3 Steps to Successful Recruitment

Mark Bevans
Founder & Managing Director | We Love 9am
20th May 2015

Recruitment is the ever-evolving discipline. Whether you’re a massive conglomerate or small start-up, how you tackle talent attraction, engagement and retention is more important than ever. It’s not enough to pop an ad in the local paper or Tweet a lacklustre notification about your newest opportunity. Not only do candidates want more from their hiring experience but you too need to work pretty darn hard to find the right talent for you.

SMEs, like many modern day employers, are up against it when it comes to recruitment. They don’t have the budgets, time and resources that they might deem as necessary to embark on a self-recruitment adventure. Well, SME-ers I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.

It ain’t easy and yes it requires some time and effort but there’s no reason why you can’t attract, engage with and keep a hold of the top talent out there. It’s all a matter of being savvy and aware of the recruitment and talent climate, nailing employer branding and getting serious about keeping your team and potential talent in the loop and fully appreciated.

The Stat Bank - Why you need to get recruitment savvy today

If you’re on the fence about whether to jump on the recruitment bandwagon, here’s some stats that will well and truly sway you.

  • 75% of the candidate market is passive

This means that not everyone out there is looking for a job right now today. How many times have you searched for a new job while already employed? That’s right, nowadays you need to widen your net and approach to get those potential parties interested early on. And that’s where your employer brand comes to the rescue. You just can’t afford not to have one on the go or you’ll lose out on attracting some great new team members.

  • 50% of employees are not engaged at work

This is a pretty shocking stat. It essentially means that not only are half or your staff emotionally checked out and ready to walk but that they don’t care about your business. And with that lack of interest comes laziness, poor performance and ultimately a bottom line effecting culture. If you can keep your talent happy and valued, they work harder and with more heart and that equals more than just retained staff.

  • 88% of job seekers use the internet to search for jobs

In a nutshell that means you need to have a living, breathing online presence that’s modelled on more than just posting the occasional job advert online. A solid recruitment strategy and employer brand is totally essential to putting you out there as a favourable employer. The online/social world can be a scary terrain to navigate but having that great strategy nailed can help you manoeuvre and even void traditional recruitment pitfalls.

Step 1 - What is Employer Branding?

So, what’s this Employer branding thing all about? In short, it helps you engage with your employees and persuade the folk you’d like to employ to jump on board.

The long and short of it is that employees look for more than a paycheck. They want to work for a company with matching values, a great attitude to staff morale and a place where they will feel valued. It’s called a winning company culture and your employer brand is the best way to get that message out there. This goes beyond a job ad and some nifty wording; it’s about really communicating what makes you the best employer match for them and creating a recruitment experience they’ll remember.

Engagement goes hand in hand with the employer brand. If you have a fab EB, then by default you’ll have a great foundation to engage with your current and potential talent. You can’t just talk at them hoping something sticks, you need to really invest time and energy into developing meaningful, genuine relationships.

Your EB can dictate not just what you communicate but how you communicate (via social media, blogs etc). That’s a pretty invaluable tool to have to hand folks.

Step 2 - How do I create an Employer brand?

 Well, with ease and success if you approach it just right. The first stage is truly understanding the importance of why you need one, Step 1 above ticked that box.

Your employer brand takes many forms, all of which are founded on good old fashioned research. What makes you a good employer? What makes your culture favourable to work in? What benefits and lifestyle can you offer your team? Once you have these golden nuggets of info you can start to shape your every own EB around them.

  • Career pages / sites - Your employer brand lives through everything you post and present to the world. A career site is a great way to spread the culture word while offering concrete info and direction to candidates and beyond.
  • Stories and culture bursts - It’s not enough to just present an idea of what makes you, well, you. You need to bring it to life and make it relevant and engaging. Look to your current staff to take the reins, after all they know what it’s like to work for you better than anyone else.
  • Create platforms for sharing - Whether it’s social media profiles or your very own blog, put together a collection of engagement hubs that can be used to share your EB message. You don’t need to use every social network or create a blog post daily to engage with talent, just take the time to uncover the best, most ‘you’ places and resources to utilise. Quality not quantity folks.

Step 3 - Manage & maintain your Employer Brand

This is what it’s really all about. You need to keep nurturing and caring for your employer brand to make it effective, relevant and genuine. Sometimes this can be the daunting step for SMEs as they might be struggling to put the manpower in place to keep this thing going. The truth is you don’t need to have a massive team or dedicated department to keep your EB flourishing.

If you sell this amazing culture only to fail to keep it alive and kicking once the staff are through the door, you’ll lose out in the long term. Talent don’t need to stay put, they can leave if things are working for them so you owe it to them and yourself to get serious about retention.

Everything from keeping the stories flowing and keeping updated on the newest tech and platforms can make a massive difference to your EB success. Use Vine, get Periscope, you need to use and be where the talent are so don’t let your outreach efforts die when your team is full. And be sure to track what works and what doesn’t. The likes of Facebook and Twitter both have free analytical tools so don’t be a stranger to data. Preserving your candidate experience is key too. Staying on top of replies and requests, keeping the application process easy and offering feedback are all big to-dos. There’s so many great pieces of software and systems out there that can keep you on the right track (check out LogicMelon). 

There’s no quick fix or easy solution to SME recruitment. You need to be on the ball, really invested in engagement and always have you eyes and ears open. It might be cheesy but the old ‘your staff are your greatest asset’ line is very very true. If you can get to grips with best practice now, you’ll be laughing.

About the author

Mark Bevans is the Founder of “We Love 9am” an Award-Winning Employer Branding Agency. He’s spent the last 20+ years as a Marketing Professional. Mark Bevans on Twitter and Mark Bevans on LinkedIn

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