4 simple ways to attract more candidates

Unemployment is at a historic low, and job ads have reached new highs: there were 35% more job ads on SEEK in June 2022 compared to the same time three years ago.

In this market, candidates have more choice than ever – creating far greater challenges for employers and recruiters in attracting people to roles.

But the answers to these challenges don’t have to be complex. Simple, straightforward strategies can help you get the right people interested in your role.

Here are four ways to attract more candidates to your open positions, based on research into the top frustrations candidates face during recruitment.

Write accurate job ads

Inaccurate information on job ads is a key frustration for around 76% of candidates, research for SEEK shows.

Andrea McDonald, Director at u&u Recruitment Partners, says businesses can slip up because they’re worried about including aspects of the role that may be less enjoyable.

McDonald says candidates often appreciate honest and accurate job ads and are more encouraged to apply. “Candidates develop trust for an organisation that is open with information and giving a realistic job preview,” she says.

At accessories brand Bellroy, which employs almost 100 staff, the focus is on attracting the right candidates – rather than trying to please everyone. Recruitment Lead Amy Huggins recommends a targeted approach.

“Some people are really good at organising, while others are better at interacting with people, stakeholder management or working with spreadsheets,” she says. “We are honest in the job description about what is required in the role and then aim to be attractive to people who may be suitable.”

Write detailed job ads

Likewise, job ads that are vague or short on detail are a frustration for almost 67% of candidates. It’s difficult to get excited about a role or figure out if you may be suitable if you’re unclear about exactly what it involves.

Steven Perissinotto, Director in charge of HR and marketing at Vet Shop Group, which runs online pet store Vet Shop Australia and employs 22 people, says writing or refining the job description before creating the job ad can help to provide a more detailed overview.

“We start with six to 10 points in the job description for us internally, then we take them and turn them into a job ad,” he says. “It means we get more appropriate applicants.”

Huggins suggests a “two-pronged approach” to make sure job ads contain enough detail. “We make sure the technical wording and the deep details of what the role entails is done by the manager of the role who is a technical expert, then we add information about culture,” she says.

Perissinotto agrees that in the current environment, focusing on the nuts and bolts of a role helps to attracts more candidates.

“Because we don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing so much in the current environment, we stripped out of our job ads all of the 'you will be this sort of person' information and we focus on what the job actually is,” he says.

“I've just advertised a junior marketing position and have gone from literally no applications to a number of applications after switching to this approach.”

Include salary information

It’s not always an easy decision to disclose salary on an ad. But omitting salary from job ads – which frustrates around 63% of candidates – can lead to incorrect assumptions and fewer candidates, explains Kate Vuleta, Business Manager at u+u Recruitment Partners.

“Not all organisations will allow for this, and some may have a policy that prohibits it. But research shows that there is a growing need for organisations to provide more transparency around remuneration,” she says.

Where possible, Vuleta says, including salary information can be a powerful motivator for potential candidates to apply for a role.

“In the current market and with remuneration levels increasing in many sectors and counter-offers happening frequently, including the salary will allow for great clarity and management of expectations.”

If a business prefers not to include salary information, Vuleta recommends including detailed information about other benefits.

Keep in touch with candidates

Not hearing back from the hiring manager during the recruitment process is one of the top sources of frustration for candidates.

Staying in contact from when a candidate first enquires about a role right through to the outcome of an interview means candidates are more likely to apply for future roles if they’re unsuccessful.

“We had a customer in the financial services industry that sent every unsuccessful applicant a thank-you note and an offer for a discount on one of their services to recognise the time they took to engage with their brand,” McDonald says.

“They know that their employer brand is inherently linked to their overall company brand, and that marketing and talent work together to ensure that comes to life.”

Perissinotto says keeping in touch can be as simple as an email acknowledgement for every application and a personal thank-you for every unsuccessful interviewee. “We have a rule: treat people the way you want to be treated.”

In a competitive market, attracting candidates can come with significant challenges. Focusing on accurate and detailed job ads, sharing the salary or benefits, and providing consistent communication can help you sharpen your hiring practices – and attract the right candidates to your role.

Source: Independent research conducted by Nature of behalf of SEEK, interviewing 4000 Kiwis annually. Published August 2022.

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