Are you struggling to attract great people to your business and wondering where you’re going wrong? Before you admit defeat, take time to reflect on your approach. We live in a digital age with more access to job-related information, headhunters and networking opportunities than ever before. Reaching potential candidates isn’t so much the problem; it’s competing for their attention and winning them over in a saturated market. The search for top talent is tough and SMEs must adapt to this new, more transient kind of workforce. Here are four ways you might be putting candidates off without knowing:
1. Your job description is boring
A job ad should be a candidate magnet, not a repellent. In a sea of noise about open roles online, this is your opportunity to bring the vacancy and your company to life. It should be exciting, descriptive, specific (without being narrow-minded) and leave people wanting to know more.
Forget generic templates and shopping lists of skills. Unless your employer brand is on par with Google and MTV, SMEs must learn to be creative in how they sell their unique proposition. Common oversights include failing to make mention of basic things like location, salary and seniority, as well as struggling to convey company perks or a sense of culture.
2. Your buzzwords are blinding
People want to work for businesses that complement their values, priorities and personality. A company with a generic, sterile culture run by robots churning out empty clichés is not very desirable! In short, minimize your use of buzzwords.
According to Collegefeed, most millennials place more importance on people and culture fit with employers than they do career potential. Your branding material should be unique and authentic. If you show candidates what your business is truly like, they will be able to form an educated opinion.
3. Your ‘time to hire’ is loo long
Little is more frustrating than being kept waiting! If you want to attract and secure great people to your business, you’ve got to move quickly before they get snapped up by your competition.
If your application process is frustrating, lengthy and exhaustive, candidates will become bored and lose interest. Secondly, if you take a long time to respond to them, delay providing feedback, scheduling interviews or moving things forward, they’ll turn their attention elsewhere. In many ways, your application process is the first impression candidates receive of your company, so make sure it’s positive and memorable.
4. Your online reputation is poor
Research by Corporate Responsibility Magazine reveals most people would consider leaving their jobs for a company with a great corporate reputation… and 69% simply wouldn’t work for a company with a bad one.
These days, employee recommendations (and warnings) are powerful forms of advertising and influence an applicants’ decision making. Before applying for a job, regardless of whether they have heard of the business or not, candidates will likely run a simple search online. If your employer brand and reputation isn’t favourable, do not ignore it and hope it will go away. Instead, put together a strategy and tackle it head-on.
Time to change
Recruitment shouldn’t be viewed as a box ticking exercise or boring administrative task. If that’s the perception internally, candidates will catch wind of this and be turned off. The best SMEs constantly review their recruitment processes to stay ahead of the pack and offer candidates a standout experience. Never stop looking for ways to improve, because talent is arguably your biggest asset! For a closer look at the applicant perspective, check out our survey: How Applicants Feel About the Application Process.