6 tips to attracting the best talent (Draft for Marijan)

Do you seem to be missing out on the best candidates you need?

Does it feel like you’re always getting candidates better suited for other roles?

Do the good ones seem to be attracted to and recruited by your competitors?

It’s very simple: Recruiters need to adopt a marketing mindset.

So, here are my 6 tips to Attract, Engage, Recruit and Onboard.  Let’s leave the retain bit for another day.



Remember, no matter what problems you’re facing in the recruitment process, you’re not alone – there are many professional and hardworking HR teams out there who still don’t seem to get it right.

In my experience, the problem is one or a combination of the following factors; the employer of choice brand is not strong enough, there’s a glitch in the overall process, or the technology platform powering the process is not working flawlessly. As a result, the employer can’t compete to attract, engage and finally signup the best candidates.

These tips, taken from the broader picture of the entire recruitment process, enable you to figure out what pieces are missing or misaligned in that puzzle – if any.

1. Attract – Employer Branding – Career Site

Deploy a modern and functional career site that reinforces a competitive employer of choice brand.  A recent LinkedIn survey found that 82% of talent leaders in Australia agree that employer brand has a significant impact on their ability to hire great talent. More importantly, job seekers say that they would think negatively about the brand if the site didn’t work on smartphones and tablets.

Ensure your website is optimised for smartphones and tablets. A Glassdoor survey revealed that job seekers are increasingly using mobile in their job search efforts: nine in ten (89%) job seekers report they’re likely to use a mobile device during their job search. Even more telling, 45% of job seekers say they use their mobile device specifically to search for jobs at least once a day.

Make sure that your competitive career site stays competitive i.e., your career site remains up to date . This point cannot be over stressed – investing the time and effort to remain current is critical, and the dividends pay off when marketing and HR work flawlessly together. Check out this career site (https://careers.synlait.com/), it’s a great demonstration of HR and Marketing collaboration to create an effective career site.

A good SEO for your Career Site is very important too – so you come up well on the web when candidates test your employer branding presence.


2. Attract More – Widen Your Advertising – Social Media, Free Job-Boards

Traditional Online Recruitment Advertising is still paramount. More than 75% of all job applications in Australia come from Seek. Don’t forget that not all job-boards are equally effective. Utilising a multi-posting tool allows you to place the right job on the right site, but without wasting hours copying and pasting.

Social media is vitally important. Build awesome social media channels and candidate communities to share your jobs. Remember not to burn them –  be as relevant as you can and avoid pushing jobs to the wrong audience on social media.

Consistency in recruitment advertising is essential. Agencies like Adecco, for example, regularly audit their adverts for any lack of consistency and they take this matter very seriously.

High conversion rate – from a job advert view to a completed job application. Attracting good candidates to your advertised job (or a teaser on a social site) is crucial, but of equal importance is making sure that once people read your advert, they actually continue and complete the application process.

This means that your application process must be relevant and the technology you use is sleek, effortless, modern and deployable on smartphones and tablets. Don’t wait for the CEO to come in to your office and tell you what you need. Take the example of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. When he decided that Facebook needed to make a dramatic shift from a desktop business model to a mobile one, he told product teams: “Come in with mobile. If you come in and try to show me a desktop product, I’m going to kick you out.” Brutal language aside, even the world’s best technology companies have to make the decision to go mobile when they reach the fulcrum point. Recruiting passed that fulcrum point a long time ago.

Your company’s website needs to be able to automatically recognize and adjust to the user’s smart device, its screen size and versatility. It is now relatively easy to provide tailored features and functionality from your website that syncs to the user’s device and screen. An applicant should have easy and speedy access to your website from their office, work station or on the go.

Social profiles as alternatives to resumes?  Providing options to apply with social profiles such as Seek, LinkedIn, Facebook etc., is an effective approach. These platforms are all exceptional examples that are sleek, effortless and modern, and critically, user focused. Providing the option to upload a resume directly from cloud storage sites like Google Drive and Dropbox is another useful feature. Smart technology provides clarity and convenience to applicants and reinforces to the candidate that they’re applying for a job with the right company.


3. Attract Your Own – Internal Hiring – Promote From Within

What is your internal hiring target? Does your organisation encourage its employees to grow and develop from within?

Does your organisation conduct studies on what’s the desired balance of internal as against external recruiting?

Remember, we are not simply talking about retaining your employees. Rather, it’s about attracting and developing the best talent from within to strengthen the organisation.

The same rules of attraction apply to your employees – attract, engage and signup. Branding, technology and your leadership should be deployed to engage and impress internal candidates with visibility, keeping them informed and to encourage follow-ups.

Also, technology must work for you. You need an advanced and responsive internal job-board on your intranet and you must ensure that your employees know about it.

Communicate to your employees the existence of your internal job-board, which should preferably be an entire career site dedicated to a “promote from within” strategy.

A good example of this is from one of our clients, a multi-site public company with over 4,000 employees. The HR team went to every physical notice board all around the company and pinned an A4 advertisement on each one. They drew attention to the internal job-board and spelled out how employees could access it from the company’s intranet.

It is also important that your technology can track internal vs the external applications and can provide the ratio of both in your reports.


4. Keep Engaging To Close – Employer Branding – Communication Templates And A Professional Approach

At this stage of the recruitment process, you have:

  • Attracted high calibre candidates because you have effectively promoted your employer brand and vacancies both internally and externally.
  • Converted some of the views into applications. It is safe to say at this stage that your entire application process was so sleek, effortless and modern that the strongest candidates you’ve enticed to your vacancy followed through on their application.

The challenge now is to ensure that engaging with applicants is respectful, personalised and seamless – this requires continuous engagement.  Otherwise you risk losing good candidates during the recruitment conversion funnel.  The following tips have been tried and tested, and they work:

  • Acknowledge the applicant:  “Thank you for applying” – “We appreciate your interest” –  “We appreciate your time” etc.
  • Visibility and keeping them in the loop – let them know about the process and what’s going to happen next – “OK, this is what’s going to happen now.”
  • Technology can help in keeping all applicants informed no matter how busy you are. Nothing is more frustrating and brand tarnishing than keeping people in the dark. A little consideration goes a long way.  Modern Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) allows you to deploy branded templates.  ATS can also trigger branded and personalised emails, automatically sent to candidates who are then moved onto advanced stages of the recruitment process.


5. Recruit Smoothly – Modern Recruitment Software That Ensures Your Processes Are Flawless And Professional

HR professionals are experienced, knowledgeable and awesome in what they do. These insights highlight areas where disruptions or misalignment can occur.

The summary below draws attention to the challenges HR professionals frequently face and provide practical steps to ensure a sleek, effortless and modern approach to attract the best talent to meet your organisation’s needs.

So, here’s my checklist that works to attract and engage the best talent:

  • Maintain your employer brand: this is a powerful magnet vital to attracting the best talent.
  • Utilise professional, smart and consistent job advertisements on job boards and social media.
  • Increase your “advert view” to “application” conversion ratio by deploying mobile-enabled and sleek application processes.
  • Engage the candidates who have just applied by letting them know what’s going to happen next, using modern and sleek communication messages, such as branded and personalised emails.
  • Use a good ATS that will help you to quickly assess all applications, to get back to people who aren’t successful as well as the ones you do want to shortlist.
  • Produce a short list and share it with hiring managers and executives.
  • Good recruitment technology will help you to collaborate with colleagues within the business (HR, hiring managers, marketing managers and executives) to build consensus on a candidate.
  • A good ATS will also help you to schedule interviews with the right candidates before your competitor does.
  • ATS technology will also help you to close the deal by continuing to engage the candidate, keeping them in the loop, every step of the way.

Recruiting professionals know that candidates want to be acknowledged for their efforts. This is more than common sense. It is a gesture of respect and a key part of engaging the applicant. It can be as simple as:  “Thank you for applying and here’s what’s going to happen now.”  This ensures transparency, professionalism and keeps the applicants in the loop.

Your communication emails, (perhaps SMS, or any form of communication you send to candidates) now need to be very professional and on the ball to maximise candidate engagement. Engaging with candidates who just applied should be sleek, personalised with the corporate signature, error-free and must be delivered in a timely fashion.

Applicant Tracking Systems. And so, this is where technology plays a huge role. Good and modern recruitment software can produce perfect templates for every step of your recruitment process. There is incredible value in professional and personalised templates, which are easily customised and can be sent in a jiffy.  This means that despite being crazy busy, you still get back to candidates in optimal time and you and your organisation enhance the aura of being professional. By engaging good candidates, you encourage them to stick with the recruitment process till the end.


6. On-boarding – Make The Offer And Close The Deal Professionally And Swiftly

Modern and paperless onboarding software will also impress candidates, ensure the contract gets signed and crucially reduce the risk of drop-offs.

  1. Automated onboarding software will allow you to seize the opportunity and have a signed contract on your desk before a candidate has a change of mind or another recruiter lures them away.
  2. A paperless onboarding process that enables a candidate to interact with, especially from a mobile, only reinforces the message that they have made the right choice and increases the likelihood that thy will complete the process and sign the contract.
  3. Digital signing makes you stand out and helps you stay ahead of competitors to a signed contract from the best candidate.
  4. This is an iterative process that can be performed quickly and efficiently to reduce your drop off rate.  A candidate that dashes away right at the end of the recruitment process and the point where they are about to sign your contract is an exercise few HR teams can afford.


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