In recent years, Australia’s unemployment rate has sat at historic lows. If you’re a candidate in the job market, this is great news. But if you’re an employer, looking for a competent, capable and skilled employee, the recruitment process isn’t as easy as it once was.
With a shrinking talent pool, and the reality being that many of the best candidates are already working for someone else, attracting top talent does not happen by chance. Your business will only attract top talent if your recruitment process stands out from the rest.
So, where should you start? Here are four simple (but often overlooked) ways to improve your recruitment process and start attracting top talent:
Job ads serve more than one purpose
Firstly, it’s important to understand that a job ad and a job description are not the same thing.
A job ad is what is used to announce that a business is looking for a new employee. A job description is usually included in a job ad. It contains the specific details of the job itself so that you can find an employee that meets the requirements of the role.
But that shouldn’t be all your job ad should contain.
The purpose of a job description is to explain the job. The purpose of a job ad is to sell the job. A good job ad will stand out from the rest and encourage top-quality candidates to apply because not only is it clear about the scope of the role but it also articulates why a candidate should want to work at your business.
Next time you’re writing or posting a job ad, read it over and ask yourself, how is your job ad convincing your dream hire that your business is the right place for them?
Expect candidates to have questions
In the interview process, the same rule applies. Although this is an obvious opportunity for an employer to determine the competency and culture fit of a potential candidate it’s important to remember this is also an important opportunity for the candidate to decide if your business is a place they would truly like to work.
Ensure you allow time for and encourage candidates to ask questions during the interview process.
Just as you, the employer, might want examples of the candidate’s skills and experience, don’t be surprised if a candidate asks for similar examples in relation to your company culture, teamwork, professional development and opportunities for career progression.
These are all great indicators of a candidate that knows what they’re looking for and wants to further themselves and their career.
Transparency benefits everyone
The best recruitment procedures will clearly walk candidates through the stages of their hiring process from the very start (i.e. in the job ad) and reiterate the process after every interaction along the way. This minimises the chances of confusion but also opens up an avenue for honest communication.
This is especially important if your recruitment process is lengthier than others. Top talent will likely always be fielding multiple job opportunities so it’s crucial you encourage candidates to be open about disclosing how far into the hiring process of other businesses they may be.
For example, if a candidate is transparent with you about being made a job offer from another business but has only completed the first round of your two-part interview process, this allows you the opportunity to fast-track your second interview so that you could also be in a position to table an offer within a timely manner.
While this is somewhat of a contentious topic… it generally pays to be transparent about the available salary range of the job on offer, too. Including this information is more likely to make your job ad stand out and attract higher-quality candidates (assuming the salary on offer is competitive, of course).
Don’t brush over your contracts
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your job is done once you’ve put an offer on the table. It’s perfectly normal for a candidate to consider all aspects of your job offer - as outlined in your employment contract - so it’s important you’re prepared for potential negotiation.
Particularly amongst sought-after talent, candidates are likely to want to negotiate salary but also the total package on offer, which could include aspects like bonuses, remote work, flexible hours, amount of annual leave, professional development opportunities, and other benefits.
To ensure a smooth negotiation process, here are three rules to follow:
Play nice - being pleasant and diplomatic (rather than abrupt and intimidating) truly does make a difference
Avoid ultimatums - nobody likes being told what to do
Understand who you’re negotiating with - before you can influence the person sitting opposite you, you have to understand them. Your job is to figure out where they’re flexible and where they’re not.
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