3 steps to get more people to apply to your job vacancy
I asked you a few weeks ago about your biggest recruitment challenges. One of the issues you raised was how to get people to choose you as an employer over your competition.
This reminded me of a project I worked on some years ago. My client, a large gas and electricity provider, was struggling to recruit to their call centre due to competition with a number of other call centres based nearby. Candidates would apply to more than one company at a time and choose the one that paid a bit more than the others or hired them the quickest.
So how do you get people to choose you as their next employer?
1. Know your market
Who is your competition? Who else are your potential candidates applying to? Depending on the role this might not just be businesses operating in the same industry. For non-skilled positions for instance you might be competing with supermarkets or DIY stores.
Why do candidates choose to work for your competitors? What’s the benefit package on offer? What about flexible working? What about location?
What recruitment process do your competitors use? Your competitors may have a similar package on offer to you but if they can recruit more quickly they’ll get the pick of the applicants. Consider mystery shopping to get a feel for your competitors’ recruitment processes.
2. What’s your offer?
Talk to current employees. Find out why they work for you, what they like and don’t like about the job and the organisation. They might for instance value the flexible hours on offer, or the proximity to home, or how supported they feel to do their job.
Identify what makes you different. Hone in on the aspect of working for you that your competitors don’t have. While this might be your benefits package, don’t neglect the more intangible aspects of your culture and working practices. These are often the things that make the real difference to employees. The younger generation, for instance, is looking more than ever for development and opportunities over money.
When I talked to employees at the call centre client I found that what they most valued was the fact that the organisation placed a lot of emphasis on customer service. Employees felt supported and encouraged to engage with their customers rather than simply process their calls. This meant work was a more meaningful experience.
3. Reaching your audience
Where are your candidates? Where are they geographically, what do they do online, what do they read, what do they like to do? This will help you identify which type of medium is best placed to reach your audience, be that online job boards, Twitter, Facebook, radio or even the side of a bus!
How can you get their attention? How will you stand out in the crowd? What can you do that’s a bit different and conveys your message in an engaging, interesting way? Could your existing employees become advocates via their social media account, reducing your social media spend and increasing your reputation? This is the new and clever approach being taken by one of my retail clients.
How can they access you? Can you make it easier for your potential applicants to reach you? How do they find out more? Perhaps you could use social media to chat with candidates – just check out First Direct bank on Twitter and how they engage for instance. And don’t forget that candidates could be customers too!
Getting to grips with these three activities – knowing your market, identifying your message and selecting the right media – is key to successfully attracting potential recruits to your organisation. By doing this, my call centre client increased their number of suitable candidates – what else could you be doing?