7 August 2015

How to Attract the Right Candidate

HR Success Guide
Author: Helen Sabell (College of Adult Learning)

Today’s job market is highly competitive and inundated with a growing number of people seeking employment. As a result, employers may find themselves swamped with an increasing number of job applications. However, this large pool of applications may not harbour a large number of the ideal candidates for the job. Here are some tips on how you can update your recruitment practices to attract the right candidate for your job offering:

 Job Analysis

Before advertising for a role, the organization needs to analyze the available job in order to have a clear idea about the job description. This includes finding out details such as what the job responsibilities are, what tasks are involved, what prior knowledge is necessary, what the salary package will be and any other details that an applicant would find relevant.

 Define who the “right” candidate is for the job

Before attempting to attract the right candidate, you should first define what exactly you are looking for. An employer needs to ask themselves what qualifications, qualities, experience level and skills are they seeking in a candidate for this job? When describing the kind of person that would be best for this job, remember to be realistic. These minimum qualifications and requirement criteria serve as a way of filtering the applications, and from preventing unsuitable applicants from applying. 

 The Advertisement

Once you have established the job description and who the ideal candidate is, you are ready advertise. When advertising a job offering, human resource practices has moved far beyond a simple job advertisement in the newspaper. With advances in technology, organizations need to take advantage of the many platforms they can advertise on, to allow a large pool of candidates to be reached. The utilization of social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide more exposure and publicity and ensures that the right candidate is able to find you.

The job advertisement should be clear, concise, easy to understand and use the right keywords and terminology. So that only candidates who feel that they are suitable will apply, it is important to be honest in your advertisements, if your advertisement does not match the job itself, you may have to go through the whole recruitment process again after because an employee may leave after finding that the job was not what they believed it to be.

 Go Straight to the Source

Many companies choose to advertise and hold information sessions at universities to directly attract new and fresh talent. Career fairs are also a great opportunity to give your organization some more exposure, and to liaise with prospective applicants. These events bring awareness to not only those who were actively seeking jobs, but those who may not have otherwise been looking.

 Application Process

Employers should ensure that the application systems are convenient and can be reached by all applicants. If your application process is done online, ensure that there are no technical difficulties or problems. Any application process which is too tedious or time consuming will deter applicants.

 Be the “Right” Employer

An employer should not lose sight that they are in direct competition with other organizations over the most promising and capable candidates. While asking themselves about what they seek in an applicant, employers sometimes forget to consider why an applicant would want to work for their organization.

To attract the right candidates, employers have to sell their organization and make themselves as appealing as possible. If you want your organization to be a highly sought place to work, you should make any employee benefits and perks clear, such as flexible hours or career advancement opportunities. How you treat your current employees is also an important factor in recruitment. If your organization is not known to be a good working environment, word of mouth from unhappy employees can spread. On the other hand, if you have fostered a positive working environment, employees may even refer their friends and family to apply.

It is also important that any rejections of the not-so-right candidates be handled in a delicate and professional manner, so as not to deter people in future for applying. Both good and bad application processes are shared among candidates and any bad word of mouth may deter people from applying in future.

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