Hiring can be a costly process, but the end result pays dividends, which is why it’s so important to close the deal and come to an agreement with your top candidate.
Today’s skill shortage makes it even more crucial to avoid losing a good potential employee who has expressed an interest in joining you. A recent survey of 1,254 UK employers found that almost three quarters were finding it tough to fill vacancies. In this type of environment, it’s likely that experienced workers will receive several job offers. So, how do you compete? And how can you avoid losing people once you’ve interviewed them?
Communicate throughout the process
When candidates take the time to apply to your company, it’s important to reciprocate. Show potential employees that you value their efforts, as well as their interest in you as an organisation, by speaking to them throughout the interview process. Today’s generation of workers are used to constant communication, fuelled by the digital devices they carry in their pockets and use at work, so when recruiters fall silent this can be disconcerting. In some cases, interviewees may even give up waiting and apply for other jobs. You should guide your candidates from start to finish, letting them know important details such as interview dates, how they can prepare for meetings and the length of time before they’ll hear from you with a decision.
Create attractive opportunities
To compete with rival employers, try offering something they aren’t able to. Whether it’s the chance to complete paid-for professional training, work around family life or enjoy time off volunteering, opportunities like these will help you to stand out as a business worth joining. To create an attractive employee benefits package, think about your ideal employee and fashion a package to match. A survey of UK professionals found that over 60 per cent consider workplace perks to be key when looking for a new job. Top of the list of coveted benefits are flexible working, seasonal bonuses, extra holiday and staff discounts. This may sound expensive, but just think, going the extra mile to reward your staff will mean that you’re in a better position to build your dream team.
Offer a clear job description and salary
Salaries are rising in the UK due to a continuing lack of candidates – that’s according to a recent report rom KPMG and the REC. While this may be something you want to consider, the most important thing is to be clear about earning potential at the start of the interview process, preferably in your initial advert. You should also check the amount you’re offering against similar roles in the area. Did you know that including wage information in job postings can result in an increase in candidates by 30 per cent? Following this rule avoids a situation where you’ve interviewed a great candidate who subsequently loses interest because the salary is too low. By offering a clear figure, as well as a concise job description, you’ll be able to manage expectations from the start.
Have you sold the role during interview?
An interview process goes both ways – it’s not just about candidates making a good impression, they’re also assessing you as an organisation to see if they’d like to accept a job offer. To attract your first choice on your shortlist, make sure that they have a good experience when they visit. In this situation, the little details count, so when they arrive don’t keep them waiting and instruct your receptionist to give them a warm welcome. Increasingly, companies are realising the value of the candidate experience – in fact Virgin Media has created a training programme based around this for 450 hiring managers within the business. Get your sales pitch ready and make candidates feel wanted by outlining what you can offer them, how you value your staff and giving a tour of the facilities.
Understand their motivation for moving
If you can understand a candidate’s motivation for moving jobs, it’s possible that you can step in to offer them the very thing they’re looking for. In some cases, determining the reason behind a shift in roles can be difficult. After all, if employees have had a bad experience – such as an unpopular change in management – they’ll know that it’s important to stay professional. To get around this, try asking people about what’s important to them in the workplace, why they chose their last job and what they’re looking for from you. Aim for an open and honest conversation, which will give you a good picture of what someone is like as a person and will help you to connect with their career goals.
About the author
Kate Allen is the MD of Allen Associates, one of Oxfordshire’s leading independent recruitment agencies, that specialises in Marketing, Finance, PA/Admin and HR roles. In 2018, Allen Associates launched their first London office, specialising in Marketing, HR and PA/Admin roles.