Libby McCaughey
over 1 year ago by Libby McCaughey

Attracting and hiring top talent in 2020

Starting New Business E1530648542386

Recruiting today looks drastically different to what it did just a year ago. Accelerated by COVID-19, changes that were expected to take years are already happening. Digitally recruiting remote workers is the new norm for many. Internal mobility and upskilling programs are being built out, many for the first time, and diversity is finally being treated with the urgency and accountability it always deserved. All of which will influence your ability to attract, engage and retain talent within your organisation.

Pre-pandemic, most businesses looking for talent started by showing off their swanky office space (complete with ping-pong table) as well as giving candidates the opportunity to talk to potential colleagues about the roles, teams, and company, followed by an early Friday finish and free drinks.

In the past it has worked a treat for most, but now this whole experience needs to change - it’s often moved online, and you’ll need to adapt and overcome changes caused by COVID-19 if you want to attract and retain the very best of the best.  

Adapting to this virtual world can be difficult when there’s no room for error. Before, if your website and social channels weren’t quite up-to-date, you could throw in the missing pieces in an office tour.

These days, your team are drowning in a sea of CVs, wasting time sifting through people who aren’t relevant to the role. Your screening and application process will need streamlining to help you reach the kind of candidates you’re after; it’s become a two-sided interview process. You have to pitch the business and culture to candidates as much as they have to sell themselves to you. 

Honestly, it’s not as daunting as it may seem. You’re clearly nailing it with the fact that you’re looking to recruit. It shows amazing resilience and definitely needs to be shouted about. So, here are 10 tips on attracting the right talent, how to engage with those perfect candidates, and get yourself and your voice out there.  

1. Standing out

Hit them with your best pitch. Differentiate yourselves. Get reviewing your employer brand and the value of your employee value proposition - make sure it supports this inescapable new way of working.

How does your pitch showcase your culture, your values and benefits? You need to put the things that make your business great up in lights! Especially when offering a good work-life balance and flexible working hours are becoming more standard.

2. Use your biggest fans

Take a look at your current team. Round up those charismatic, confident characters that can ‘sell’ the business. Use them to create some videos about life at work - and let them be honest. Let them have a homemade feel. Candidates want genuine and real opinions on what it’s like working with your organisation. 

3. Show your behind-the-scenes

Again, be truly authentic - this time with your team imagery. We’ve seen a number of great examples of businesses changing from that cold, stock imagery, to their people’s selfies on the website and social channels. I can’t emphasise enough - giving an insight into your people’s lives really does wonders for bringing out the character of your teams. 

4. The candidate

In the current situation, taking on a new role is a huge deal. Trust and respect are going to be your number one priorities.

Candidates used to be able to figure out the vibe of a business during an interview. Now, they have to trust their gut, making an assumption based on talking to your team in their living rooms and your company’s social channels. That new interview process should sell more than just the role. 

5. The new socialising

Have you checked how your business comes across on your social channels? Because this is your brand and employer voice. How you express your culture, your values and your purpose matters. Keep every channel up-to-date - it's all about communication and consistency.

6. Impress them

Not to sound like a broken record but, you need to pitch to applicants as much as they need to pitch to you. Excite them -you’re recruiting! That’s already something to be proud of.

Talk about your vision, growth, the roles that employees play in driving your innovation. Prep the right people to help with the theatricals.  

7. Streamlining applications

How do you tackle that mind-boggling inbox of CVs?  To quickly identify people that are not only right for the role experience-wise, but also right for the business, get creative with your interview process.

8. What's their ‘why’? 

In these times, it’s more important than ever to understand why candidates are applying.  

A recent redundancy? Although they might be looking for all the standard requirements - career progression, team collaboration and salary - now, their focus is on the security of their next role. 

Are they applying because of remote working insecurity? Remote working through lockdown has pushed many employees to question their value in their current role. These candidates want to hear about innovation. 

If it’s a graduate opportunity, they might be concerned about the logistics of joining a business while working from a bedroom, with no team around them. How can you support them in what is probably the first experience of their chosen career path?

9. Don’t ignore your unsuccessful applicants

Handle your applicants with care, especially during these times where rejections are heavy. I’m sure we’ve all heard, "I’m applying for loads but not hearing anything." Would it be really that hard to set up a really personal, but automated email that can go out to applicants to thank them for their time and effort spent in applying?

10. Don’t stop at the job offer

Why stop at attracting? Make it all clear - the appointment process, the notice periods and the onboarding process. Provide a step-by-step guide to what they can expect, keep them in the loop if they’re on their notice period, get them involved before their first day.

That’s why we are advising our clients not to postpone their talent reviews but to conduct them more frequently than ever. This is certainly not the time to get bogged down in bureaucracy. So rather than focusing on processes and tools, it’s best to use this opportunity to reflect on the core purpose of talent management, namely establishing which leaders will lead your organisation back to recovery and beyond.

Let us know what your business is doing to work with these changes!