Known as the Battle for Talent, recruiters are facing fierce competition for hiring the UK’s best and brightest. The latest ONS report reveals that the British unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 1975 with only 4% of individuals out of work. At the same time, the number of vacancies has increased by 51,000 over the last year to a staggering 829,000 job vacancies. With so many job vacancies and so few candidates, it’s becoming increasingly harder for companies to find skilled employees.

Some industries have undoubtedly faced a “skill shortage”. According to a report created by Robert Walters into the issue, 65% of companies across the UK expected to see at least a moderate skill shortage. This shortage is felt particularly by recruiters looking for mid/management and junior employees. Likewise, the BBC reported that the skill shortage was strongly present within roles related to manufacturing, skilled trades (plumbers, electricians, etc.), and caring professions.

These circumstances have created an environment that requires companies to carefully consider their recruitment process. A study into Why Candidates Decline Job Offers, reported that 36% of candidates accepted a different offer. So, how do you ensure this doesn’t happen and that your company remains candidates preferred choice?

Quickly Respond to Emails

When it comes to building professional relationships, communication is key. How you interact and engage with candidates reflects your company’s brand and ethos. Swiftly and promptly replying to questions about the recruitment process shows that you care about your candidates and offer the support they need for success. In our digital world, most people expect a response within a few hours and at most within 24. Responding slower could cause you to lose out to another interested company.

Keep in Touch

Good communication demands more than just swift replies. It’s also important to maintain contact. Candidates appreciate receiving updates on the process. Industry best-practices say that you should aim to speak with talented candidates on a weekly basis via email and every two weeks via telephone. Even if you don’t have an update about the role, make sure to maintain contact as not doing so could make it seem like you’re no longer interested.

One great way to maintain contact is by inviting candidates to come into the office for a coffee. Visiting the office allows candidates to meet the team, get a better feel for the work environment, and further build their relationship with your company.

Share Valuable Content

Whether you’re trying to keep candidates engaged during a lengthy recruitment process or create a talent pool for upcoming roles, sharing valuable content can enhance your company’s reputation. You could share content such as interview tips, how-to guides, upcoming industry events, latest company blog articles, or insight into your company’s culture. Sharing valuable content is ultimately a creative way to engage with potential employees and help them to better understand your company and why you’re the preferred employer.

Streamline the Hiring Process

With such fierce competition for talented employees, it’s important to streamline the hiring process. A multi-tier recruitment process might seem like a good way to choose the best candidate, but it can ultimately be detrimental. A slow or delayed process can cause candidates to lose interest or even worse, they could receive a better offer before you’ve even made it past the next round of interviews.

While delays are sometimes inevitable, there are ways to streamline the process. You could try asking candidates to complete a short job-related task during the initial screen stages or conducting a brief 15-minute phone interview. When it comes time to arrange a second interview, industry best practices recommend scheduling it within one to two weeks. As candidates can receive other job offers at any point, it’s also important to process any onboarding paperwork and salary negotiation as quickly as possible.

Build a Recruitment Pipeline

Engaging with potential candidates is crucial even if you don’t currently have any vacancies. While many companies retain past applicants CVs on file for a period of time, you can take this a step further by periodically touching base with them. Rather than spamming them with job alerts (no one appreciates spam!), try sending personalised emails, helpful content, or relevant company/industry news. One great way to do this is by setting up recruitment profiles so that candidates receive relevant emails and notifications.

It’s also important to develop a strong social media presence on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Brands like EY, Deloitte, and Accenture have perfected the art of recruiting through social media and professional networks. Yet, SMEs can also benefit from this approach as it provides a platform for you to showcase your company’s culture, employee achievements, and industry awards. Effectively, allowing you to establish your company as an industry-leader and preferred employer in the battle for talent.

Win the War of Talent

Change Recruitment has a track record of finding the right people for the right companies. Our specialist consultants can help you hire the best and brightest in your industry and win the war of talent. Get in touch with one of our specialist consultants today.