by Michael Macfarlane | 2 December 2019
We know that recruiting the perfect candidate can often be a lengthy, costly and challenging process. Employers these days have so much more to think about, from asking the right questions at interview and writing job descriptions that attract the right talent, to building a positive employer brand and offering the right benefits. That is why we have put together our top 12 festive recruitment tips that should help take the load off this Christmas.
1. Write better job descriptions
Your job description is one of the most important recruitment tools at your disposal. Your job description will generally be the thing that entices (or puts off) candidates so it is crucial that this is right and that you ensure you give candidates all the relevant information.
Make sure you include things like salary, specific duties, what previous experience is required and most importantly, the type of person you want to attract. You may also want to briefly outline what benefits are on offer and a bit about your organisation, as these are the things that will likely make you stand out against your competitors. If you make your job descriptions completely clear at this stage of the process, you should attract the right level of candidates for your business and it will make the whole process quicker and smoother.
2. Ask the right questions throughout the interview process
It is important to ask the right questions at the interview stage to ensure you have all the relevant information needed to make an informed decision on the perfect candidate. You need to strike the perfect balance between being sociable and asking questions that will give you an insight into the candidate’s skills and experience. If you fail to spend enough time asking about the candidate’s skills, experience and ability to do the role you are in jeopardy of hiring the wrong person. You can use different question styles to help with this. For example you can use competency based questions to test their skillset and get an insight into their suitability or behavioural questions to measure their past behaviour.
It is also important to think about the questions you ask at each stage of the process. For example, you might want to use an initial telephone interview to find out more about the candidate, and touch on their experience and skills. You can then ask more in-depth questions on this when you meet face-to-face. Use each stage of the process to get to know each candidate a little better, rather than trying to find everything out at once.
Are you still unsure about what questions to ask and need some help? Check out our guide on making your interview process as detailed as possible. Or get in touch with a member of our team for one-to-one advice now.
3. Seek (and embrace) diversity
A diverse team will give your business a competitive edge, and building one starts with your recruitment process. When looking at diverse recruitment it is important to remember that diversity can take many forms so you may need to alter your recruitment strategy in different ways. A successful approach will attract applicants from the widest possible range of backgrounds and life experiences.
For example, you might want to think about training your interview team to remove unconscious bias from your recruitment process, or interview using panels of employees from across your workforce. Whatever you decide to do, it is important that you make steps to attract a diverse talent pool to remain competitive in the highly competitive recruitment market.
If you want to ensure your workforce is diverse but not sure where to start, take a look at our tips on building an inclusive workforce. Or speak to your Consultant today for advice on how you can remove bias from your recruitment process.
4. Never discount previous candidates
Just because a candidate is not right for a particular role now, does not mean they are not right for your business. We always advise our clients to think outside of the box and consider where that candidate might fit in. It is also important to consider repeat applicants as they may be more suited now than they were before. You might also want to keep a record of all the candidates you interview and review this whenever you have a vacancy open. In doing so you are widening your talent pool and increasing your chances of placing the perfect candidate in your organisation.
5. Utilise the knowledge of your recruitment partner
Recruitment professionals have a great deal of knowledge – of their markets and recruitment – so it is a good idea to utilise their knowledge when you can. If you are finding it hard to attract the right candidates speak to an experienced recruiter working in your market and ask them for assistance. A good recruiter will be able to help with things like writing your job descriptions, setting up a successful interview process and what questions to ask to ensure you hire the correct person. You could even ask if they would be willing to carry out some internal training for your business to up-skill your own staff. Most recruiters will be more than happy to help, and it could save you time and money long-term.
6. Concentrate on your employer brand
Your employer brand will be a major deciding factor for prospective candidates so ensuring this is positive is essential. Candidates want to know that your organisation is a great place to work and that you look after your staff, so making sure this can be easily seen from the outside is very important. Creating a specialised section on your website, utilising social media to share company news and getting involved in national awards that celebrate great workplaces are all fantastic ways to promote your employer brand and ensure you are attracting the right candidates to your organisation.
7. Make the use of digital tools and social media
Content marketing and social media are two innovative and effective ways to attract potential talent, particularly passive candidates that may not be actively looking for a role. Workplaces and job seekers have become so technologically connected that they are more likely to find companies they are interested in working for through sponsored job ads and blogs posts, rather than solely hunting through job sites. It is therefore important that you consider where your candidate base is spending their time, and make sure you are visible on these platforms to maximise results.
Looking for more tips on attracting candidates through content and social media? Take a look at our guide.
8. Take a good look at your benefits and remuneration packages
Candidates today are looking for much more than just a good salary. They want to know what else you can offer them and will usually be expecting additional benefits as part of their package. It is therefore important that you tailor your benefits to suit each role, or each candidate. You could offer benefits such as flexible working, private medical insurance, a company car or the option to buy or sell holidays. This will give you a competitive edge and make you a much more attractive option to the highest quality candidates.
9. Check references to avoid a bad hire
It is important to always check references to ensure you are making the right decision. As a minimum you should ask for two references from two previous employers that you can call for a quick chat about their time at the business. It is important to plan these calls in advance and think about what you want to ask. This is your opportunity to follow up on anything the candidate may have told you at interview, and get an even better understanding of their ability to do the role. If you fail to do this you are at risk of hiring someone that may not be right, which would be costly and time consuming.
10. Utilise your current workforce
Employee referrals and the reach of your current workforce are priceless. Offer referral bonuses and encourage your staff to share vacancies with their network. Create social media graphics that your employees can share and ask your staff to ask their friends and family. You will be surprised how many people they know, and this will widen your talent pool even further.
11. Conduct exit interviews
Having a tailored off-boarding process is just as important as an on-boarding one. When employees are leaving the business sit down and talk to them about their experience working for you and their reasons for leaving. This will give you invaluable insight into any challenges they have had, or any processes that may not be working, giving you an opportunity to rectify any problems before taking on any more new staff.
12. Think outside the box
Finally, try to be as unique as possible throughout the hiring process. There is so much competition on the market that it is important that you stand out from the crowd. Think about what you can do differently to stand out against your competitors and try to make your recruitment and on-boarding process as interesting as possible.
Can we help you this Christmas?
Still need help with your recruitment? Get in touch with one of our expert team today by calling 0161 834 1642. They will be more than happy to answer any questions, and get your recruitment off to a flying start.
Alternatively, you can check out more tips on hiring the right staff for your team in our Employer Resources section.