Tim Jubb |

Are you struggling to attract top talent? Well, we’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is you’re not alone. Companies all over the world are struggling to attract the calibre of candidates they need to drive business growth. Of course, there’s a variety of reasons for this - from a candidate skills shortage in certain areas to job descriptions that miss the mark. But for one reason or another, it ain’t quite happening.
 
Now for the bad news. Many companies are turning away candidates you’d happily hire. And not just the odd one. Every week top talent is turned away by top employers who have an uncanny knack for attracting the best of the best. But why should that be? What are these companies doing that you aren’t?
 


When considering the fine margins between attracting the right talent and attracting the not-quite-right talent, attention to detail is paramount.

Almost all organisations post online job descriptions, list employee benefits on their careers site and so on. Those factors aren’t differentiators, they are enablers. Enablers allow organisations to do the basic level of recruitment. And while it is important to do the basics, they won’t necessarily drive top talent to your door.

Here are 3 reasons you might not be attracting the quality of hire your organisation needs.
 

Candidates don’t care about your employer branding

More and more compelling research shows that the way to consistently attract top talent is to create a brand that candidates care about. Don’t just take our word for it.

Research from Headstream has revealed that 79% of UK adults want brands to tell stories, but 85% couldn’t think of a memorable brand story.

Ask yourself: “What is our employer brand story?”

And we don’t mean: “Founded in 1845, this company has a long tradition of providing excellent customer service etc.” That is a company history. Not a brand story.

It’s the difference between reading The Chronological History of English Monarchs or King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. One is dull, factual and uninspiring. The other has you jumping over furniture play-fighting with imaginary swords. It is enjoyable and inspiring.

So, what is your brand story? Why do you get out of bed in the morning and go to work?

If you can’t think of an answer, or if your answer is ever so slightly uninspiring then that is exactly how your candidates feel. Create a purpose. Create a reason to apply. Be like King Arthur. Create an inspiring brand story.
 

Your careers site is a hindrance not a help

Once you have created your brand story, you need to deliver it. To achieve this a successful careers site requires a mixture of different content types.

Balanced content approach
Balancing out different types of content on your careers site can be extremely challenging. On the one hand, you need a way to tell this compelling story you have just created. On the other hand, you need to maintain all of the functionality candidates expect with a well-designed career site.

Where should you include content about your brand story? Where should you include information about employee benefits? Striking the right balance can helps you avoid the twin problems of a superb brand story but the candidate can’t find the apply button, or a dull site where candidates don’t want to click the “apply button”.

Mobile Applications
Cross device candidate applications are still increasing in importance for many organisations. Ask yourself: How many applications do we receive from mobile devices? Consider this relative to the amount of candidates that regularly use a mobile device to browse the internet? If your candidates are unlikely to use a mobile or tablet to browse the internet, then mobile optimisation is a smaller priority. But in 2016, we think that this extremely unlikely.

If you candidates are using mobile devices to browse the internet, then they want to be able to complete part, or all of their application on that device.

How easy is it to apply for a position with your organisation on mobile? Test this for yourself.

Can you, for example, upload a CV from a cloud storage device? Even the most dedicated active candidate is unlikely to have their CV saved locally on their phone.

Upload CV from cloud storage is a “must have” for the modern careers site.

Can you apply with a social profile? An increasing amount of candidates prefer to apply with a professional social profile and then save their application to complete at a later date.

Better still, can a candidate start the process on one device and finish it later on another? Most of us are omni-device users these days, smartphones on the train, laptop in the office, tablet on the sofa and so on.

Talent Pools
How do you attract passive candidates? Is your strategy to trawl LinkedIn for candidates who might fit the role you’re looking for and then connect with them?

If you manage to create a compelling employer brand story, and deliver it in a careers site that delights, then top talent is going to come knocking. But for all those candidates who aren’t quite ready to apply you need a way to nurture them. That is why it is important to encourage candidates to join your talent pool, without necessarily applying for a job.
Then you can keep marketing to them, until the right time or job comes around.

Employee Happiness

Of course, employer branding and a to-die-for careers site are only part of the story. In order to attract top talent, you need to back up your hard work with genuinely happy employees. Glassdoor.co.uk provides unparalleled transparency into the heart of an organisation. How does your organisation rate on Glassdoor?

What is your employee value proposition? Hudsons reports that 49.1% of brands that consistently attract top talent have a documented up-to-date employee value proposition, while only 20.0% of other brands see this as a priority.

In addition the employees’ role in promoting the employer brand was rated 75.7 out of 100 for top brands versus 51.0 among other brands.

In other words, top brands can see the benefit in using employee satisfaction as recruitment marketing tool. They know the value of happy engaged employees compared to the value of unhappy, disenfranchised employees.

Your employees can contribute to your employer brand story in a positive, or negative way. Which do you think will help to attract the top talent you need to drive organisational growth?
 

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