A recession is a bad thing for the majority of businesses, but recruitment doesn’t have to stop.
All businesses have cycles — periods when you're unbelievably busy, periods where you can take a bit more time to breathe. It stands to reason that your recruitment plans will closely follow these cycles.
When a recession hits, or when the busy periods become less and less frequent, your recruitment plans will undoubtedly be affected and it's important for all businesses to have plans in place to work through the period in as smooth a way as possible.
Due to the recession creating issues in recruitment one possibility is to look at how you can shift talent internally. Liaise between departments to ensure an even balance throughout the organization.
You will obviously need to discuss any possible changes in career paths with employees, but it's often possible to adjust roles and responsibilities if they're attractive enough (and almost anything is more attractive than the prospect of unemployment).
Try to find the root cause behind your businesses current downturn. Aim to set triggers in advance that could show if bad times lie ahead. Whatever you do, make sure you don't just give up!
How do I use the company brand to attract candidates?
To best leverage a company brand, you first need to leverage the creators and gatekeepers of the brand – your marketing department.
To ensure your corporate brand magic is included in recruitment strategies you need to think about your potential candidates like a marketer would think about their potential customers.
Take a look at the current media advertising your company conducts. How does it come across? What are the key messages being put out? Who are they trying to attract?
It goes without saying that people often want to work for the companies who produce or provide the products and services they use.
Prior to your promotion, understand what your audience wants. Talk to your current employees about what they like about working for your company and how they would sell their job to others.
Once you have the attributes of your target market you can work to create your recruitment brand. The marketing department should have the expertise to position the recruitment brand; use them to help you reach the right candidates.
As well as using your marketing team to help you plan your recruitment strategy, find out from them if there is a way of combining your efforts.
If you're able to get a mention of your current vacancies on all their activity, you'll go a long way towards syncing ‘buying the brand' and
‘working for the brand'
What benefits can I use to tempt my candidates?
Once upon a time, perks were special favours granted to the chosen few, such as corner offices with a window, and a key to the executive wash room.
For more and more candidates, money and flashy perks are no longer the siren call they once were. The offer of real benefits, such as a better work-life balance and more flexible working practices, are becoming increasingly desirable.
Plans for perks may need to be reduced or re-prioritised depending on current company circumstances, however always remember your employees are your most important asset.
Keeping them happy and engaged is more important than ever when budget cuts and the threat of redundancy cast a long shadow over the working day.
Whatever benefits you decide to offer, it makes sense to both micro and macro-monitor their ROI. Benefits take-up is easy to measure. Remember though, low take-up of a benefit doesn't necessarily mean it should be scrapped.
Perhaps it just needs to be communicated better both internally, and in your recruitment campaigns.
There are plenty of other creative and low/no-cost perks that can make employees happy and appeal to new recruits:
How do I use online job advertising effectively?
The Internet allows you to reach a wider range of candidates than ever and in increasingly inventive ways.
The benefit with online advertising is that you can afford to test which approach works best and the tracking facilities are in place to let you know exactly that. Perhaps the biggest differentiator is the access you can buy to CV databases.
Your online presence is made up of three main aspects:
As a relatively new medium, the internet is constantly evolving and there are new opportunities to utilise to increase the reach of your recruitment campaign.
•Multimedia - video and audio are becoming increasingly important tools for businesses and internet users are often referred to as the YouTube or iPod Generation.
Companies are embracing the technology by offering video tours of their offices or downloadable discussions with current employees to offer an insight into their brand.
•Blogging - a great way for you to show the human side of your business. You could get one of your employees to blog on a training course they are undertaking or write about the various social gatherings your company holds.
However, it takes a certain level of commitment to use it properly. Starting a blog and then leaving it untouched for 6 months could actually have a negative impact on your recruitment efforts.
•Social networking - perhaps the biggest online revolution since the Internet entered the mass market, social networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook allow people all over the world to connect and share their thoughts and ideas.
How you enter this world with your recruitment campaign is up to you, but do it right and you can get access to a very attentive audience.
How do I write an effective job advert?
There are a few simple rules that every job advert should follow to help attract the right candidates for your role.
The most obvious way to increase the number of people who view your job advert is to make the job title alluring. Try and stay away from names used to specify jobs internally as chances of a candidate searching for such a specific term are very low
There's no set format to how you describe the job role, but you should look to include these elements:
Keep in mind this is not a job description, therefore should not include every element of the role.
Job seekers value their skills and experience, and if you want them to apply, approach them as you would a customer. Long adverts give a mundane impression of your organization.
Aim for a witty advert with informal language, while staying in the second person, using “you” and “your” instead of “we” and “our”
For every job advert you place, resist the temptation to just copy and paste the description you used for the last time you hired for this position. Responsibilities of person specification may have changed.
Ensuring your jobs rank highly on search engines is vital to the success of your recruitment campaign.
SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) is the art of ensuring a web page appears within results when a user searches for a certain keyword or keyword phrase. Popular search engines have changing algorithms that pick up on keywords. Ensure you’re optimized by following the tips below.
The main thing people look for in search results - and the link they will hopefully click on - is the title tag. All jobs posted on Monster have an automated title tag which is made up of:
<Job Title> Jobs <Location>
The location you provide in your job listing is combined with the job title to make up the page title. Never be tempted to enter the location within the job title field otherwise you will end up with a title tag that looks like:
Sales Manager — Docklands, London Jobs Docklands, London
This will be considered as keyword spamming and push your job lower down the rankings.
Search engines also take into account how relevant the main content of the page is by counting the number of times keywords and key phrases appear.
The first 155 characters of your job description is highly important for the success of your job posting. Provide a condensed overview repeating the job title once, location and key skills. It is important to remember search engines reward well constructed opening content
There are hundreds of other page elements that go into deciding how well your job listing will rank, but there are some quick steps you can take to improve your ranking.
Put yourself in the shoes of the jobseeker. What words would they search if they were looking for the job you're advertising? If you use terms that job seekers would actually search for, you increase the chances of them being spotted.
Keyword terms also appear in bold on the search results page, increasing the chance they will be noticed and clicked on by the user.
Add a key skill to your job title to help it appeal to an audience.
Steer clear of using job titles that are cryptic or in question form.
Finding the perfect employee is never easy, but if you use the right tactics, pulling the needle from the haystack needn’t be an impossible task. Our series of eBooks brings together expert advice to help you improve your hiring processes..
For more useful tools and tips, visit hiring.monster.co.uk
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