Recruitment and retention are high on the corporate agenda in 2022, with record numbers of people starting new jobs, record levels of jobs on the market and more people expected to look for roles in the future.
The state of the current job market is providing challenges for businesses:
86% of businesses report recruiting the right calibre staff as a challenge, and 80% report retention as a challenge – Investors in People & Emotional Logic Strategic Stakeholder Report 2021.
Standing out is more important than ever if you want to attract and retain the best talent on the market. Fortunately, we have a community full of companies with the most effective hiring strategies in the market.
We’re going to share them with you and give you the opportunity to download our guide to recruitment, engagement and retention, which will give you a holistic, strategic, reputable approach to recruitment.
We’ll also give you a couple of simple solutions that are often overlooked when recruiting new employees.
1. Arrange bi-yearly boot camps
Don’t worry, you won’t have to buy a set of kettlebells and become a personal trainer! When you’re looking for different recruitment strategies, boot camps are an innovative hiring method and one that can stimulate growth and ensure you get the right candidate for the role.
Boot camps usually last for 2-3 days and include interview-style questions along with role-playing and activities based on your culture and values. There’s an opportunity to design a solid ‘curriculum’ of activities that are specific to your business and your culture.
Boot camps focus more on the culture of your organisation, looking at the values and behaviours required to ensure the candidate fits, rather than giving them a job description and asking them if they can do the job.
You can place candidates in simulated real-life situations, that gives them an insight into what life at your company is like and you an opportunity to observe them and give them valuable feedback. Even if candidates don’t make it, they’ll leave with information they can use in their job hunt, not a rejection without any context.
Hiring for attitude and application, not experience
Boot camps are ideal for recruiting candidates without much industry experience, either those that are transitioning in their career or younger candidates looking for their first role.
Candidates have the chance to explore whether the role is right for them, rather than realising they aren’t a fit four weeks into a new role, leaving and hiking your recruitment costs up.
You can get creative when you advertise boot camps by targeting through social media and other marketing channels to ensure you get the right people on the day.
Also, because you’re only doing boot camps once or twice a year, you can plan ahead and ensure you have the resources to deliver your programme.
2. Pair up with educational establishments
Another creative way to attract candidates is to pair up with universities or other educational establishments to get a steady stream of the best talent that you can nurture and develop.
You can do this in a few ways, through internships, apprenticeships and graduate schemes, which allow people to build their skills while embedding themselves into the company culture.
If you know there’s a talent pool in another country or area, you can explore partnering with colleges and universities in that area. You don’t have to restrict your partnerships to your location or country, either.
Start with a ‘blank canvas’
This recruitment strategy allows the person to grow with the business and gives them the right foundations to move forward a full-time role, and potentially a leadership position – they’re ready to mould, eager to learn and don’t have to unlearn bad habits.
While we always advocate companies paying employees a good wage, there is no doubting that graduate salaries and apprenticeship wages are lower than someone that has even a few years experience in their industry, which is particularly useful for companies that are still recovering from the pandemic and need to keep their wage bill down.
Build a powerful apprenticeship programme
Building an apprenticeship programme that aligns with your business objectives is tough. Especially when a lot of companies are forced into using apprenticeships by the levy and don’t have experience in recruiting and training new talent.
If you’re interested in building an apprenticeship scheme that delivers business success and ensures your younger candidates progress and their wellbeing thrives, learn more about ‘we invest in apprentices’.
3. Link recruitment to the overall company vision
While it’s important to show the skills and responsibilities of the role being advertised, showing how it links to the overall company vision, its development path and culture is a persuasive tool that works in tandem.
Many employers will look to embed the vision and culture into new hires when the new hire starts, but it’s a powerful, persuasive angle to lead with and putting your vision at the forefront of your hiring process will ensure you get candidates that can help you achieve it.
What is your company vision?
If you want to link recruitment to your overall company vision, you need to know what it is, it needs to be accessible and transparent and people need to be motivated to help the company achieve its vision.
If people at your organisation don’t talk about the company vision, there’s a good chance it will be absent in your hiring process. It starts from the top, and if it’s something you’re struggling with, it should be a key area of focus but one you should approach with caution – making it up could have unwelcome consequences.
Be transparent with your challenges
Who’s started a job only to realise the grass isn’t greener on the other side? Companies often portrait themselves as amazing places to work with big ambitions but let down candidates when they come in and discover work isn’t all that they thought it would be.
Be honest with your candidate about challenges that are preventing you from achieving your vision. You’ll build trust with the candidate, and they’ll get a better idea of whether they can and want to help you – and it’s better to have someone that wants to help.
Show off your success
If you can bake your company vision into your hiring process, show it off! Advertise employee and company success on your social media and website along with examples of how people have progressed, developed within the company and helped you achieve organisational goals. Using testimonials from current employees demonstrates your company is a great place to work.
4. Develop an employee referral programme
Employee referral programmes can be useful for attracting top talent, especially for smaller teams or charity organisations, where getting the right person is crucial from a financial perspective. The process can be effective whatever the size of your organisation, though.
When referring people, employees are more likely to take a considered approach and recommend people they feel would be a good fit, especially if they’re passionate about working for the company and helping you achieve your vision.
It’s fairly easy to deploy this recruitment initiative as well. A current employee completes a form detailing why they feel the person is right for the role.
The twist is that the form links to the company values, and the candidate is then interviewed off the back of the form, which links their experience and skills to the values in the referral form.
Boosts engagement and supports your rewards snd recognition scheme
Employee referral schemes can help at a time when everyone is trying to engage their employees while hybrid working is prominent and retention is a key objective.
Referring employees build trust, makes employees feel like they’re part of a long-term plan, and gives employees a sense of pride. Plus, new employees are more engaged because they already know someone at the company and feel valued because they haven’t had to jump through hoops to get the job.
Referrals also feed into the company reward policy, so if somebody is taken on successfully, the person who referred them is rewarded.
5. Build an irresistible company brand
You can do all the work in the background like creating engaging roles that connect to your company vision, but if you don’t look like an attractive company to work for you’ll struggle to attract top talent.
Establishing a top employer brand is a recruitment technique that helps businesses compete for top talent and build a credible image. It can also decrease your time and cost per hire and raise your retention numbers.
Your brand needs to connect to your vision and values and extend to all your people management practices, you have to ‘practice what you preach’, in essence.
Treat candidates like customers
In a way, candidates are a little like customers now. They can shop for roles online and pick the ones that suit them best. They can also leave reviews on websites like Glassdoor and Indeed, critiquing the hiring process (which is a great way to get useful feedback).
If you treat people fairly and provide an experience that makes them think positively of your company, the results are likely to show in your brand – and is a powerful marketing tool.
Get marketing involved
If you’re going to treat your potential hires like customers, marketing is the ideal department to help you. They have experience with customer journeys, branding, design, copywriting and a whole other host of disciplines.
They’ll be able to help you transfer your culture and values into anything you send out and put you in a position where you’re able to attract the people you want at your company.
Simple solutions that companies often overlook
Implementing high-level recruitment ideas takes time, so here are two ways you can improve the quality of your hires and improve your skills in house:
1. Role design and job specification
If you want to recruit the best candidates and keep them, you need to ensure that there’s a business case for the role in the first place. What do we mean by business case? A role that delivers against your organisational objectives, creates clear accountability and doesn’t duplicate or crossover into someone else’s role.
You have to define the skills and responsibilities clearly, show that the person can progress within the role and ensure it meets the needs of your market, community, other employees and business strategy. In effect, you’re writing the job description while you’re defining the role.
You can list all the benefits and describe the superlatives of your company all you like, but if you don’t have your job design laid out the experience may not match up.
2. Upskilling your current employee base
If you have an environment where people are encouraged to develop their skills and your managers understand how to unlock their potential, you can plug some of your skills gaps with learning and development and bide yourself some time while you revise your recruitment approach.
Often all it takes is a simple conversation with your employees, while you shouldn’t force them into a role, letting someone know there’s an opportunity to develop another skill set can often spur them on.
You have to be careful not to overwhelm and overwork your employees, though. Taking on too much can have a negative impact on their wellbeing, which could cause retention problems. Consider that more work means more money as well, and not rewarding your employees for their new endeavours could also harm retention.
How to attract, engage and retain talent in a changing job market
The job market is a volatile, ever-changing force that can determine whether you’re able to recruit the best candidates on the market.
However, our formula has been tested and tweaked over 30 years, withstanding three recessions and a pandemic. Discover how you can create a dependable, high-performing recruitment strategy by downloading our guide: