Ah, January. That time of year when we rid ourselves of the seasonal excesses and resolve to drink more water, eat more vegetables and get more exercise. All laudable habits of course – assuming we stick to them. However, January also seems to be the time of year when we finally have the courage to confront areas of our life which are causing us to feel unhappy, or unfulfilled. Perhaps this is why job searches spike in January, leading to an increase of active jobseekers on the market. While this might seem like great news for a business that plans on recruiting at this time of the year, it is worth keeping in mind that January is also a prime time for other companies that are hiring – meaning that your business may need to take extra measures to stand out from the crowd. Here are three active steps that you can take to ensure your business is attracting, and engaging with, the right candidates.
Be specific in your job description
And no, we don’t mean regarding salary (although, that might not be a bad idea). Creating a job description which clearly outlines required skills is key here. Clarifying whether certain skills are essential or a nice-to-have is also important, but you should be discerning. While you don’t want to encourage applications from employees that are not a good fit, the last thing that you want is for a talented job seeker to get disheartened by the list of ‘essential skills’ and not apply for the role. It is better to err on the side of caution and keep the essential skills required to an absolute minimum, unless of course it is a highly skilled role that you are hiring for, such as in the scientific or technology sectors.
You should also bear in mind that a lot of organisations may advertise certain positions in January but may not seriously be considering hiring someone until later in the year. Organisations with this idea in mind can risk frustrating job seekers, so if this is your strategy then it is best to be upfront with your candidates about this. Similarly, if you are advertising a role that needs to be filled sooner rather than later, then it can help to include this on the job posting so that applicants know that you are serious about hiring and that the role is immediately available.
Choose your channels wisely
As you consider where to advertise your job, you might want to think about where your ideal candidates are likely to be, as well as where they will be most likely to engage with your job posting. LinkedIn is a great tool for listing vacancies that require a certain level of skill, and particularly good if your business is B2B rather than B2C. As well as being a great place to advertise the vacancy, and depending on the skill level required, LinkedIn has a huge database of potential candidates. As the platform asks users to provide a certain amount of information regarding their work experience and education, hiring managers can perform keyword searches and directly contact any interesting profiles that come up in the results, rather than just relying on the off-chance that candidates will see your job posting.
On the other hand, you may be looking to hire entry level or non-skilled staff, in which case advertising the role on Facebook may be more advantageous as it is less centred around solely professional content. The level of interaction with bars, restaurants and other B2C businesses remains higher on Facebook than on LinkedIn, so if you run a local pub and need to hire bar staff then make sure you let your followers know. If your business does not have its own Facebook page you could even post from your personal page into local group pages, providing you abide by the rules of the group.
Job boards are other platforms to consider, though will usually come with an associated monetary cost. It is also worth remembering that it is only job seekers that will be browsing these sites, and that by only advertising your vacancy on such platforms you will only attract applications from candidates who are actively searching for a new job. Your ideal candidate may be quite content in another role with no intentions of starting the job search. Meanwhile, the role you have to offer may be exactly what they didn’t know they were looking for.
Know when to ask for help
Recruitment is a multi-layered, complex function. Finding the perfect candidate can seem like an impossible task sometimes. Your job advert might be attracting the wrong type of candidates due to being misworded, your qualification process may lack somewhat which means you may hire the completely wrong person and not realise until you’ve already hired them, or it might take so long to find the right person that other roles or tasks are being neglected. Additionally, recruitment is basically human capital, which can be risky. When you make a purchase decision about an inanimate object like a car or a computer, that product is not ever likely to change its mind about its price or being sold. However, when you make a hiring decision about a candidate, that candidate is well within his or her rights to try to negotiate on salary or even outright refuse the job offer.
You will also want to ensure that when you make an offer to a chosen candidate you are following correct procedures that exist for the protection of both you and the candidate. Make sure you collect references from past employers and that there is nothing in the employment contract that your business won’t be able to stand by.
Outsourcing some or all of this vital part of the HR process could help to alleviate you of these issues and ensure that you and your business are complying with best practice at all times. To find out more about Insight HR and our award-winning service, you can contact us on 056-7701060.