November 18, 2021

Attracting candidates in a post-pandemic world

In June 2021, there were an estimated 34.8 million jobs in the UK, the highest level since June 2020. This represents an increase of 293,000 from March 2020, driven by an increase of 214,000 employee jobs and 72,000 self-employment jobs.

The 10 most in-demand jobs in the UK in 2021 are:

    1. Delivery Drivers
    2. Project Managers
    3. Store Managers
    4. Customer Assistant
    5. Store Assistant
    6. Software Engineer
    7. Sales Assistant
    8. Customer Service Advisor
    9. Operations Manager
    10. Business Analyst

If you’re looking to fill any of these positions, and you’re a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), it can be difficult to compete with the big-name organisations to find the best talent in the current climate. So, what can you do to attract the best candidates?

Candidates are a lot like customers. They need to find your organisation and your offering attractive if they’re going to make an application. Jobseekers, especially millennials want to know all about your organisation and your culture. Therefore, it’s important to paint a picture of what it’s truly like to work for your company and what makes you unique. If candidates can see themselves at home in your organisation, they’re more likely to apply.

Employer branding: what it is and why it’s important

‘Employer branding’ describes an employer’s reputation as a place to work, and its employee value proposition. How an organisation’s brand is viewed by the public has a significant impact on its ability to attract candidates. Candidates who like the brand or reputation of a hiring organisation are more likely to apply for positions.

Not only are candidates interested in concrete details like salary, benefits, and location, but they’re also increasingly interested in the intangibles as well. Research by LinkedIn found that nearly half of workers reported company values as something they look to employers to communicate before they apply, followed closely by company culture.

Use employee testimonials to nurture trust with job candidates

Candidates want employers to prove their attractiveness with things like employee testimonials. When employees vouch for you, candidates trust you more. This is a strong indication that what candidates are really looking for is insight into what it’s like to work for your company. Things like the job description and compensation matter, but alone they aren’t necessarily enough to push candidates over the line. A well-articulated and well-marketed employer brand helps candidates determine whether they’re a good fit for your organisation.

Therefore, paint a picture of what it’s truly like to work for your organisation and what makes your company unique. Shout about the great things you can offer a person looking for an opportunity, and the things that differentiate you as an SME to the big-name organisations. For example, the ability to multitask, the ability to work closely with or to gain exposure to other specialisms that they might not experience in a larger organisation, a family culture. What is it that makes your organisation a great place to work?

Demonstrate who you are

An organisation’s website is a great channel for communicating your values to potential candidates. Job seekers want to know all about your organisation and your culture. They will visit your website looking for information about your organisation’s history, founders, location, markets served, current employees and so on.

Candidates are also looking for employers that have a clear mission statement and strong values. Your mission, values and other motivations should permeate the website, not just the human resource related sections. Include your purpose throughout the website and applicants will better understand your organisation. Team member biographies can help tell your company’s story, especially when presented in a visually engaging and friendly way. These synopses give job seekers insight into the experiences and skills that help people succeed at your organisation while providing a sense of your company culture.

Share what it’s like to work for you

People who are researching your company as a potential employer will want to know what a typical workday is like. Provide a clear picture to help prospective employees see themselves in the position. Photos and videos of “a day in the life” can show applicants what it’s like to work for you. In addition, employee testimonials or blog posts can provide first-person descriptions of your company culture and the sort of traits that could make candidates a good fit.

Keep the application process simple

LinkedIn reports that top talent only stays on the market for 10 days. Therefore, don’t underestimate the power of efficiency and moving quickly. Potential job candidates will see your website as an extension of your company. A hard-to-use or onerous application process can impact their first impressions of you. A poorly designed portal can make a company look like they’re behind the times.

Communication is key

Once you have received applications you should strive to create the best possible experience for each and every candidate. Be transparent about the recruitment process and what it will involve. Helping candidates to prepare helps to ease a candidate’s self-doubt, nervousness and confusion. They will feel less stressed and more valued by your organisation.

The biggest frustration for candidates during the overall job search is a lack of response from employers. For better or worse, candidates want to know where they stand in the hiring process. They want to be kept well informed and one of the main things that would greatly improve the overall candidate experience is employers continuously communicating status updates to them. You should therefore communicate with candidates regularly and on time.

Next steps

To gain more top tips on attracting candidates in a post-pandemic world, listen to our webinar on 16 November. We’ll discuss how people’s experience of the pandemic has changed their priorities when searching for a new role and how post-pandemic working models, such as hybrid, have affected the recruitment market.

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About the author

Donna Chadbone

About the author

Donna Chadbone

Donna joined Moorepay in September 2008 and has worked with a range of clients from the engineering, aerospace, manufacturing, service, leisure, education, construction and care industries. During her career Donna has worked on an extensive range of generalist HR activities including recruitment and selection, performance management, disciplinaries, grievances, absence management and flexible working requests. As a field-based HR Consultant Donna provides specialist HR and Employment Law advice, consultancy, project delivery and training services to our clients. She primarily works with HR Managers, line managers and directors to support and guide them through HR best practice and employment law.

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