The Exceler8 HR Happenings Blog

Recruiting? What candidates AREN’T telling you….or you’re not listening

Listen to what top candidates are telling us

Recruitment.  Hands up if it’s doing your head in?

I’m currently supporting an unprecedented (yes, that word again!) number of clients planning to grow their team or replace team members.  Of course retaining the right employees (download my retention tips) is the best way to avoid recruitment headaches but we all have to recruit at some point. I have written about attracting top talent but I now have some recent evidence, albeit anecdotal.

And right now, it’s a very interesting recruitment environment and it has highlighted some interesting trends.  Right now, it’s a recruitment process for your applicants too….your “star candidate” is recruiting their “star employer”.  Always remember that.

When the money is right, it’s a moot point

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The saying is true, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.  It’s important you are paying market value for both the role and skills.  Establishing the market value takes research and benchmarking, it’s not just what you are offering or even what you were paying previously.  Download some salary guides (Hays, Robert Half are ok), check out Seek ads for similar positions and talk with your network.  Knowing where you are positioned in the market will help set your expectations.

High-quality candidates will not make their decision based solely on money but, if the money isn’t right, they will just move straight past your ad.  For them, salary is the table stake – get it right, you are in the game and it’s not thought about again

Note, it is always good to display the salary on your job ad as you shouldn’t be afraid to disclose that right away and (as above) will help the filtering process for you and the candidates.

How your recruitment ad looks

Yes, words and structure matter in your ad.  Your goal is to attract the right employee. You need  to clearly explain ‘what’s in it for them?’  Why you?  Why this opportunity?  And start your ad off with these selling points.  Don’t lead in with ‘this is what we are looking for’.  Can you imagine a first date and all your date talks about is everything they are looking for in a partner….TURN OFF!!

Make sure you are using your brand voice.  I’m not a branding expert but the branding concepts need to be the same.  I find some businesses spend a fortune on branding and marketing; their websites are amazing, socials are phenomenal, and collateral is awesome.  But their recruitment ads, look like a position description has been copied and pasted from a 1990s HR manual.  Be consistent with your brand, tone of voice and use the opportunity to promote your employer brand. 

Which leads us onto….

….Invest in an employer brand

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Just like branding for your customer messaging, you need to brand your business as an employer the right team want to work at.  If you have already invested in branding, extend the work into what employer brand you want to have in the market.  If you haven’t invested in branding for a while or at all, it’s definitely worth the investment. 

Why?  Because of all the roles I am recruiting right, now, the employers with a consistent brand across website, LinkedIn and job ad, is very noticeable.  How ‘noticeable’ you ask?  We received over 200 applicants for 2 roles in sales and administration and they were outstanding applicants. 

Once you invest in the brand, be consistent

During every interview, I ask ‘why did you apply for this role?’  The message I receive loud and clear is the applicants can see the values and language used on the website, were repeated in the ad and they could see the same words and message on the CEO’s LinkedIn page.  Your top candidates do their research, just like you do.  They will see through the ‘marketing spin’ and HR jargon.  Take some time to look at what is being presented to the employee market.

And finally, it all comes down to what is your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)?

If you Google, EVP you get some amazing definitions including:

  • it’s a balance of reward and benefits,
  • the promise you make to your employees in return for their commitment,
  • a set of associations and offerings.

These are all correct but let me put it simply.  It’s doing what you say you are going to do.  Being clear on what the workplace will provide, what you expect from your team members and how people can expect to be treated.

So, what was the result of our latest recruitment efforts?  Both roles were filled within 5 days and I am still getting calls from disappointed candidates hoping for a chance to get their application in.

It’s very exciting to work with businesses who walk the talk.

Melissa Langton - Exceler8

Hi! I'm Melissa

I'm a sought-after HR coach, advisor and strategist. I'm also the director of Exceler8. My clients call me their people paracetamol because I help them say 'goodbye' to HR headaches and 'hello' to the perfect people formula to support their business. If you're ready for HR help or transformation, please get in touch. 

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