Nervousness around attracting potential employees is a common feeling amongst companies who feel their brand is unknown or perhaps even unattractive! The reality is the big brands that we all know make up only a tiny fraction of the UK’s businesses; there were a staggering 5.4 million SMEs in the UK in 2016, which equates to over 99% of all businesses nationwide. (Business Statistics Parliament UK)

As this is such a common concern, we have put together Discovery’s Guide to Candidate Attraction, providing insight into some of the key considerations you should be making when setting out to recruit entry-level talent.

At the end of 2016 there were over one million jobs advertised according to Adzuna’s Job Market Report. Standing out amongst that near-record number of opportunities is challenging, but focusing on the following four elements could really help you to attract the kind of candidate you are impatient to meet!

  1. Responsibility

It’s a common misconception that today’s young talent expect to become ‘directors-in-a-day’! They are certainly ambitious and driven, but what they are actually calling out for is responsibility. Young people understand that being given responsibility signifies trust and so any responsibility you can give them, even if at only a micro-level, will be welcomed and valued. It’s worth considering some projects that you could make a student/graduate responsible for; perhaps that thing you have been meaning to do for months but never quite found the time to do. Think of a couple (CSR projects are a great starting point) and talk about them in your job advert. If the graduate can see the kinds of things you are willing to make them responsible for, you will earn their trust and attention immediately.

  1. Be where your audience are

This is about ‘hanging out’ in the same places that your potential applicants are. Digital marketers probably aren’t reading the local paper and millennials are unlikely to be queuing up at the Job Centre! They will however be on-campus, online and on-mobile. Recruitment advertising has changed significantly over the past 20 years and deciding on the best platforms to share your opportunities is a key consideration. A simple Google search of the job title you’re looking to give your new recruit can reveal a lot; take a look at both the paid for and organic search results that appear. Are they industry specific websites? Graduate specific ones? Are you directed to social media or perhaps to university careers sites? The reality is that, for graduate roles, a blend of these approaches is most effective along with other inventions such as local young networking events or delivering a presentation about your company at universities.

  1. More than a shop window

Twenty years ago, an advert in the window of your offices may have been enough. A passer-by could read about the role, take a peek through the ’shop window’ and slide their CV through the door. Nowadays, young people want to come into your office, have a very good look around, meet their potential future colleagues, know where they could be working and what sort of life they can expect there. When we spend such a significant part of our week at work, who can really blame them?! We wouldn’t buy a house without doing a full inspection, asking about the neighbours and taking a look around the area…so how can we expect young people to invest their time in employment before doing the ‘inspection’ first? This means that your job advert needs to bear all! Talk about not just the role, but the culture, the people, the team events you organise, any charities you support. If the platform allows you to, include videos, photos, anything that helps the job seeker get a better picture of what life working with you is like.

  1. Realistic advancement

A really key thing when it comes to candidate attraction is being honest and realistic. If you offer your employees a wondrous package, you absolutely need to deliver one! One of the most common candidate ‘grumbles’ after starting a job is that the job isn’t what they thought. To avoid this grumble we need to give graduates the nitty-gritty and speak in a language they appreciate and understand. This is quite possibly their first experience of being in a position of real responsibility in a business. What we can learn from this is that we need to be really clear on what the job involves, right from the start. As well as discussing the company’s culture and values it is equally important that we communicate in clear, simple language the key responsibilities of the graduate and expected tasks and projects that he/she will focus on.

I hope this gives you some confidence that you can attract the candidates you’re after if you spend some time considering your approach. If you would like to discuss any of these points further, or want to know how to make some of these ideas work for you, I’d be delighted to speak with you…give me a call on 0121 665 4060 or drop me an email.