Stop doing what you’ve always done

Published: 11 Mar 2016

Like most professions, our industry sometimes suffers from a lack of attention at home even though we’re supposed to be experts at offering advice about recruitment, candidate experience and employer branding externally.

You know the hairdresser with the bad hairdo and the chef who lives on beans on toast? That’s us! Recruitment and talent teams across the UK are so caught up in ‘doing the do’ that we often feel we can’t afford to stop and reflect and start asking ‘Why?’

With the market so short on talent it is essential that agencies and talent teams now address the very real barriers that are preventing them from attracting great new talent. It starts with accepting and understanding why recruitment professionals are attracted to new employers and, possibly more importantly, what puts them off.

The top five factors on which employees rate new employers are:

Stop doing what you’ve always done

And guess what — it’s in that order. That’s right — recruiters rarely move for money (although in a market that’s short on talent it nearly always results in an increased package). It’s the softer side of your business that will either attract or repel a potential new team member.
So with the above factors in mind, how does your company score against the key qualities newcomers will be assessing your firm against? Do you even have an objective view?

Some great tips for exploring this are:

● Ask for feedback Go back to the last 10 people your firm interviewed and ask them to do a telephone survey with you about how they would rate your firm on the above five points and what impressions the company made around those themes

● Go shopping View your website, career pages, social media accounts, online reviews and Google search results. What messages (good, bad, ugly or non-existent) can you find around these core employee factors?

● Talk to your people Survey or interview current staff and ask them to clearly pitch your company attributes across your five key attraction areas as above.

The results may be alarming, amusing or horrifying but they will highlight what you need to change or improve. This is your ‘before’ shot. Go about re-setting what your company should be promoting around management style, progression, values, culture and rewards. Re-educate your teams on what those core aims should be and how best to communicate them. Develop real case studies to demonstrate how you cater for new and existing employees around these areas, and make sure they are clearly communicated online, in person and during interview.

Last, but not least, you need to constantly gain feedback to monitor, review and action where needed. If you don’t feel you have enough time or adequate resources, then spend some of your budget on outsourcing some of this work. It really is essential.

So stop pushing out the same old adverts, conducting the same old interviews and stressing about expanding your headcount. Take control and really own your employer brand.

Tara Lescott is managing director of rec-to-rec agency Recruiter Republic

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