You work for a great company and it’s time to grow your team. You’re offering a good salary and you thought people would jump at the opportunity. But for some reason you’re just not getting the right people through the door. It’s true that skilled people in digital and tech are in short supply, but there are practical things you can do to attract and engage more candidates.

Here are six simple steps for attracting and engaging the quality talent you want to hire:

 

1. Define a Clear Proposition

People like to know the situation they’re getting into, and where it will take them. Ensure you articulate a clear vision of why you want to hire someone and what you want them to do. Clearly define the what, when, and how of key deliverables. Indicate how the role interacts with other stakeholders within the business and be sure to outline a plan for training and career development.

 

2. Design an Inspiring Job Spec

The plain text job spec is dead. It’s also important to remember that a job description should not serve as a job specification. A job description outlines the role, responsibilities, duties, etc. in their entirety. Although a job specification will include some information about the role, it should focus on the skills and experience required to perform the job. A job spec should also paint a clear picture of the company culture, and help potential candidates to envisage themselves in the role. Since it’s often the first information a candidate will have about a job, the spec should be part advert.

When you design your job spec;

  • Lead with opportunity! Highlight the exciting parts directly relevant to the role/candidate.
  • Use images to communicate your employment brand – your office, social elements, events, etc.
  • Embed videos of team events, employee testimonials, product launches, etc.
  • Link to external info such as your social channels, press coverage, or sites like Glassdoor.
  • Name key stakeholders and include links to their LinkedIn profiles.
  • Include the vision, purpose, business model etc. but don’t lead with it.
  • Don’t forget a ‘Call to Action’ – info about how to apply.

This combines all necessary research into one place, to reduce friction and make it easy for the candidate to decide and apply. Discover how we do this at Hanover.

 

3. Post Great Adverts

Once you’ve clearly defined your proposition and designed an inspiring job spec, creating the copy for a great advert is easy. That said, you will need to post your advert in the right place, and optimise it for search to ensure people see it. Some key points to consider;

  • Where will you post your ad? What are the most relevant job boards and publications for the role?
  • If using a job board, what is their specific criteria for search optimisation?
  • Optimise for Google Jobs.
  • Post the ad on social media and get friends and colleagues to share it.
  • Always include information about the salary and benefits.

 

4. Tell People Again

When someone is actively searching for a job, they will apply to each relevant advert they see. But, most of the candidates you’re targeting probably aren’t actively searching for a job. They may be open to opportunities, but they won’t necessarily apply to the first thing they see. Use these additional touchpoints to encourage them to apply;

  • Message relevant candidates in your LinkedIn network.
  • If you don’t get a response to your first message, follow-up and remind them.
  • Write a blog about the team you’re building and why.
  • Write an article and send it as a press release to relevant publications.
  • Ask your internal recruitment team to call a shortlist of candidates and pitch the role.
  • Engage a specialist recruiter to reach out and provide third party mediation.

 

5. Make it Easy to Apply

Your goal is to attract as many qualified and engaged candidates as possible, so be sure to remove any friction from the application process. Resist asking for too much in the first instance, such as getting candidates to answer screening questions online.

Just ask for a response, rather than a CV. Even if you get an initial message on LinkedIn, that’s enough to start with. The best passive candidates don’t necessarily have an up-to-date CV waiting and ready to go.

Finally, double check that your contact details are clear and easy to find on the adverts and publications related to the job.

 

6. Feedback Fast

People don’t typically engage with job opportunities one at a time, and they like to know where they stand. Even if they’re a passive candidate and yours is the first job they apply for, chances are it will prompt them to apply for another. Once you have an application, you’re in a race to decide if that candidate is right for the role and your company. Confirm receipt of the application immediately and be transparent about next steps and expected timelines. Do this all the way through the process. You will be rewarded with more committed candidates and fewer dropouts.

 

Each of these things will help you to attract and engage more candidates, but it’s only when you deploy all of them across your recruitment campaign that you will really get meaningful results.

 

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James

This blog post was written by James Burdis, our Director of Operations. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Hanover is an award-winning agency, we offer contract and permanent recruitment across Technology, Digital Marketing and Design sectors. We specialise in supporting Digital Transformation, Marketing, IOT, AI and Data.

Whether you need to hire digital talent, or you’re looking for the next step in your digital career, Hanover can help.