9 Tips to Attract Job Candidates during a Staff Shortage

how to attract candidates

how to attract candidates - hiring sign

Have you struggled to find staff for your company? The Irish economy is growing rapidly but businesses are finding it difficult to find the staff to meet this growth. Put simply, we are in the middle of a candidate shortage in Ireland. There are lots of great jobs and not enough candidates applying for them. Here are some tips on how to attract candidates:

1. Keep it structured

To find the best talent it is important to have a structure with set questions to ask each candidate. This way you can compare each candidate like-for-like. It is also a great way to overcome potential biases.

2. Keep an open mind

When making your job specification think about the people you are looking for. What experience and education do they need to do the job well? Often people will specify work experience and college degree that are not necessary for the job. This will turn a lot of excellent candidates off applying for the job. Before you make your job description think about the skills and experience that a person will actually need to to the job and keep an open mind for non-graduates who have excellent experience.

3. Short and sweet job descriptions

Another point about the job description is that according to research conducted by LinkedIn, shorter job descriptions get 8.4% more applicants. Keep your job description to approximately 300 words. Most people will spend 14 seconds scanning a job description before they decide to apply for a job or not. Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure that they can scan the main points easily.

4. The “perfect” candidate doesn’t exist

Often companies are searching for the “perfect” candidate who has 100% of the job description criteria. These “perfect” candidates are extremely rare to find. Instead focus on the candidate- are they willing to learn? Will they grow within your business? Are they capable? Will they add value to your company?

5. Candidate experience is key

At the moment we are in a candidate driven market. It is increasingly difficult to hire candidates and so we need to work harder to attract the best candidates. The key to this is to ensure that candidate’s have an excellent experience at each touch point with your organisation.  How to improve your candidate experience:

  • Clear and concise job description
  • Website and careers information is well laid and reflects your company culture. (One quarter of all candidates will check your website to find out more about your company culture).
  • Ensure a prompt turnaround from selection to interview to offer. Candidates are moving jobs faster than ever before so they may be snapped up if you are not fast.
  • Set expectations around your timeline and keep your candidates informed of any delays.
  • Conduct a structured interview but don’t forget to highlight your company culture and why it is a great place to work.
  • Don’t forget about your onboarding process.

6. Don’t forget job hunting is not easy

In this market we are often under pressure to find candidates for the job. It is important though to remember that recruitment is about people. Looking for a job is stressful. Remember to look beyond the nerves of your candidate to see whether they would be a great fit with your company.

7. Consider using a recruitment agency

It goes without saying that our recruitment consultants are experts in recruiting! They spend all day, every day recruiting staff. They know the jobs market inside out and they are excellent at choosing candidate that will add value to your company. Recruiting is time consuming and expensive so why not use a recruitment company to do the hard work for you! Also recruitment companies will have a large database of candidates looking for work at this moment, including candidates who are not actively looking for work.

8. Brand your company as an excellent employer

Do you have a good reputation as an employer? Are you good to your staff? Would your staff recommend you as a good place to work? If so, tell your brand story. Create testimonials from your staff on your website and on social media. Let them tell the story of why they like to work for your company. Ask your staff to recommend you and to refer candidates to you.

If your reputation as an employer is not great, start to change that. Look at the different, touch points – is there anything you can do to improve? Get ahead of the narrative. Tell your own story.

9. Be flexible

After the past few years people’s work lifes have changed. People are looking at their work life balance and asking more of their employers. We have a lot of talk around the four day week and working from home becoming a regular occurrence. Think about how you can be flexible as an employer to attract the best staff. Can you offer working from home to your  staff for all or part of their week?

This flexibility can also be extended to staff that have previously worked in your company and have moved on.

Today’s jobs market really requires that you think differently to how you have done before in terms of  finding new staff for your business. Hopefully these tips give you a good base on how to attract candidates. Our advice is to start small, make one change at a time and see what works. This staff shortage is not just an issue in one industry or even in Ireland. This is a global phenomenon across all sectors. It is likely to remain an issue for the foreseeable future. If you would like help with your recruitment during this time be sure to contact us, we would be happy to discuss what we can do to help you.

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