Recruiting hasn’t been simple this year. With the pandemic affecting the ways in which people are working and looking for jobs; not to mention the economic climate and the effect that has had on businesses, it’s no wonder that businesses are finding it hard to recruit.
There are some statistics which highlight just how challenging this is. Monster released research this year which showed that 90% of UK employers were looking to recruit this year (up from 66% in 2021), and 87% of the survey’s respondents had struggled to fill job openings.
One of the challenges recruiters are facing are the candidates, and it’s no surprise! The competition is fierce. Candidates are often fielding more than one job opportunity at a time, and they care deeply about where they work. In 2017, the City of London Economic Research said that 98% of people wouldn’t work for a company that didn’t align to their values. And it’s hard to imagine in 2022, that this still wouldn’t be of importance.
Through all this noise, recruiters are finding it hard to capture and, more significantly, maintain the candidate’s attention. That is what this article will focus on – maintaining the candidate’s attention. And how do you do that? By maintaining contact. Not just after the job interview, but after the job offer and right up until their first day at work.
What can we do to maintain this contact and why is it so important? We spoke to Fiona Robinson, our HR manager, to see what tips and advice she could share.
People want to know that they are joining a worthwhile company. A company that will treat them well, that will respect them, and that they’ll enjoy being part of. And with so much competition for jobs at the moment – and the ease with which they can look elsewhere – it’s vital that we do what we can to set the scene for them from the get-go.
Setting the scene in this way, not only makes them feel welcome but it helps build their excitement about the role. It’s also a great way to showcase your values so they know they’re joining a company they’d be proud of, and it sets the tone for how you treat your members of staff.
No one likes attending a job interview and then hearing nothing. It starts raising all sorts of questions in their minds. That’s why you must keep any candidate informed about what the next steps are and then, most importantly, stick to them.
Fiona’s top tip: This is such an important impression to make, as it may affect whether they accept your job offer (if you make one). If they don’t hear from you again or if you don’t stick to your word, it’ll put doubt in their mind. But establish early on that you are a company that is organised, can communicate well and be trusted, then you’re off to a great start.
Once candidates have accepted a job, they don’t want to feel as if they’ve then been forgotten about. This is why regular communication from the start helps them feel part of the company before they’ve even had their first day.
Fiona’s top tip: As soon as the written offer is accepted, start to keep in touch leading up to their start date – whether that be for a compliance reason (like starting a security check), to ask them to complete their starter forms or even to find out their dietary requirements. Small and frequent touch points like these help the new starter to get an understanding of what to expect on their first day, as well as helps them to get focused and excited about their new job!
Nothing says ‘we value you’ like a welcome pack. We all like gifts and not only do they help the candidate feel welcome, but they’re a great way to establish the type of company you are, your values and your brand.
Fiona’s top tip: Think carefully about your welcome pack. What gifts would represent your business or organisation? Gift vouchers to the local coffee shop, the classic pen and notebook, or some gifts to support their mental health and wellbeing?
Again, this is demonstrating how organised the company is, and how they value their team. It’ll not only help settle any recruit’s nerves about what to expect at first, as they’ll know exactly what is planned for them, but it shows them that you’ve thought carefully about their experience of joining the company.
Fiona’s top tip: There’s a lot you can do here! Share the induction plan shortly before they join (we usually do this the week before) and make sure all the meetings are booked in their calendar, ready to go. Encourage them to look out for the invites too, so they know what to expect! Make sure you book in time to go through the company products, services, a who’s who, your brand and so on, which will make sure they get a full overview and friendly introduction to the company.
Giving them access to a few key groups on Teams will allow them a chance to see what work they may be involved in, or what is going on in the company.
Fiona’s top tip: We give them access to Teams for projects they may work on, as well as the social teams. This is always appreciated as it helps them get a sense of the company and allows them to start getting to know people or get involved.
The first day of any new job can be daunting, especially as the recruit often doesn’t know anyone. Show that you’ve taken that into consideration and introduce them to key members of their team, or people who they’ll be working with closely.
Fiona’s top tip: Introducing them to their wider team – or anyone they may work closely with – is so important, as it gives a real sense of belonging before they’ve even started.
Are they joining at a time when any events are happening? Whether that might be summer walks or socials, or the Christmas party – invite them along so they get a chance to meet other people in the company and take part.
Fiona’s top tip: We often do charity events, summer get togethers and Christmas parties, and we always make sure we extend the invitations to those about to join the company. It’s a great way to socialise without work being the focus.