How your company is perceived by potential new recruits is an increasingly important part of hiring for many businesses. Just as estate agents talk about it being a buyers’ or sellers’ market in housing, when it comes to recruitment it’s a candidate’s market.
Unemployment is at an all-time low, there are shortages of staff in many key sectors like engineering and accountancy, and more and more workers are ditching traditional employment for freelance or contract opportunities. The best job applicants may well be juggling 2 or 3 job offers and can take their pick – it’s up to each company to persuade them that they offer the best opportunity. For many jobseekers, salary isn’t what’s making them make up their minds.
Given the current political and economic uncertainty of Brexit, many people are more cautious about moving to a new job. Candidates want to see success and stability from a company, and know that they aren’t likely to be looking for a new job in a few months.
Presenting your business as an attractive place to work is more important than ever. Companies need to offer more than just a job.
Different people will look for different sorts of cultures in a workplace. There has been a story doing the rounds on social media about a Manchester call centre using unusual forfeits for teams that don’t meet targets, like having a squid dropped on their face. For some, that might see many walking out of the job on the first day (or even an assault charge!). But there is no doubt a small group of people that will thrive in such a competitive environment. Of course, such an extreme position is like to put off far more people than it will attract, but you get the idea.
Ethics of business
Younger people especially, prefer to work in businesses that go that extra mile to give back to their local communities or the wider world. That might be sponsoring charity events, allowing staff a certain amount of time off for volunteer work, encouraging cycle-to-work schemes, or simply just taking an ethical approach in the work you do.
Where you work also factors in as well. We recently posted an article on social media that suggested 53% of us would turn down a job if we didn’t like the offices. That doesn’t mean the location, although city centre locations often imply a little more prestige and professionalism than out-of-town industrial estates. But if a business doesn’t look like it cares about the condition of the workplace, then by extension, how much does it care about its workforce?
If the office carpet looks like it’s been there since the 1980s and your office furniture is all mismatched or fallen apart, it might be a good idea to spruce things up a little. No-one expects things to look straight out of a design magazine (unless you’re in the business of interior design!) but keeping things clean and tidy, maybe investing in the odd pot plant, does say a lot.
Getting across what a business is like to work at can be a struggle. Word of mouth might be fine for big companies, but for small businesses with only a handful staff members this isn’t always an option.
Face-to-face job interviews are one way you can show off what your company is like to work for – and we encourage candidates to ask about it in interviews. This requires people actually apply for the job in the first place.
Online channels can get your company’s branding and culture out there before people apply for the job. Pictures on social media or stories on your website are a great place to start – and if people have already got a good impression of your company as a workplace, they’re more likely to want to apply for your jobs when they see them.
In general, think about what you like about where you work, and don’t be afraid to promote it.