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Recruitment and HR Blog

How to attract and retain talent in this candidate-driven market - key insights and top tips from our recent webinar

8th October 2021

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It’s often getting the fundamentals right that makes the biggest difference.

There’s no need to try and reinvent the wheel when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, that much is clear from the opening statement.

But it is easy in a candidate-driven market, where competition is fierce due to high demand for staff, rising salaries and unemployment at a very low level, to try and overcomplicate the process of trying to attract talent and hire.

Here are 5 key tips for attracting talent you need in this candidate-driven market:

1. Get the job advert copy right from the outset – don’t go to market until well-considered

  • 64% of people won’t apply for a job if they don’t understand the job title. And worse still, many more may not even see your job advert at all if their keyword searches on job boards don’t relate to the keywords of your job title and in the content throughout the advert copy. A simple change to a clear job title can increase applications 10-fold
  • People want to know which company they are applying to and what the company stands for, so highlight the culture – what makes it a great place to work, opportunities for progression, and where the organisation is going
  • Make sure the company information is fresh. Some employers still have templated job adverts they’ve been using for many years – is your ad content reflective of where your business is now, where it’s going, and how you look after your people?

2. Include salary and package on job ad and make sure they are attractive for this evolving demanding candidate market

  • The stats show that 2 in 3 people are motivated to look for further career opportunities if a salary is on a job advert and, when included, applications increased 30%
  • Salaries are on the rise – ONS reports a 7.3% regular pay growth in April 2021 compared to 12 months prior – so make sure your offering is competitive in both your local area and within your sector
  • What employees want in 2021 is very different to pre-pandemic times. Employees are now much more focused on opportunities for training, career progression, and flexible working, rather than perks such as an office pool table
  • What will the role allow in terms of flexible working? Demand is high for 4-day weeks, flexibility over start and finish times, and hybrid or remote working
  • What is your annual leave policy? Employers are starting to offer far beyond the statutory 20 days plus bank holidays as standard, while some offer the chance to buy extra days

3. Decide what’s truly essential in terms of requirements from applicants

  • Rather than searching for a unicorn, try and be realistic about what is essential to make sure you are casting the net as wide as possible, but not lowering standards you absolutely need – it could mean relaxing to desirable for qualifications that could be gained and specific knowledge that could be trained – instead focusing on attitude and core skills rather than industry experience

4. You’ll need wide enough, yet targeted, reach through job boards and social media to ensure your ads are seen by the right people

  • There are over 1,100 job boards in the UK including leading, regional and specialist sites – choosing the right selection of sites is crucial if you want to make sure you reach the right people
  • Job advert content needs to be eye-catching to stand out from the crowd, consider animation or use of video, also consider profiles / company pages posted on as relevant reach will only be as good as the connections / page followers – so consider how you can achieve post engagement to widen the reach
  • LinkedIn is a useful tool to identify, target, and reach out to individuals in niche or senior roles

5. Progress applicants through the selection process as quickly as you can

  • Make the process as straightforward and as easy as possible – the less clicks needed to apply for a job the better
  • If emailing applicants, don’t give up on them, that email might not have reached them – perhaps going into the spam folder, so pick up the phone

Now you’ve hired, how do you go about making sure that you retain them?

The first thing to do is to get back to the drawing board.

Are you using contracts first drafted up 5-plus years ago? Or have they only been updated when there were changes to the Section 1 statement? Maybe you are wondering ‘what changes?’

Also consider the following:

  • Do your contracts and policies reflect not only your workforce, but your business in terms of how you are working and how you want to work?
  • How well do people in your business know your flexible working policy? Do you even have one?
  • Do your policies take account of new technology or ways of working?

Carry out an audit – or get a third party to do an audit – needs to be carried out by someone who understands your business, your culture and where you’re going, so that all documentation is a good fit.

If you are considering implementing new initiatives and benefits, involve employees as it’s a great way to engage employees and help with retention.

Key to workplace happiness is communication, employees feeling valued and supported, having the chance for career progression and for their efforts and achievements to be recognised.

If you are interested in attending any of our future HR, Recruitment and Employment Law focused events, then stay up to date with the latest news by heading here

And for help attracting the very best talent to your company, visit or call 01745 774 955 to find out how JVP Group can help!

For HR and employment law matters reach out to Elissa Thursfield at HR Anchor / Gamlins Law on 01745 357369

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