How to recruit and retain staff in a candidates’ market

Recruiting and retaining staff is a challenge for many businesses at the moment. Candidates can be choosy about what they apply for and which role they accept. It’s particularly difficult for businesses who don’t recruit regularly.

Chloe Carey, our HR specialist, has insights and tips for businesses who need to recruit.

Be clear about what you can offer – it’s not just about the money

This could be salary, benefits or your brand. Why would people choose you over another company? It isn’t just about who pays the most money. It’s about the benefits, the flexibility, and increasingly what your business stands for. A strong sense of purpose is a great way to keep and attract people. A recent study found that nearly two-thirds (58 per cent) of employees are considering leaving their jobs in the next 12 months because their employer doesn’t share the same values as them.

The benefits don’t have to cost you a significant amount. You just need to be open to what the marketplace is looking for. Be clear on your objectives and what you actually need. It’s likely that if you are recruiting for an office-based role if you want someone to come in full time you may need to offer a higher salary. If you can offer hybrid working, you may find people will accept a lower salary.

Tailor your job ad – find the people you really want

Write the job description and advert to fit exactly who you are looking for. Leave it vague and you’ll be inundated with applications from the wrong people, which is a huge waste of your time. While you are wading through the deluge, you also risk losing good candidates who don’t hear back from you

Use tech and agencies wisely – or try the new ‘in-between’ recruitment option

If you are using online tools to recruit, allow yourself plenty of time to set them up carefully. You can filter using questions, but there’s an art to getting it right. It’s also important that you use an applicant tracking system to help with admin.

If you use a recruitment agency, again take the time to explore your options. Ask for recommendations from people you trust and ask the agency if they can put you in touch with one or more of their clients so you can get an external reference. Be aware that most agencies base their fee on a percentage of the salary on offer, so they may push you to offer a higher salary, but your ideal candidates may be looking for benefits and values instead.

Here at Elephants Child, we offer an in-between option – a fixed-fee recruitment campaign. Chloe Carey will work with you to understand exactly who you are looking for, what kind of package they might be looking for, how to write your job advert, and she’ll help you track and shortlist applicants and appoint the successful candidate.

Get in touch to find out more.