Attracting the best candidates means standing out from your competitors. To do this, you should streamline your recruitment process, improve transparency, go global, outperform your competition, and prioritize your reputation and Employer Branding. By implementing these strategies, you'll be able to attract a broader and more talented range of candidates and make your selection process more enriching.
This article is part of the Talenthub series on Everything You Need to Know About Recruitment Analytics.
Every company dreams of an office full of productive, motivated and happy employees. Yet, many recruitment teams still don’t realize the key role the recruitment process itself plays in making this dream a reality.
That’s why the hunt for the best candidates to fill their open positions is critical. Unfortunately, the overcrowded and highly competitive job market makes it all the more difficult for businesses to assemble the workforce of their dreams.
Read More: What is Candidate Experience and Why is it Relevant in 2023?
Currently, 59% of European employers face difficulty when attracting qualified candidates for their open positions.
But the logic here is simple: the best candidates want to work for the best companies. And in a candidate-centric job market, your competitive edge becomes the recruitment process itself.
- Simplify the Recruitment Process
- Be More Transparent
- Consider Hiring for Hybrid or Fully Remote Positions
- Get Ahead of Competition
- Work on Your Reputation
- Showcase Employees as Brand Ambassadors
- Collect and Act on Feedback
- Share Employee Stories
- In Short
1. Simplify the Recruitment Process
Making the recruitment process “simpler” ≠ lowering your standards.
But, while being selective in searching for the right new hire is important, you should not make the candidates jump through hoops to get to the offer stage.
An efficient recruitment process allows applicants to demonstrate the value they bring to the company well enough for the hiring manager to make an easy, value-based decision.
For example, 73% of job seekers would abandon an application midway through, if the process took them over 15 minutes. Evidently, the key to success is in the accessibility of the process as a whole.
But how to make sure the recruitment process is optimized?
Ensure the Job Specification is Easy to Understand
A good job description is simple, clear and to the point. This is your opportunity to be specific and attract the perfect candidate for the job. Don’t be too fluffy and don’t overuse company-specific jargon. It’s not inclusive.
Make sure the following questions are answered well:
- What does the ideal candidate need to have?
- What are expected everyday tasks?
- What can you offer the candidate?
Read More: A Guide to Writing the Perfect Job Ad (in 5 Steps)
Focus on Accessibility
When searching for jobs, active job seekers often scroll through hundreds of websites in search of the career site. To ensure higher conversion rates, offer the opportunity to find your careers page at the front and center of your website.
Our Candidate Experience Managers suggest including a clear link to the careers page in the footer of your website. Clearly highlighting the fact you’re hiring is even better.
Don’t Overload the Application with Unnecessary Forms
Keep the application submission process as simple as possible. No surprises on the second page, no manual CV resubmission. Make sure the candidates can enter an application process prepared and get the “submit” button easily.
Read More: 4 Ways to Improve Your Candidate Application Process
Be Personal and Friendly in Your Communication
Use every communication touchpoint to make the candidate feel comfortable and start creating positive Candidate Experience from the moment they press “apply” on the careers site.
Read More: 21 Email Templates to Optimize Your Candidate Journey
2. Be More Transparent
According to Glassdoor, 96% of candidates want to work for a company that embraces transparency. Obviously. Who wouldn’t?
This does not only refer to transparency of company values, culture, performance or working environment, but also to the transparency of the recruitment process.
You can easily increase candidate engagement by being explicit about expectations and the recruitment process at every stage. Consider the following to make “transparent” part of your company’s Employer Value Proposition (EVP):
Make it easier for candidates to find out more about the company and the job they’re applying for
By opening up a channel for candidates to easily communicate with a knowledgeable representative at the company, you will increase the chances of more qualified candidates entering the recruitment funnel.
Give the perfect candidates a chance to engage throughout the process
Candidates with questions and a desire to learn about the company tend to convert into productive and motivated hires. Establishing a clear way for those candidates to easily reach out helps companies connect with the ideal candidate, all the while promoting transparency.
Don’t let the communication be one-sided
Being transparent with candidates throughout the recruitment stages is not a one-sided process. Successful companies provide an infrastructure that promotes a natural, friendly and respectful communication flow.
Check in with candidates at every stage, share company news and information about the upcoming stages. Use every stage of the candidate journey as an opportunity to connect to give candidates a warm and personal experience from start to finish. This can deepen the candidates’ interest in the company, despite the outcome of the current recruitment process.
Provide a timeline at the beginning of the process. And stick to it
Offering concrete time frames for when the candidate can expect news on their application reconciles expectations, enhances transparency and strengthens their relationship with the company.
Transparency in the recruitment process helps you keep candidates engaged from the start. This is because you’re not only showing respect and interest in the candidates, but providing them with an active role in the process. This way, they feel more involved and excited for what’s to come.
3. Consider Hiring for Hybrid or Fully Remote Positions
In 2023, the world is truly your oyster. Technology and globalization have “shrunk” the world to the point where companies are turning more and more to fully remote positions to maximize employee productivity and potential.
In fact, a PwC survey showed that 78% of employers believe that remote collaboration is here to stay for companies who want to strengthen their operations.
Limiting your recruitment process within the geographical location of your office significantly lowers the chance of finding the perfect candidate for the job you’ve been trying to fill for a while.
Instead, widening your hiring efforts to include applications from talented candidates across the globe (or the country, if you’d rather start small) can only be a win for the business.
Plus, by expanding your search can also expand brand recognition into other profitable markets. More positive exposure does not only bring about more great candidates, but also more business opportunities.
4. Get Ahead of Competition
Let’s face it: the more successful the company, the easier it is for it to attract the most talented candidates.
If you’re a globally-recognized brand with cool products, like Nike, Disney or Google, there’s a higher chance that your talent pool is overflowing with qualified and motivated candidates.
In reality, not every company can attract candidates purely for the fact that they are “that” company. But it’s always good to aspire to be like them.
Set your targets high, drive progress and showcase your accomplishments for the world to see. Share your vision, mission and purpose on Social Media, make your working culture known to everybody and excel in the recruitment process to get your company on every job seeker’s tongue.
Actually, 40% of millennials value Market Reputation and Employer Brand as the most important factor when considering applying for a job. This is what will set you apart from competition on all fronts.
5. Work on Your Reputation
Your company’s reputation, both as a business and a potential employer, play a significant role in talent acquisition. Candidates want to work for companies that treat their employees right and do something good for the world. Easy does it, right?
In fact, as many as every 1 in 2 candidates would not accept a job offer if the company had a negative reputation. To illustrate this further, organizations that invest in Employer Branding are 3x more likely to increase their quality of hire.
Reading and hearing positive things about an employer is a precious catalyst to boosting candidate interest when researching potential employers.
Getting ahead of competition can be hard when companies across the globe are beginning to offer similar employee benefits. But EVP is just as much about marketing as regular business.
Ultimately, an Employer Branding strategy is a great step to increasing your talent acquisition efficiency.
6. Showcase Employees as Brand Ambassadors
Building your brand and reputation as an employer does not stop at nailing the Candidate Experience during the recruitment process. It also roots from the way you treat and showcase your existing employees.
People want to feel proud of where they work. And 44% of candidates base their decision whether to apply for a position on the company’s culture and ethics (with 27% focusing on ethics and 17% prioritizing a positive working environment).
Job seekers want to be sure that their future workplace and its culture match their values and personality. You’ll attract more qualified candidates if you make this judgment easy.
Set a Standard by Taking Care of Your Employees
Ensuring that all your employees are thriving in the workplace does not only make your workforce more productive (duh!), but also makes them ambassadors for all future hires joining their team.
When your teams are happy, they are more invested in the success of your organization. But how can they help with hiring?
A happy staff member will:
- Promote their employer’s job openings to their network
- Make use of the referral program
- Spread the word about your working culture, improving your Employer Brand
- Eagerly participate in providing content, such as employee testimonials or video features, used to promote job openings in their department
Share Your Happy Employees’ Experience For the World to See
Consider the following examples of employee ambassador content to boost Employer Branding:
- Share employee testimonials and/or features on Social Media and boost your Social Media presence
- Include “Day in the life of a…” videos in your job ads. In fact, job posts that contain a video have an increased conversion rate of 34%.
- Make it easier for candidates to imagine themselves working for you by showcasing the everyday of working at your company.
- Post photos and videos of social events at the office.
By making your employees ambassadors, you’re not only attracting new hires but also ensuring higher retention rates.
7. Collect and Act on Employee and Candidate Feedback
Insights from current employees and candidates going through the recruitment process are key to optimizing your recruitment efforts.
Survey Your Current Employees
Your employees are the ones who understand your organization from the inside. They know what the company does to brand itself and can take an active role in its promotion.
And most importantly: they are aware of their own and their colleagues’ feelings towards the company.
By reaching out to current employees, you can get an overview of your company culture. Is there anything you should focus more on to provide the most productive and stress-free environment for every team member? How can you make sure to set your new hires up for success once they join the company?
Survey the Candidates at Every Stage of the Recruitment Process
Reaching out to candidates can help you understand what drew them into applying for a position at your company. It can also help you see whether the recruitment process itself attracts or detracts job seekers from applying.
This way, you can not only identify operational opportunities for improvement, but also pinpoint patterns that lead you to attract and hire the most qualified candidates.
For example, you can test different ways of communicating and pick the tone of voice that draws in the most significant number of candidates. With this information, you can focus and evolve the company’s Employer Branding strategy.
Be prepared for some of the feedback to be negative (especially from unsuccessful candidates). However, this is the feedback that is the most significant if you want to improve the results of your talent acquisition strategy.
8. Share Employee Stories
Good stories attract great candidates. If you want to start attracting the right people for your job openings, you should start by boosting their awareness of your organization. Promote your hard work, results and people-oriented approach.
A Glassdoor survey showed that 69% of job seekers would rather work for a company that actively develops its Employer Brand. Either through consistently enriching their company profile, answering job- and work environment-related questions on social media or sharing employee stories.
By actively seeking out ways to organically connect with candidates, you draw more and more of them into your orbit.
Since capturing the attention of both active and passive job seekers is not exactly easy, especially with such widespread competition on the job market, you have to be creative in your approach.
Leverage Social Media
Nowadays, the use of social media is ubiquitous. Not only by private users sharing holiday photos with their friends and family or content creators making it their main income stream, but also by companies wanting to increase their revenue and attract job seekers to apply for their open positions.
Lucky for them, because 74% of job seekers have been found to use social media in their job search (with the number rising to 86% among younger job seekers). And the online world is where the hearts and minds of candidates thrive.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even LinkedIn give your company to present itself from a more personable side. It’s time to understand that people are attracted to… people, rather than to faceless and unreachable organizations.
Social media is the perfect medium for storytelling. It is a free advertising platform, where you can present your workplace to the world from the best side.
Happy faces, successes, positive growth and support schemes are all powerful messages to anybody who considers applying for a position at your organization. And it might be what pushes them over the edge to clicking that “apply” button, or even accepting an offer at the end of the process.
Understand Your Ideal Candidates
By understanding and pinpointing your “ideal” candidate, you will be able to design a recruitment strategy that caters towards them. If you analyze the “perfect” candidate’s behavior throughout the recruitment funnel and fine-tune your messaging accordingly, suddenly all the candidates applying for open positions will be qualified.
To stand out and attract the best candidates, you need to take your recruitment strategy to the next level. This includes:
- Streamline your recruitment process to appeal to more candidates.
- Improve the transparency of your organization to show candidates a different side of you.
- Go global in your search for candidates to access a wider talent pool.
- Outperform your competition to increase positive focus and attention on your company.
- Prioritize your reputation and employer branding to attract top-tier talent.
- Use a variety of communication mediums and employee feedback to build a unique brand.
- Boost awareness and consideration among candidates by sharing your stories.
By implementing these approaches, you'll be able to attract a broader and more suitable range of candidates. When candidates are searching for new jobs, they'll be fully aware of the type of organization you are and why you're the best place for them. Don't settle for average – aim to be extraordinary and attract the best!