Bring those job applicants in!

Competition for job applicants is greater now than it has been for some decades. Attracting candidates of the right calibre, or even those who just attend for interview (!), is a challenge in some sectors of the labour market. We provide some hints and tips for bringing them in…
These hints and tips are aimed primarily at the lower labour market sectors but much here applies whoever you are seeking to recruit.

Decide where to advertise

1. The internet is an easy, inexpensive and now obvious place.

  • “Indeed” is arguably the premier job site. This and other sites offer facilities for managing your vacancies, such as shortlisting and sending out emails to applicants.
  • Assign someone to become familiar with “Indeed”, job sites and social media platforms. There is much skill they can acquire in, for example, timing of advertising.
  • Develop a company page in social media and make that interesting and engaging. By building up a following you increase your access to potential employees.

2. Internally

  • Existing employees can be a good source if they know there are vacancies. Of course it assumes that existing like working for you, but that is another subject.

3. Locally

  • Where you need employees who are nearby, perhaps because of a need start or finish at unsocial hours on lower wages, local sources such as newsagents, supermarket boards or outside your premises are all worth considering.
  • Schools, colleges and universities should be considered, particularly if you are offering part time hours.

4. Events

  • A recruitment “open day” can attract large numbers of applicants if you have suitable premises. It can be worth spending on advertising for the event, on local radio, for example.

5. Speak to Anita

  • Anita, at Employer Solutions, is familiar with all these processes and can help you to get them underway in your own business.

Draft your advertisement carefully

1. Catch their attention (in the heading)

  • It is job title, location and salary/rate that grabs initial attention.
  • That means the job title needs to have meaning for your potential applicant. “Director of First Impressions” could massage the ego of an existing employee but potential applicants might not recognise the vacancy as for a “Receptionist”. Of course its outrageous nature may grab attention and thereby access a wider audience.

2. Develop their interest

  • You have the applicant’s attention, the next step is to develop their interest in the vacancy and, pertinently, in working for you! Positive aspects of the job, your business, the team, the working environment, etc. come in to play here.
  • Conversely you should also encourage self-selection. What you need are 5 to 10 excellent applicants from whom you can choose. You don’t want a hundred. By being specific about your needs unsuitable applicants will be less likely to apply, saving you much time.
  • If you need particular qualifications, experience, driving licence or have other special requirements then warn applicants in the advertisement. That saves their time as well as yours.

3. Create desire; this is what you are offering to the successful applicant
It might include:

  • Bonus or commission
  • Fringe benefits
  • Training
  • Career prospects
  • Better job security

4. Finally, a call to action

  • Make it easy to apply, unless you expect a surfeit of applicants.
  • Job sites, such as Indeed, make application easy; some might argue too easy.
  • The requirement to complete an application form is off-putting; there are pros and cons, but it can be done later.
  • If you require specific information to be disclosed you might ask for a CV to be submitted with a covering letter outlining how the applicant can meet your requirements.

Good luck!

Malcolm Martin FCIPD

Author Human Resource Practice.

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