When recruiting for your company, you must become an employer of choice. Candidates will not rely on your job offer, especially top candidates with specific employer requirements. So, what can you do as a company to stand out from the competition?
Why become an employer of choice?
In the new world of work, recruiting is a candidates market. The Coronavirus pandemic and Brexit had a significant impact, with a big rise in job vacancies.
Evidently, demand for skilled workers continues to increase. As revealed by the Office for National Statistics, the number of job vacancies in March to May 2022 continued to rise to a new record high of 1,300,000. In comparison, this an increase of 503,900 from the pre-coronavirus period of January to March 2020. In reality, this means there are over half a million fewer people in the labour force than before the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic and Furlough have certainly affected employees' views. For example, they now expect flexible working and more competitive salaries.
So, as an employer, how do you stand out from your competition? Moreover, how can you make sure candidates choose YOU and YOUR company over others they are currently seeking job opportunities with?
There are simple steps you can follow. Of course, some investment may be needed, but it will be well worth the effort.
The essential things you should be doing.
If you are not a household name, don't be put off thinking this does apply to you. You do not have to be a 'well-known' brand to become an employer of choice. If you are a less well known company it doesn't mean that candidates will not want to work for you.
The basic starting point to be more attractive to candidates, is to ensure that you:
- Look after your staff.
- Pay competitive salaries.
- Reward your staff.
Rewards could, for example, be through offering a suitable work-life balance or relevant training and development. In addition, it is essential to pay enough to attract and keep the right people.
Adapt to become an employer of choice.
There is no getting away from the fact that the new world of work demands you do more to attract and retain the right talent. Thus it follows that to become an employer of choice, you must focus on what your potential employees want.
The following have become essential factors for potential employees seeking employment. In other words, what candidates want.
What candidates want.
- 1A competitive salary/package (including wellness and training).
- 2Genuine career path opportunities.
- 3Company values admired by both customers and candidates.
- 4Culture and environmental empathy and action. Indeed, making a positive impact on people and planet issues has become important.
- 5Brand awareness.
- 6Reward and recognition.
- 7A good work/life balance (such as working from home initiatives)
- 8An efficient and inspiring recruitment process.
The current recruitment marketplace.
According to the The Recruitment & Employment Confederation, despite the unemployment rate being at 4.5% between June to August 2021, active job adverts in the UK were at an ultimate high (2.29 million in October 2021).
We highlight below the key indicators for you to consider in your quest to become an employer of choice below.
UK Recruitment Key Indicators:
1. Employers' Biggest Shortage Concerns
2. The Impact of labour and skills shortages
The percentage of employers concerned about availability of candidates for permanent hire.
THE PERCENTAGE OF THE CURRENT JOB MARKET WHICH IS CANDIDATE DRIVEN.
CANDIDATES ARE BECOMING YOUR 'CUSTOMERS'.
3. HOW employers ARE REACTING
*Pay/earnings increased 18% compared to the same period last year
4. WHAT employers ARE planNING to offer
The percentage of employers who are taking important action
5. PREDICTIONS FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS
Companies who think that that the recruitment levels in the UK will stay as they are, or increase over the next 12 months (data in percentages).
Recruitment levels will stay the same
Levels of recruitment will increase slightly
The recruitment levels will increase greatly
Top skills shortage areas
There are always specific industry areas that will have shortages in terms of qualified candidates or relevant experience. As an example, here are the top three for shortages of permanent roles, as of October 2021.
First is Hospitality. Second is Construction. Third is Engineering. To clarify, ranking is from rolling three-month averages, and is based on the proportion of employers who anticipate skills shortages.
Improve your brand to become an employer of choice
What is your brand and what does it have to do with employing people? In general, a brand is commonly referred to when describing an organisation's reputation and popularity. Evidently. your brand is just as vital for you as an employer, as it affects your employee value proposition.
Whether you like it or not, when you are recruiting you are marketing. Thus if you don't do it well, you will not get the results you want.
If you do not value the need for you to have an impressive brand and to market it well when recruiting, it will be much harder for you to become an employer of choice.
Candidates are becoming your customers!
Just like customers, to attract and convert candidates you have to Woo them and Wow them! With this in mind, if you are uncomfortable with 'wooing', then persuade them. Of course, you still have to Wow them. To clarify, this is the new world of work, there are more jobs than available top talent, or any indeed any talent.
Unless you are incredibly lucky, good job candidates are not queuing up to fill your jobs. So the time has come to enhance what you have to offer, and flaunt it!
Why do candidates choose other employers?
When researching your business, candidates will delve deep into your company and your brand. Therefore, the following criteria are essential to become an employer of choice, since candidates will look at your:
- Visibility as a business in the marketplace.
- Vision and values.
- Engagement with existing employees.
- Business for good causes
- Community involvement.
- Social media and online presence.
Improve your Recruitment Process
To become an employer of choice means having an effective and efficient recruitment process. So review your planning process. For instance, if it has not changed to cope with the new world of work and today's fast moving communication, then you simply must adapt!
Also, be clear about why are you advertising or promoting the role, and what the role entails. For example, are you clear about what you need? In particular, make sure this clarity is communicated and understood by everyone involved.
Furthermore, remember that that your people who will be involved in recruiting, need the capacity as well as the ability. Anyone recruiting and doing their own job at the same time, can find this incredibly stressful. There may be a paradox of being short of staff and trying to cope with an increased work load. A manager in this situation who is expected to also deal with the recruitment process may be close to breaking point. Recruitment needs even more time devoted to it than before the pandemic, to do it justice. Otherwise, something, or someone, will suffer.
If capacity is a problem, get professional help. The cost of a recruitment partner is often less than the DIY approach. Don't forget to calculate the lost management time when comparing costs.
In addition, anyone that is not sufficiently skilled in recruitment, is likely to lose focus on their own job, which may further impact on your business.
Finally, whom do you want as your 'ideal candidate', and when do you want them to start? Be specific when specifying the ideal person but also be flexible to recognise talented achievers with transferable skills who can be trained.
Top ten recruitment process tips.
- 1Get your vacancy and company name out into the marketplace.
- 2Make the adverts appealing and list all the essential benefits of working for your company. Look at it from the candidate perspective.
- 3Initiate specific advertising campaigns. Utilise Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
- 4Use pieces of 'content'. For example, blogs, company news, white papers, etc. Get attention, can you make any of it fun?
- 5Identify any skills shortages you have as a business.
- 6Look at training programmes (e.g. management training or personal development).
- 7Research and practice engaging interview techniques.
- 8Agree on processes and any specific assessments or tests you think you should have as part of the interview.
- 9Do you want candidates to meet some of the team?
- 10Be flexible with location, such as on-site, off-site, or virtual.
Tactics to become an employer of choice
To improve your results, you need to gain more exposure! Potential employees need to know who you are, where you are, and what you do. Moreover, that your organisation looks fun, professional, and has an excellent reputation.
Therefore, shout out about what your company is doing such as the business you do for the good of others, charity work, helping people and the planet, and assisting in the community.
Also consider what has worked in the past, and see if you can adapt this to do something different. As an example, think about:
Consider virtual interviews – getting time away from offices for job interviews can be a challenge. Could you offer Zoom, Teams, Skype or phone calls for the initial interview? Alternatively, you can meet off-site.
How attractive is your offering?
Certainly you must consider why job candidates should choose you. The easy part is where potential employees will first look for basics. You would quickly become an employer of choice if the only employee requirements were:
- Your company is a clean and safe place to work.
- Free car parking.
- Good kitchen facilities.
If only it was this simple! However, as you know, it doesn't stop there. So what else should you offer?
The starting point is a competitive salary. Consequently, do some salary analysis by looking at your competitors and local or national salary averages in your industry.
Additionally, know your market well and how you are viewed by candidates and customers. Ask others, attend networking or business-specific events, and exhibitions. Also, look at public reviews.
The one thing never to do is to make any assumptions. In many cases, we see a disconnect between what employers think, and the opinion of candidates!
Additional benefits to help become an employer of choice
Some additional benefits you may need to include are:
Employee reward and recognition.
People like to feel good about themselves, especially about what they are doing and their contribution to the business. so, let them know. Below are some examples.
- Hold regular one-to-one feedback sessions (monthly).
- Have an employee of the month, or team of the month. Base this on results, not who you 'think' deserves it.
- Experiences for achieving employee/team objectives
- The majority of people seek public recognition. Put your staff forward for business-specific awards.
- Career progression opportunities. So support your employees to study for qualifications or development programs during business time. For example, business and personal development courses, coaching, volunteering, or languages.
Culture and environment.
By now you know that to become an employer of choice, you need to stand out from your competitors. So you will need to identify your organisation's culture and what appeals to the different 'generations' (as each has different motivations).
What can your company offer candidates? For example, how would your company appeal to Generation X, Generation Y (the Millennials), or Generation Z?
Also, is your office or workplace an enjoyable place to be, or is it dull and uninspiring?
You want to become an employer of choice. So, therefore, implement as many of the steps above as you can. Then you need to get the message into your job adverts.
Also, make sure that before candidates even come to you for an interview, they can see how rewarding it will be to work for your company. So don't forget to explain the added benefits they will enjoy when they work for you.
In addition, don't be shy! It is essential to talk about your benefits. Like a buying decision, candidates (like your customers) are looking for reasons not to work for you, as well as the good points. Notably, candidates most likely will receive a number of job offers, so act quickly.
Furthermore, give them plenty of great things to get excited about, sell your company and the job.
To conclude, you can increase your chances of attracting top talent to respond to your job adverts, and with an attractive offer, join your team.