How to attract more talent and not just more candidates

When Wave CEO Dave Jenkins was invited onto UK Recruiter’s Recruitment Smarts podcast last week, he knew exactly what he wanted to talk about. It’s a topic close to our hearts here at Wave and drives everything we do – creating a world where talent is never missed.

Be laser-like with your recruitment strategy

Attracting candidates that are the right fit for your jobs, striving for quality over quantity, should be the ultimate goal for any recruiter. And yet the aim of receiving as many applications as possible hasn’t faded, possibly as a result of a decade of a dearth of candidates in the market. Now more than ever, however, the importance of a strategy that targets and attracts qualified candidates is paramount. With high unemployment and rocketing numbers of applications, recruiters need to be laser-like with where, when and what they post with the aim of increasing the number of suitable candidates but decreasing overall applications.

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  1. Aim to decrease applications with targeted job posting

    Aim to decrease applications? That probably seems like a shocking suggestion to many recruiters but do you really have the time to wade through tens or even hundreds of applications? If you’re receiving that many applications it’s unlikely they’re all going to be from suitable candidates. There are a huge number of jobseekers out there, some of whom have been unemployed for months and are, understandably, applying for anything that even vaguely matches their skillset and/or experience. The unemployment rate may have fallen for the first time since the start of the pandemic but, at 5%, it remains high. Simultaneously, WaveTrackR data shows that applications continue to climb. February marked the second month in a row that they have increased, reaching 83% above the 2020 average. Your recruitment marketing strategy needs to change to reflect the constantly evolving situation. With more talent in the pool you can afford to be more targeted in your job posting.

  2. Focus on where, when, what

    Not only are rising numbers of applications making recruiters’ jobs harder, the pandemic has caused us all to tighten our budgets and the truth is that the spray and pray method of job posting just isn’t budget-efficient. Digital advertising may be cheaper than print but advertising on multiple online job boards, several times a day per consultant, burns through a huge amount of advertising and the cost mounts up. This is when it pays to be strategic about where you post, when you post it, and what you include in the ad. The aim is to achieve a high ROI and avoid receiving hundreds of unsuitable applications – what you don’t want is to slow the entire process down. When you’re up against competitors, speed is key.

  3. Craft a killer job ad

    So how can you ensure that your job ad is being seen by qualified candidates? How can you increase quality applications whilst ensuring a sufficient response? Firstly, your job ad must be well written. Although speed is of the essence when it comes to finding the right candidate, at the ad creation stage the pace needs to slow. It is vital that the ad is well crafted in order for it to be seen and responded to by qualified candidates. Think about keywords, think about making it persuasive, think about keeping it concise. Whatever you do, don’t just post the description. A job description is not a job ad. A job description necessarily has to cover a huge amount of detail, which would make for a rather boring job ad. The purpose of a job ad is to influence qualified candidates to apply for the job and therefore needs to be persuasive, exciting and benefit-led whilst ensuring that it contains enough information to inform the candidate of the requirements of the job. Recruiters must move into a marketing function in order to get results. 

  4. Use data to post to the right job boards at the right time

    Once you have a great ad you need to make sure it is posted in the right places at the right time. We may be dispelling the myth that the spray and pray concept is a successful one but posting jobs in multiple places is still the right thing to do. You just need to ensure that those places are areas in which you’ll likely get value and, for that, software like WaveTrackR is a massive help. Data is key here. With the relevant data at its disposal, WaveTrackR can recommend which job board is likely to give you the highest ROI, as well as the day of the week and even the time of day to post your ad in order to catch candidates when they’re actively looking. A recruiter’s instinct is also important so don’t totally discount what your gut and your experience is telling you. Data plus instinct is a powerful combination.

  5. Take time to save time

    Ultimately, recruiters must be creative and consultative. They need to transform a job description into a killer ad, they need to talk to their clients to gain a full understanding of what is required and, if they don’t have the data to help them make informed decisions, they need to be able to get on the phone and chat to their job board reps for advice. By writing a quality ad and posting it to the right platforms at the right time, your chances of improving your talent attraction without being spammed by hundreds of unsuitable applications increases manifold. And that is surely the Holy Grail for every recruiter. 

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