Brexit Uncertainty:

4 Tips for Attracting Talent

There’s still very little clarity on how leaving the European Union might affect UK businesses in real terms. At least in the short term, though, it seems possible the availability of talented candidates will be impacted. And to make matters worse, the UK unemployment rate is already at record lows1 . For recruiters, that means it’s going to be harder than ever to find the right candidates for your roles – so it’s important to be prepared.

In a recent CIPD survey, 44% of employers reported greater difficulty in recruiting during 2018 and 34% reported challenges in retaining staff from the EU.2

Here are 5 tips for attracting top talent during the current period of Brexit uncertainty.

1. Define and enhance your employer value proposition

The labour market is increasingly competitive and candidate-driven, with fewer applicants per vacancy across all skills levels, and higher numbers of hard-to-fill roles.3 To attract the best applicants, you need to have a strong employer value proposition (EVP) to set your business apart from other companies that may target the same type of candidates. Whether you have a formal EVP or not, now is a great time to review your talent attraction and retention strategies.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Build an EVP team: A broad range of functions within your organisation will have an interest in this review e.g. HR, talent acquisition, marketing and corporate communications. Assemble a project team with representatives from each function, appoint a project owner, and decide as a team on your objectives and timelines.
  • Survey stakeholders: Find out what exactly your employees value about your organisation – why they joined, why they stay and what they’d like to see. Combine this data with what you see in your company’s Glassdoor reviews to help your team define the key aspects of your value proposition.
  • Review and enhance: Discuss what you have learned. Does your employee feedback align with where you want to be as an employer? Will your current EVP resonate with the talent you’re looking for? Identify the areas – from interview processes to employee benefits – that fall short of the ideal. Strategise and begin implementing the changes necessary to ensure you’re able to attract the best talent in a competitive talent marketplace.

2. Create more effective job ads

When it comes to your job listings, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd – candidates are looking for information that will help them decide if your opportunity merits investigation. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Clear job title: To find the most relevant openings, candidates search for simple, widely-used job titles. More creative titles – like as ‘Genius’ or ‘Ninja’ – often get passed over. It’s also important to note that search tools don’t always account for shortenings or abbreviations, especially in titles, so write out ‘Senior Vice President’ instead of ‘Sr. VP’ to optimise your search results.
  • Specific role description: Too many companies fall into the trap of putting the ‘about us’ paragraph first. Instead, your opener should include three to five things that applicants will find exciting about the role. Hook them in and make them want to read the whole ad, and then apply!
  • Lucrative offer: Over 40% of Millennials say they select an employer based on their health and wellness benefits.4 While ‘Location and commute’ is the second most important consideration job seekers take into account.5 Be upfront about the pay, working remotely policy, training opportunities and other perks that help you cut through the competition.
  • Easy-to-follow formatting: Dense and lengthy paragraphs are off-putting to read. Break up the text and make it scannable using subheadings and bullet points. Less is more, so make every word count. Keep language plain and simple and avoid internal jargon and acronyms.
  • Simple application process: Great candidates don’t have time for complicated processes. Make applying easy and convenient via mobile, including a clear call-to-action button to your careers page, an applicant tracking system (ATS) or email.

3. Choose the right targeting channels

Now that you have a well-prepared job description, it’s time to think of the right targeting channels to reach informed candidates.

Research shows that after reading a job posting, 64% of candidates spend time researching the company before applying. If they can’t find the information they need, 37% move on to the next job posting.6 Consider what information candidates might find about your organisation on your careers page, social media, press releases, news media, and sites such as Glassdoor.

As the only place where candidates can find job listings, employee reviews, interview information and details on salary alongside company information, Glassdoor has become a key destination for job seekers.

To make the most of Glassdoor, claim your Free Employer Account, and start building out your company’s profile:

  • Refresh your Company Overview section
  • Respond to reviews
  • Post photos, videos and company updates
  • Keep information up to date
  • Ensure consistency between messaging on Glassdoor and your corporate careers page.

Using Glassdoor’s Employer Centre, you can understand more about the candidates considering you, see the top companies you compete with for talent, learn which openings generate the most interest, and where the candidates are coming from. This data will help you further refine your talent attraction strategies.

4. Make the most of your interviews

Once you’ve defined your short list of applicants, the work of interviewing begins. When interviewing informed candidates, it’s critical to be well prepared and aligned with hiring managers so the process can move quickly. Competent high performers will expect efficiency and want to be treated with the same regard that they have given your company.

  • Re-read the job description and the candidate’s CV
  • Determine questions specific to the role for each interviewer
  • Differentiate between need-to-have versus nice-to-have skills
  • Check room availability and check any technology you’ll need
  • Read recent Glassdoor reviews of your company

The interview is often a candidate’s first in-person experience of your brand and can make or break the recruitment process. It also helps you determine if a candidate is indeed well-researched and ready to not only fill the role, but thrive at your company. Here are key areas of questioning with a few sample questions.

According to Glassdoor research, more difficult interviews are statistically linked to higher employee satisfaction. Overall, a 10% more difficult job interview process leads to 2.6% more satisfied employees7. Here are a few ways you can make your interviews more difficult without turning candidates off:

  • Ask behavioural questions
  • Give skill-based assessment
  • Assign a project or a presentation similar to one that would be performed on the job
  • Include members of cross-functional teams in the interview loop
Conclusion:

While the full impact of Brexit on talent acquisition remains to be seen, these four tips will help you ensure you give your company the best chance of attracting talent, no matter the circumstances.

Citations

1. BBC, UK Unemployment Falls to 1.44 Million, January 2018
2. Labour market outlook: views from employers, CIPD
3. Brexit impact on workforce trends, CIPD
4. Bersin by Deloitte, HR Technology in 2017: A Disruptive Year Ahead, October 2016
5. Glassdoor Site Survey, August 2017
6. Inavero/Careerbuilder, 2016
7. Glassdoor Economic Research, Do Difficult Job Interviews Lead to More Satisfied Workers? Evidence from Glassdoor Reviews, October 20156. Goleman, D. (2014).