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Struggling to get enough applicants to your job roles? We hear you. The truth is, there are hundreds of roles constantly streaming into the market and your job ad can easily get lost in the flood. Add to this your market’s potential skill shortages… So now it comes down to who can spend the most, cover the most job boards, afford the most luxurious onboarding gifts and employee benefits. 

We’ve been hiring talent on behalf of businesses for nearly three decades. So what can you be doing to organically increase your advertising reach, and get more applications on your roles?

Know what you want, what you really, really want

It goes without saying, but if you don’t know what you want then choosing the right person will be difficult. The problem stretches back further than this, though. If you don’t actively define what you want (and need) from the role, you’ll struggle to attract anyone, let alone ‘the one’. 

Needs vs wants

Creating a job advert or person specification is a fine art. You can’t have it all, and you need to consider the level of experience you’re willing to hire too. If you don’t define this, you won’t communicate it. And if you fall into the trap of including absolutely EVERYTHING on the job duties list, you’ll alienate highly capable candidates, leaving them intimidated by the workload or experience required. Take time to figure out what is necessary for the role, nothing more, nothing less.

Bonus tip: Utilise talent market insight reports (we can help) to figure how the best way to market your job role. Think of the job title as the keyword of a google search, or the subject line to your email; if it’s not right people will just scroll past. Salary (which you should always post,  in our opinion) should obviously be considered too, and, if you offer remote or hybrid working, make this obvious. Clarity is key. 

Once you got them, keep them

They clicked on the job advert, but how do you get them to apply? Attention spans are fleeting, so consider what really needs to be in the job advert, and the language you use. Check out our guide on how to write a great job advert here.   

A lot of what makes an effective job ad (once you’ve defined the role) comes down to layout, formatting and tone of voice.  Avoid the TLDR (too long, didn’t read) effect– you can always send them a follow up with the full job specification once they apply. 

Bonus tip: Consider using tools like Textio to create job ads stripped of potential unconscious linguistic bias. 

Engage with passive candidates 

Whilst active candidates (those actively searching for a new job) certainly make for the easier ‘sell’ than passive (those not searching/applying), it’d be a recruitment cardinal sin to not reach out to those within the passive bucket, especially when the match is right

We're not saying message anyone and everyone vaguely right for the role.

What we ARE saying: Use tools like LinkedIn Recruiter Licence and your own existing databases (or utilise a recruitment solutions business with experience in your sector) to find the right person, and connect with them specifically. Not only are you not ‘spraying and praying’, but you’re more likely to get a response if you take a more bespoke approach– make ‘em feel special.

Utilise businesses with databases of applicants in your industry 

You wouldn’t try and mix the right shade of paint by yourself. Well you could try, but it’d be pretty messy. By partnering with a recruitment company (like us!) who deal specifically within your talent sector, you’ll gain access to their database, relationships, skills, ensuring that you get your job role in front of the right talent. 

Take the stress out of hiring and work with professionals who can help you firstly get applications, but then also support you in selecting the right ones to take to the next step! Outsourcing at its finest. 

Marry HR with Marketing 

This is definitely a larger piece of work, but a key component in laying the foundations for your business’ growth plans over the coming years. Define your EVP (employee value proposition) and ensure talent attraction is one of the central objectives of your marketing team. By doing this, your marketing team (with support if needed) can even create an employer brand which can be used to reach talent in a holistic way.  Check out our favourite examples of EVPs here for inspiration. 

Keep the partnership with marketing going and see if using ‘candidate’ pitch-packs to send to passive candidates could help to open up conversations. In a saturated market, a marketer's eye to ‘stopping the scroll’ could be your best friend in the war for talent. 


Want a more diverse workforce? Check out our blog on how to do this.


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