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How to hire top talent, and overcome the challenges along the way

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

It’s no secret that the success of a business hinges on its people. Of course, recruiting the right people is hard when you’re one of many seeking the same Candidates. With unemployment levels at a record low, we find ourselves in a talent tug of war: no longer do businesses have the luxury of a vast pool of skilled Candidates to draw from.

Today, top-tier talent knows how high the demand is for their skills; they sit firmly in the driver’s seat waiting for the right opportunity to make their move.

Like a black Friday sale, Employers jostle for position eager to bag the best and brightest for their business, before it’s too late. Without a proactive approach, however, they are left to settle for second best when all the “good ones” are gone. While all Employees have the potential to surprise you, it’s generally best not to leave it up to chance.

Securing top talent won’t be easy, but the following steps should set you on the right path:

Improve your Employer brand

Your job ad is eye-catching, your website has just had a fresh lick of paint and your office is in a central location. So, where are all the high-quality Candidates? Arguably one of the greatest challenges facing recruiting managers today is how fast word travels about staff satisfaction. However, if the first thought you give to how you are perceived by prospective Employees is during the recruiting process, the sad truth is you’ve already lost.

Building an Employer brand is not something that can be achieved through a marketing meeting, it’s an ongoing effort to boost your reputation as an Employer. In order to change how potential Candidates feel about your organisation, you must put the question to your Employees and determine how their experience can be improved in the workplace.

Whether it’s organisational culture, learning and development opportunities or rewards and recognition, making adjustments to boost staff satisfaction will eventually influence your image in the Recruitment landscape.

Ensure a positive Candidate experience

There’s nothing more infuriating for recruiting managers than having a preferred Candidate accept another offer half way through the Recruitment process – but what can you expect when it takes three interviews and a biometric test for you to determine whether an individual is right for the role?

Remember, the experience your Candidate has of your firm even in these early stages will influence their opinion of you as an Employer. Keep them waiting with little communication or force them to jump through a thousand hoops to get to an interview and you shouldn’t be surprised when they snap up an exciting offer from a competitor. If this sounds familiar, consider cutting out certain steps or even finding ways to make them more engaging for the Candidate.

Create an attractive proposition

Considering the level of competition, creating a proposition that goes beyond an attractive salary and a prestigious title is imperative in securing top talent. Fortunately for you, the answers given in an interview can help to create a tailored proposition that works for your Candidate. For example, if they have listed flexibility and freedom within their priorities, this should take a centre stage in the offer.

Alternatively, they may seek a role that provides an opportunity to develop their skills, in which case training may be the focal point of your proposition. This isn’t to say you should completely bend to their will, but being candid with promising applicants regarding what they seek from their next role will allow you to build a unique proposition that ticks their boxes.

If you aren’t able to offer competitive compensation, for instance, consider what else might entice them to the role: flexible holiday allowance, regular rewards for top performance and company outings and events could all see a Candidate choose your firm at job offer stage.

Join forces with an expert

Under pressure to source and secure the best available Candidate in the market, recruiting managers can find themselves settling once a selection of acceptable applicants have passed through the recruiting process. Rarely do these Candidates make for the best hires, but the thought of starting from square one after having got this far is enough to make even the most patient recruiting managers make a snap decision.

By working with a specialist Recruiter, organisations can save themselves the time and fuss of identifying high quality Candidates and concentrate on improving the onboarding experience. Not only will Recruiters offer a diverse network of both active and passive talent, they can ensure only the best and brightest make it to interview stage by conducting preliminary screening sessions.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.    

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