You’ve heard it a thousand times. And it’s true. Your staff are the most important asset of your business. So when the time comes to hire, it makes sense to pick the candidates who are the best possible fit for your vacant roles.
Not always easy.
In sectors where demand for specific skills exceeds the supply of candidates, finding the right person for the job is a challenge. Job-seekers can play employers against each other, cherry-picking the best offer. (It’s currently happening in the West Country with tech-focused, sales and senior specialist roles.)
The good news? A few tweaks to your recruitment process will put your business in the best position to snap up in-demand candidates, before your competitors do.
Here are five tips.
>> Getting a job in the West Country as a web/software developer
1. Make sure you are ready
Once you have a top candidate interested in your vacancy, you need to act sharpish to secure them. Complicated, protracted recruitment campaigns won’t work as you will lose your candidate to a competitor if you are too slow.
Make sure all necessary staff have allocated time for interviews and debrief meetings (and have no upcoming holidays booked). Reserve interview rooms and make sure there are no conflicts. Set deadlines for everything, starting with the date for the final interview and working back to submission of the job vacancy and job description. The aim is to make the entire recruitment process as smooth, simple and streamlined as possible.
2. Differentiate your business
You know how it is with mind-numbing cover letters and CVs that make your eyelids heavy. They don’t stand out. It can be the same with job adverts. Instead of generic templates, don’t be afraid to inject some personality into proceedings. Use your branding to differentiate your opportunity from vacancies with your competitors. It’s likely that you are scouring the same pool of people for your ideal candidate.
3. Open your search
Not enough candidates? Perhaps your search is a little too specific. Please don’t be quick to dismiss applicants without industry experience if they have the skills you need. Okay, you might have to spend more time training them up. But there are distinct advantages to hiring outside your industry. Diverse teams are more creative problem-solvers and an employee that’s new to your sector will be able to offer fresh insight, new viewpoints and help to find new gaps in the market. More pragmatic, less dogmatic.
4. Make decisions early
We know. In an ideal world it would be great to compare and contrast a pool of strong candidates; to deliberate over the quirks and qualities of each applicant until you are certain you have found the best person for your business. Unfortunately you don’t have that luxury when businesses are competing to secure applicants with in-demand skill sets. You have to make decisions quickly or risk losing a good candidate to another business.
5. Learn from your competitors
What’s the going salary for the role you are recruiting for? How do you sell your business to a potential candidate who is weighing up three different job offers? It’s worth keeping an eye on how other businesses in your industry are marketing their job vacancies - as well as the salaries they are offering for roles that match the job you are recruiting for. What perks do they provide? How do they communicate the company culture? Your candidates will be hungry for information. Don’t be afraid of giving it to them.
>> Then and now: salaries snowball in Exeter and beyond
Ready to get started?
There will always be some positions that are easier to recruit for than others. That’s the nature of the job market. But when you are searching for someone with a niche set of skills, landing your dream candidate starts by honing your recruitment process, differentiating your opportunity and injecting a little charisma into your job adverts. All of these small points can make a big difference to a candidate wanting to work for your business.