Jobseekers are everywhere but the ones with the exact profiles that you need often require a little searching. So what can you do?
In this article we go through some of the tactics that have helped us find people to join our team. A lot of specific strategies may be relevant to a particular job type so we will just cover general ideas so your toolkit can have a fundamental basis.
1. Create a detailed job spec
Write up a job spec that details the specific tasks that the person will be doing. Do not worry if it is too detailed, you will need an extremely detailed job spec so you are able to find out what missing skills you ought to test candidates for rather than only for advertising your vacancy, which will normally be a far more generic version of the job spec. Although it takes some time to spell out the duties and it can very easily become an list that goes on ad nauseam, time spent here will be rewarded further down the line. Do this in a word processing document such as Google Docs.
2. Create a job vacancy spec
Use the detailed job spec that you created to slim down and make a generic one that lists out key responsibilities and expected duties in generalities. For example, if you had, 'pick and answer all telephone calls and re-direct to the correct team member', you might phrase that as 'front office duties'. This reductionist approach will enable you to reduce a page of A4 to 5 or 6 lines.
3. Research where best to deploy your ad
The internet is covered with job portals and other places that charge you for having your ad seen. Posting your ad in the supermarket local noticeboard for an engineer with a tier 1 education may not get many responses. You will have to find the appropriate places to post your ad. The same logic applies for businesses looking for customers, you have to go to where your customers hang out, otherwise they won't know about you.
Here are some examples
- sifted.eu (they have a job board)
4. Put your job post on the company website
Job seekers interested in companies often go to the company website when looking for jobs. These applicants will usually be better than the applications you get from job portals because they are interested in working for your company and have taken the time to apply. If you have a company Linkedin page then you can use that as place to put your available position. Linkedin has over the last decade become an important source for jobseekers.
5. Can an apprentice or part time person fill your role?
Sometimes the job role may be suitable for a part time person, such as someone only needed for 20 hours a week. Or perhaps a university student might be able to do a part time internship and support your business?
Santander runs an SME scheme which part funds student internships. This is one option to have a partly funded student filling a vacancy. In order to qualify, you would need to register at the university careers centre from which you want to recruit students from.
6. Specialist software
Companies such as Breezy and Greenhouse automatically try and get your job posting more visibility. They're not cheap, but the candidates you might get could be of higher quality.
7. Contacting recruiters
Recruitment firms may be able to help with your job search. However, the recruitment industry is the wildwest with quality and reliability varying greatly. All it takes to start an agency is a person with a telephone. As a result, there are many recruiters of suboptimal quality. Imagine doctors needing no qualifications and no medical board to vet doctors and you have the recruitment industry. Find recruiters that have a good reputation in your field and can give you a sample of redacted CVs which are similar to the profile that you are looking for.
Finally, recruiters can take up to 25% of the first year salary, and often offer all sorts of offers to take the edge off the recruiters bill, like 6 months discounts if the employee turns out to be a poor match. Be careful about having a false sense of comfort from these terms, especially if the agency is small - it may not have the balance sheet to withstand a refund and you will be sitting with counter party risk on your contract.
Another perhaps more nuanced point is to be aware the recruiters like to update their former job seekers with new opportunities and tempt them to move jobs by offering higher salaries at new companies. Employees that come from recruiters may be contacted continually and might not stay at your company long. Having said that, employees are constantly being contacted by recruiters as they get their payday when employees change companies and their job is akin to that of the serpent in the garden of Eden.