HR & Management

Struggling to attract talent? Get some tips from the experts

6 min read

17 January 2018

There is no doubting that recruitment is the bugbear of many managers lives. If you find that you can't quite attract talent, you are definitely not alone.

A survey conducted by Forde HR Cloud has revealed that a staggering 69 per cent of businesses struggle to attract talent. This is largely attributed to a lack of applications, as well as candidates not having the required skills and experience.

Striving to help businesses overcome HR challenges, Forde HR Cloud compiled tips and advice from experienced recruiting managers and HR professionals. Here is what they had to say.

Focus on the impact

According to Perry Timms, chartered MCIPD, founder and chief energy officer at PTHR: “Describing the impact a role has can be of more value than a list of competencies, and a range of accountabilities.”

Most companies list the duties associated with the role and what the essential/ desirable criteria are, but very few talk about the impact the role will have. Candidates will be more interested in applying, if they can see the full picture.

For example, the role might help companies to improve services or operate more efficiently, saving money. Whatever it may be, it will be of more interest if the candidate understands where they fit in to the overall goals of the organisation.

Incorporate keywords

“People are more likely to apply for the first three jobs that match their search criteria, so make sure your ad shows up in their searches by smartly using keywords,” said Kunjal Tanna, director of LT Harper.

There is no point in having a great ad and job description if no one can find it, so make sure you use keywords throughout. Candidates search for specific job titles and/or skills and if they can’t easily find you, they will apply elsewhere. The job description and ad should be enticing, but should still incorporate the basic keywords associated with the role.

Be honest

“If a company is struggling to recruit, or the company needs to recruit with a sense of urgency,” Rebecca Clough, managing director of In Car Safety Centre, made clear, “it might be tempting to exaggerate the positives of the role and/or gloss over mundane expectations. Whilst this may help attract talent, it may also increase your turnover rates if new staff feel duped.”

It is one thing to attract talent, but another to hook the right ones. If you don’t want to be constantly caught in a treadmill of recruiting for the same jobs, make sure you are honest about the job and what it entails, even the “not so glamorous” aspects of it. It can be easy to focus on just getting applications in, especially if you are struggling, but this can cause your retention rates to reduce.

Offer a great candidate experience

Tim Fouracre, founder and CEO at Clearbooks and Countingup, explained: “You may think the ball is in your court with candidates wanting your job opening, but for the excellent people that your organisation really needs, you have to give an excellent impression at every step of the hiring process.”

The recruitment process begins with the advert and job description, but there are many other elements of it. If you want to attract talent, you need to focus your efforts on ensuring they have an enjoyable experience throughout. Communicate with them, respond in a timely manner, be positive and upbeat. Give clear timelines for feedback, interviews and offers. Manage their expectations and you will find your recruitment efforts will greatly improve.

Understand the role

“Make sure the person handling recruitment has a fair understanding of the role they are recruiting for,” Leon Brown, education content developer and MD of NextPoint Software, added. “Seems obvious enough, but it is often overlooked. This is particularly relevant to SMEs, where businesses are often niche and specialist in nature.”

Regardless of whether you have your own in-house recruitment team or you use recruitment agencies, make sure the role is fully understood. Quite often SMEs will hand recruitment over to agencies, but do you take the time to sit down and explain the job to the recruiter? Probably not and in some ways, who could blame you, you expect the recruiter to be a specialist after all!

However, if the role is niche and specific, it needs additional explanation. It is important that the recruiter has as much information as possible. Without the right information, your recruitment efforts could be hindered.

This article was produced by Forde HR Cloud, a HRIT platform that uses the most advanced cloud technology to bring a virtual HR office to start-ups and SMEs.