The Battle to Win Over Candidates

The Battle to Win Over Candidates

October 3, 2016 Blog 0

These are interesting times to be a recruiter. On both sides of the Atlantic, we see a jobs market that remains defiantly buoyant. We see new tools to source, attract or engage with candidates launching each month – or so it seems. Plus there’s the incessant business pressure to achieve more for less. Against this backdrop, recruiters are increasingly stretched. So what can you do to stay ahead? In this blog, I’ll look to share some ideas you can implement today to put yourself in a stronger position to succeed into next year and beyond.

  • In short, you need to think through what you could do to make yourself:
  • More effective at being seen and appreciated by your target candidate audience
  • Better at finding the most suitable candidates for your vacancies
  • More skilled at attracting the right candidates to your vacancies
  • Quicker at managing the hiring process through from first interaction to accepted offer
  • More successful at converting shortlisted candidates into offer acceptances
  • More rigorous in building your talent pools

Let’s look at each in turn for ideas you can implement within your team.

Being seen and appreciated by your target candidate audience
One huge change to have impacted the recruitment market is the scope for companies to build their own audiences of potential hires and referrers. Step back a decade and companies had two real options for being visible amongst their target audience. Firstly, they could crack securing high rankings in Google and so be found by candidates organically. Or alternatively, they would have to pay other media companies and event organisers to obtain that visibility (think newspapers, websites, expo organisers, careers fairs and the like).

Today the market bares little resemblance to that. From review sites through to social media, candidates today are forming opinions of companies all year-round. Many companies will have built up an organic reach to their target audience, meaning they are always front of mind with them – and without necessarily having to pay any external company for that visibility.

How true is that of your organisation and what could you do to bolster your candidate reach and engagement levels over the coming months? Now is the time to invest in this.

Finding the most suitable candidates for your vacancies
Being seen and appreciated by your target candidate audience impacts how likely it is that someone will respond positively when you approach them – or indeed when they see a vacancy advertised. But you can only ever be as successful in recruiting as the candidates you can find or attract. So another key success factor is investing in yourself and your team, to stay on top of the very latest candidate sourcing tools and techniques.

Have you set aside time each month to familiarise yourself with new browser extensions or to look at ways of improving your candidate sourcing methodology? If not, a little time invested here by each of your team could produce a permanent improvement in your recruiting effectiveness.

Attracting the right candidates to your vacancies
The same is true of attracting candidates. Whilst much focus has shifted to finding and approaching your ideal hires, it remains the case that advertising vacancies is a highly effective way of making low-cost hires. The job board sector has been through a whirlwind few years though, meaning there’s a lot you need to do to be positioned for success.

Market leaders have changed. Rate cards have shifted. The range of add-ons offered by job boards has ballooned. Plus, of course, there’s now the opportunity to advertise your vacancies direct on social media – paying to reach your intended target audience there instead. Many companies have shifted their recruitment focus to LinkedIn to such an extent that their recruiters are no longer as au fait with other advertising options. Take some time to re-establish relationships in the job board sector – and to experiment with the results they can now bring you for a relatively modest spend. You may well be pleasantly surprised.

Managing the hiring process through from first interaction to accepted offer
Speed of hire is critical. Firstly, it’s a competitive advantage for companies to be able to make key hires more quickly than the competition. But, just as importantly, it also impacts the likelihood of you actually making a successful hire at all. Lengthy hiring processes give candidates the chance to have second thoughts. They open up the prospect of your candidate being poached by a competitor. They also frustrate your existing staff and can contribute to retention problems in the business. For all these reasons and more, working through your hiring process and squeezing every opportunity to shrink your hiring timescales and finesse your processes is essential. Do this today – and reap the rewards for years to come!

Converting shortlisted candidates into offer acceptances
One key metric you ought to monitor and improve in your recruiting team is your offer acceptance rate. Of those you make offers to, how many go on to accept the offer? Poor interview experiences, lacklustre follow-up, protracted offer delivery timescales and a host of other factors can cause your ideal candidates to baulk at the idea of accepting your offer. Are you getting better at this side of things, or are your offer acceptance rates deteriorating? This is something you really ought to know and track.

Linked to this – and another metric to monitor – is your candidate drop-out rate. Having entered your interviewing process, how many candidates remove themselves from the process before it reaches its conclusion? Since your odds of making an offer are directly linked to the quality of shortlist you’ve been able to bring to the business, reducing your candidate drop-out rate is another step you can take to improve your recruiting effectiveness.

Building your talent pools
Last, but not least, what’s the experience of candidates who fall at the final hurdle? Many of the candidates you’ve interviewed could make ideal future hires. They simply weren’t the best fit for the particular opening you initially considered them for. How you treat these candidates – and whether you cultivate an ongoing relationship with them – impacts the longer term talent pool that the business can draw upon whenever it next needs to hire. What proportion of your rejected candidates are potentially great hires for the future?… and of them, how many are you actively nurturing relationships with as part of a talent pooling initiative? Address this today and you’ll grow a key recruiting asset that will impact your company’s future success.

Final remarks
One key element of addressing all these points is having the tools at your disposal to achieve your objectives. The idibu platform has been custom designed to help your organisation address many of these challenges – and to do so in a highly cost-effective manner. If you’d like to have a look inside idibu, do reach out and we’d be happy to schedule a call to show you what’s possible when you harness the best technology for the job.