9 Recruitment Tips for Finding Top Talent


Why some businesses are struggling to recruit

Are you offering the right employee benefits to boost recruitment?

9 Recruitment Tips for Finding Top Talent

Businesses across the UK economy are reporting that it’s never been more difficult to recruit. The British Chamber of Commerce reported earlier this year that a record high (79%) of firms were finding it difficult to find staff.

If organisations are going to secure top talent from their industry, they’re going to have to make sure they’re competitive, and deliver exceptional employee experiences.

With this in mind, we’ve created a list of nine recruitment tips that will help companies stand out from the competition.

Why some businesses are struggling to recruit

Within the British Chamber of Commerce’s report firms cited two major issues: a ‘lack of foreign nationals and disruption due to Covid.’

The number of EU nationals employed in Britain fell by 8.7% in the three months to the end of June 2021, following the introduction of new migration rules on 1st January 2021.

However, the ‘disruption due to Covid’ referenced in the report is key. 

The ‘Great Resignation’ is a term coined following the initial Covid lockdowns.


Source: Office for National Statistics, labour market flows

Job-to-job moves were steadily increasing from 2008 up until 2020, before declining sharply during the pandemic. However, the rate of 16-69 year olds moving jobs hasn’t just recovered, but motored past the pre-pandemic figures to a high of 3.2%.

Polling conducted by Hays found that 74% of workers said the pandemic had given them time to consider their job choices. By 2021, a quarter of all employees were considering leaving their current roles within three to six months.

However, organisations are not helpless in stopping their workforce joining the Great Resignation. It’s incumbent on employers to put together an incredible employee value proposition (EVP), and prioritise the employee experience, in order to continue finding—and retaining—your industry’s top talent.

Let’s take a look at our top tips for recruiters and businesses looking to stay ahead of their competitors.

1. Write simple, and human, job descriptions

Have you ever read a job description that makes the job you’re applying for sound boring, overly complicated and completely unappealing? We bet you have, because far too many job descriptions are written like legal contracts.

The language they use is dry, they use unnecessarily complex vocabulary and they do nothing to positively communicate the organisation’s values or culture.

Effective job descriptions are clear about what the job will involve and what you’re looking for, but they also sell the company. This is your first chance to sell the role to the candidate, so include information about company benefits and why your company culture is so great.

However, you also need to make sure your job descriptions are accurate. Don’t oversell the job or the company, whether you overinflate the salary range or overstate certain benefits, as it will come out eventually.

2. Encourage employee referrals

After someone has spent a number of years in a particular industry, they tend to pick up other connections and friends within that industry. With this in mind, your current employees will be one of the best sources of new hires, so consider offering a referral scheme.

A dedicated recognition platform can make this simple. For example, our eVouchers are perfect for delivering instant rewards for specific actions, such as referring a potential job candidate.

Bear in mind though, it’s one thing to offer incentives, another to ensure your employees want to refer your organisation to their friends. For this to happen, you need to create a positive employee experience. Prioritising and supporting wellbeing is vital for this. For example, 91% of employees would recommend the organisation to a friend if they felt their mental health was supported.

3. Reconsider past candidates

Not all unsuccessful previous candidates were poor candidates. They might’ve been the second best for a specific job, or simply a wrong fit for that role but not the company.

Keep the CVs of failed interviews on file—apart from those that fell well short of what you expect—and revisit when new roles become available.

For this strategy to be successful though you’ll need to have provided a good employee experience throughout the interview process. If an interviewee hasn’t made it to the next stage or isn’t being offered the job, call them and explain why. Let them know what they did well and why they didn’t make it. 

Honest, constructive feedback will be appreciated, and the candidate will be much more open to hearing from you again in the future. If you don’t get back to them or simply send a template rejection email after they’ve spent so much of their time on you, they won’t be.

4. Don’t rush

If you’ve got an open position, and have had it open for a while, it’s tempting to rush the hiring process.

However, it pays to take your time and do it right.

This isn’t just because rushing the interview process makes it more likely you’ll hire the wrong person. It also makes it more likely you’ll deliver a poor candidate experience.

A great employee experience starts with the first application. Even if you think you’ve identified the perfect candidate after one interview, skipping the second interview reduces the chance to introduce them to other team members, show them around the office or introduce more elements around our company culture.

A strong onboarding process—and make no mistake, the interview process is part of that—improves retention by 82%.

5. Build your brands image and employee value proposition

The job applicant isn’t just a candidate for your job opening—your organisation is a candidate for their employer.

This has always been true, but in the current economic climate the applicant has never had greater choice. This means you’ve got to think like a marketer, and work on your brand image and EVP.

Your industry’s top talent is essentially shopping for an employer, which means the Forrester research that found 70% to 90% of the buyer’s journey is complete before first contact is true for recruitment too.

Job applicants are researching your company before even applying for your vacancy. In fact, 70% of candidates will consult a company review site before making a career decision, while 31.3% have turned down an offer as a result of negative online reviews.

In order to be attractive to the best prospects in your space you need an excellent EVP, but a poor employee experience will damage your employer brand. You need to get both right to be competitive for talent.

6. Involve senior managers in the process

Don’t leave the hiring process up to a small group of hiring managers. Assemble an interview panel of line managers, team members and senior managers from within the organisation. A diverse group of interviewers will be more effective at identifying potential blind spots in the candidate’s experience or cultural fit, but it also introduces the candidate to a wider group of people. 

7. Ask current employees what they thought of the hiring process

The best place to find out about the employee experience during the interview process? Ask your current employees.

Survey them, anonymously if necessary, and ask about what they thought was good, and bad, about their experience during the application and the interviews.

8. Utilise digital platforms

There are now a number of platforms that are designed to improve your hiring process.

For example, there’s software that can allow you to conduct blind CV screening, ensuring you make decisions on candidate experience and skills, removing the risk of unconscious bias.

You can also find SaaS products for writing better job descriptions, distributing job ads to a wider audience and developing internship programmes.

9. Compare your benefits and wellness programmes to competitors

We mentioned earlier how prioritising wellbeing will make it much more likely that an employee recommends the organisation to a friend. What’s more, 62% of employees surveyed by Paychex and Future Workplace identified employee wellbeing as a key deciding factor when applying for a new job.

If you want to hire the best talent from your industry, you need to create a compelling benefits and wellness offering.

If possible, take a look at what your competitors are doing. Do they utilise a dedicated employee benefits platform? How are they supporting financial wellbeing? How are they supporting mental wellbeing?

Employees recognise the importance of prioritising wellbeing in the workplace, so if you’re not doing so but your competitors are, you’re going to lose out in the battle for their talent.

Are you offering the right employee benefits to boost recruitment?

We’ve looked at nine tips for recruiters to find candidates, but that final one is key.

Employees want their employer to care about their lives outside of work, and an employee benefits platform is a simple way of showing your gratitude to the entire workforce.

The employee benefits platform we offer at Sodexo Engage connects everyone within your organisation to an award-winning range of benefits. It’s an all-in-one solution that can be accessed whenever and wherever you need it, building genuinely long-lasting relationships between the company and its employees.

Our benefits platform includes:

  • Discounts and cashback on a huge range of retailers, both online and instore.
  • A cycle to work scheme, in partnership with Halfords, offering up to 42% in tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) savings.
  • Great savings on your dream holiday—we’re the only ATOL-protected, ABTA and IATA-bonded agency in the UK.
  • Salary deductions for the latest tech, meaning your employees can get their hands on the latest gadgets easier, while saving money on their NICs.

Ready to find out more about how Sodexo Engage can give you an advantage in the fight for your industry's leading talent? Get in touch with our team today.




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