With skilled candidates in short supply, how do you become the brand everyone wants to work for?

At a time when there is a shortage of the most highly skilled candidates, employers need to have confidence in their brand and show where they can take people aspiring to join their business. 

“There’s a really shallow candidate pool with the right talent and the right skills,” says Randstad District Manager Louise Stephenson. “We need to act quickly, get them in front of clients quickly and take them to market quickly. 

Employers need to sell themselves and make themselves attractive to the type of candidates that they want.” And there are clear ways to achieve this.

Promote your employer brand 

Employee engagement is key, employees don’t want to be seen as just a resource, they want to feel  like they’re making a real contribution to the future of the organisation. Employers need to articulate to interviewees that their job will mean something.

This means not only outlining personal opportunities such as career development, but also communicating your organisation’s brand values. 

The CIPD research has found that nearly three quarters of organisations made efforts to improve their employer brand, including employee surveys (47%), online careers sites (27%), extending or introducing flexible working (28%) and working with charities (14%).

Google are experts when it comes to using brand power to attract the top recruits. They have backed up their image as a smart, fun-loving company with three free meals a day, state-of-the-art gym and exercise classes, free manicures and massages, and conference rooms styled on diners and Irish pubs to inspire creativity.

“Google is a hugely powerful brand. It’s not just a company name, it’s a verb,”  says Amy Round, lead recruiter for Google. “And we've built around it this fun, inspiring and social workplace that people are keen to be part of. People see Google as innovative and hugely successful, so we look for people who match that – people who have something different to offer. It really works.”

75% of people don’t quit their jobs – they quit their bosses

Create a happy environment

Don’t underestimate the power of your workplace environment when it comes to attracting candidates, engagement plays a massive role. Of course,  a larger pay packet contributes to the attractiveness of a role, but people are happy if you treat them well, give them nice facilities and listen to what they want from their office space.

The option to leave early on a Friday; team-building sessions; a snooker table; showers… It doesn't have to cost the employer a lot of money and it can really make a difference. You just have to be a little more creative.

"75% of people don’t quit their jobs – they quit their bosses"

Articulate your management style

An incredible 75% of people don’t quit their jobs – they quit their bosses, according to a study (by Roger E Herman) emphasising the contribution that management style adds to employees’ happiness and success. 

CIPD research found that 51% of employees felt communication with their manager was the key to staying engaged, motivated and fulfilled at work.

Candidates are encouraged to use the interview process to find out if they will be happy in their new role, so be prepared to answer questions about the way you work as an organisation. In Randstad’s own Contentment Survey we found that a quarter of employees questioned were unhappy or extremely unhappy with the leadership of the company they work for.

So make sure you are able to:

–> Describe your company culture in three adjectives
–> Explain what drives internal rewards and the route to promotion
–> Describe the firm’s leadership style

Write job descriptions with care

As organisations look to create a lean workforce as a result of the recession, office roles are morphing and merging. Job advertisements should clearly outline the experience you want to tap into – or you risk putting off exactly the right person for the role. 

Sales Coordinator Tricia Casey, happily settled in her role at a leading floor manufacturer  and proving a stellar team member but it wasn't a job she would have considered until her Randstad consultant clarified its true nature. 

“I didn't want to work in sales, so the job title turned me off,” Tricia says. “If I’d seen it advertised anywhere else, I’d have said ‘that’s not for me’. But then my consultant explained it wasn't about selling, but more about customer service – which is my background.”