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Top Tips For Your Talent Search

9 Top Tips For Your Talent Search

Give yourself a better chance of recruiting exactly the talent you need. Follow those steps.

Job markets change. Sometimes everyone’s recruiting and there isn’t enough talent to go around. Sometimes everyone’s tightening their belts, which makes it even more important that the talent you do recruit is the right talent. So how do you ensure that, whatever the conditions, your talent search ends in success?

        1. Plan your recruitment strategy

          Forgive us for using a football analogy here, but we promise it’s appropriate. Over the past two transfer windows, Chelsea have bought 17 players. That’s more than a team-and-a-half of new talent to add to what’s left of the existing squad. It’s an approach to recruitment that’s been more like a supermarket trolley dash than a serious plan. At time of writing, it’s been a spectacular failure.

          Your approach to recruitment needs to be far more strategic. Where are the skills gaps? What new competencies will you need over the next few years? Where can you take a longer term, train in-house view, and where do you need fresh talent now?

          Planning your strategy ensures that the right recruitment happens in the right order at the right time, giving you the right mix of skills rather than a team overstuffed with expensive misfits. Looking at you again, Chelsea.

        2. Understand what makes you a talent magnet

          We’ll assume you’ve already been cooking your company’s culture for the past few years, but for many organisations there’s a disconnect between the experience employees enjoy and the ability to share that with potential new recruits.

          Remember that, when it comes to your job ad, you’ll be pitching against lots of competitors, so the better you can hone and refine your proposition to candidates, the better. This is about taking the time to understand what makes you, you. What do your people love about the business? How can you share that with candidates in a way that feels authentic and eye-catching?Top tip: If you’re not sure what it is about your company culture that is most appealing to employees (and especially new recruits), ask them.

        3. Reward referrals

          Your people know people. In fact, some of your most recent recruits may have kept close links within the organisation they left to join you. If they’re busy making their former colleagues envious about their new role, why not tap into that?

          Ask your people to refer the talent you need, and you could solve significant chunks of your talent requirement, reducing the need to formally recruit. Lots of companies offer incentives for referrals, but be aware that while money is always welcome, alternative perks (extra time off, vouchers, prizes) can work just as well.

        4. Consider candidates from past exercises

          Before you launch into a new round of recruitment, is there a recent exercise you can revisit? Reconnecting with candidates who just failed to make the cut last time (but who would still meet your criteria this time) could be a swift, low-cost way of solving the talent problem. Yes, many of those candidates may now be in new roles, but it may be worth a shot.

        5. Fix the things candidates hate about every recruitment process

          Unrealistic expectations. A hiring process with more hoops to jump though than your average circus performance. Unclear, ill-defined roles and benefits packages. A process that takes forever.

          Our candidates tell us these are the pet peeves about the recruitment process that make them leave mid-process or prevent them from applying at all. Often, these aren’t difficult fixes but they do require focus and a drive to reengineer the way you recruit so that you don’t put off the talent you’re trying to attract. 

        6. Work with a recruitment partner

          We’re a recruiter. You’d expect us to suggest using a recruitment team to make your talent search a success – and we will – but perhaps not only for the reasons you’d expect.

          Because while it’s true that a recruitment specialist can often get results faster, work at a scale you can’t (handy for volume recruitment exercises) and connect with candidates you’d never otherwise see, there’s another reason to work with a  recruitment partner too. Here’s what we mean…

        7. Don’t alienate your customer base

          You’re planning a major new store opening. You need lots of new people, so you launch a major recruitment drive across the local area. You receive 500 applications for 30 roles. Inevitably, therefore, you’re going to let down 470 people.

          When you do the recruiting yourself, your brand is the one letting down those 470 potential customers. When you work with a  recruitment partner, most of the unsuccessful applicants are filtered out before they ever know that your brand is the one they were applying to. Your recruitment partner takes the hit on your behalf, which means come store opening day, you have a lot more friends to connect with, and a lot fewer people grumbling on social media.

        8. Write better job descriptions

          We’ve written before about the need to write smarter, more authentic, more personal job ads, but since we last touched on the topic, something has come along to potentially change the job ad writing landscape: AI.

          In theory, it’s the perfect solution. If your team isn’t great at writing ads, get ChatGPT to do it and bingo.

          Only, that’s not quite the answer. We’ve long been championing the need for recruiters to do things differently when it comes to writing their job ads, because a job ad that reads the same as every other job ad won’t attract the talent you need. As good as AI is at writing perfectly grammatical, properly punctuated content, the one thing it really isn’t very good at (yet) is doing things differently in a way that connects on a human level.

          While we may not be recommending AI, we’d definitely recommend investing time and effort in ensuring your job ads hit the spot with your candidates.

        9. Communicate, communicate, communicate

          Great talent isn’t easy to find. When you find it, you really need to do all you can to keep the candidate(s) engaged and ensure they feel valued. Leave a vacuum of silence and a candidate will often fill it by accepting another offer. That’s why regular, meaningful, personable communication is hugely important here.

          Create a communication plan that builds in plenty of touchpoints with candidates, and so every candidate receives a consistent level of attentiveness. Update them on where the process is at. Give them an idea of likely timescales. If you’ll need some information soon, give them plenty of advance notice. If you have a set of potential interview dates, let them know so they can block their calendar. Don’t just rely on email or messaging. A phone call every now and again can work wonders.

          Remember, your communication isn’t purely about sharing information; it’s about keeping them onboard, about sharing your values and giving them an insight into what it’s like to work for your organisation.

          We have genuinely lost count of the number of candidates who’ve told us that the communication they received throughout the recruitment process made them feel positive about their career choice and the employer.

          Want help putting together a talent search that finds the right people and keeps them engaged? Talk to us.

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