Does your company have the competitive edge?

As our Director Martin Evans competes in his first ever ½ Ironman event this weekend, a seasoned triathlete who is always competing to improve in everything he attempts, we can’t help but relate this back to the recruitment world and how enhancing a competitive nature is important to increase your chances of success when competing for the best candidates.

Just as in sports, competition in business leads to innovation – if you’re the only player on the field or the only person at the start line, you won’t be able to improve. And as many companies work in similar industries you will naturally be forced to compete for the same candidates.

Whether you’re a company looking for the best graduates for their first role or looking for the more seasoned employee after their next challenge or promotion, being aware of the competition should be at the heart of the process. A recent survey from Adzuna revealed that advertised UK vacancies hit a 19-month high in June, and there are only 0.43 candidates per vacancy. Another survey from CIPD Resourcing and talent planning survey recorded that just over a quarter of organisations say their recruitment budgets will increase, while a third say their talent management budgets will do the same in 2017-18, so there isn’t much slowing down in sight. All that adds up to an employee centric market – so companies really do need to compete!

These suggestions can help improve your ability to recruit within such a competitive environment.

Promote your company

Just as the buying cycle has changed over the past few years, so too has the recruitment cycle; candidates (like buyers) are way more informed and can do much more research about who they are applying to before filling out the application forms.

Company information – including job specs, senior management profiles, case studies, client showcase, social media channels and any other information which promotes the company – should be ready to send out.

Getting it right first time is key; generate the enthusiasm and get across the “buying reasons” why the candidates should work for your company, what makes it great and why should they apply.

Hiring intent. Hiring time

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression so make sure that your intent to hire is 100%; companies can quickly lose the respect of job seekers and recruitment partners if the intent strays. There is nothing more frustrating to a recruiter than working hard to fill a role but at the final hurdle it is pulled, and the same can be said from the candidate – if they were let down once before, they’re unlikely to risk interacting with that company for a second time.

In such a competitive environment you need to get the best candidates off the market as soon as possible. If you have a recruitment_process that has a longer timeline due to out of hand reasons then feedback is key, make it detailed, make it complementary and don’t leave it too long before you arrange the interview 2 or 3. Anything over 3 interviews will dishearten the best candidates! And don’t give a start date of months down the line! Start the candidate as soon as possible – if that’s not possible then set the expectation from the beginning.

Strengthen recruitment channels

Work with the experts and don’t saturate your job roles. Reduce the number of recruiters you’re working with, as in our experience if the candidate has spoken to a number of different recruiters for the same role multiple times this can frighten candidates away from companies. An external recruitment partner should really be an extension of your team and really understand the culture, capabilities and benefits your organisation offers prospective candidates.

Don’t be complacent

Being complacent in business will not help you stand out from the crowd. Learn from previous successes and failures and take those into the consideration when moving forward with your recruitment. Make sure you listen to feedback as much as give it – the business world is ever changing, so don’t get left behind!

Good luck to Martin this weekend!