a member of your team. Also send out polls to industry professionals via services such as Survey Money to assess wider opinion. With this information, you can ensure that your company appeals to skilled candidates online.

Footnotes

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36783460

[2] http://blog.indeed.co.uk/2016/02/08/indeed-hits-record-200-million-unique-visitors/

[3] http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/getting-social-media-recruitment-right

[4] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243441

[5] http://about.beyond.com/infographics/mobile-job-search-apps

[6] https://www.randstadusa.com/about/news/company-culture-and-reputation-important-in-attracting-potential-employees/

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