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Attraction, Recruitment and Onboarding – how to stay ahead of your competitors and keep your employees happy

It takes a lot of hard work on all sides to get a candidate to accept your job offer. From the recruitment team writing the job descriptions and running the advertising campaigns, to the external recruitment partners headhunting in the marketplace, to HR and line management involved in interviews, to all the candidates giving up time to prepare for and attend interviews, to the IT teams setting them up ready to work on day one. The list goes on and on.

The rules of attraction

Understanding how your competitors attract employees is a very good way to adapt and flex your own strategies in order to ensure you keep up with – and ideally lead – the market in terms of securing your own future employees, minimising existing employee turnover and therefore maximising engagement and retention.

So do you know what your competitors are offering their employees? Have you asked your newest starters why they joined you, what they liked about your offering that their previous company didn’t offer, and what their key drivers were in making that ultimate decision to meet you and accept an offer?

Recruitment as a branding tool

There is a lot of choice out there for strong candidates looking for a new job, and with the ability to click online to apply to any job ad for any company, it has become critical to stand out quickly to grab the attention of the best candidates.

To do this, you need your recruitment strategy to be consistent from start to finish, from the job description to the job advert to the screening and interview process, to the way candidates are communicated with – both successful and unsuccessful ones. If you have company values then they need to be demonstrated during the interview process, not just written on the page on the spec or website.

You are advertising your company and all your people, and not everyone will suit you, or even like you. But remember that everyone has an opinion and can potentially influence others. A bad experience for one candidate could inadvertently filter through to someone who would be perfect for the job, but who doesn’t even apply because of what they have heard about you.

You can’t do this in isolation, you need to understand what your competitors are doing so that you can learn from them, tweak your own process and approach, and strengthen any gaps in the way you recruit that could be harming your chances against competitors. The most important thing to be aware of is that the candidate may not be making a ‘yes or no’ decision on your job offer, but most likely making an ‘either or’ decision on a few offers. Yours needs to be the most transparent, most clearly communicated, and most attractive one.

Onboarding effectively

Your interview process is a very personal and two-way process that is designed to attract talent. However, the worst thing to do once the candidate has started is to relax and think the work is done. This should just be an evolution of the candidate experience, morphing into an employee experience and – hopefully – transcending into a long-term, engaged and future business leader experience.

But this can be a very risky time for all parties. The euphoria of accepting a new role may have passed, and the reality of the job will be setting in. Don’t let new candidates slip between the cracks because you take your foot off the gas. Challenge yourself and your processes. When was the last time you evaluated your onboarding process? Is your technology up to date and in line with what your competitors are using? What collateral do you offer for new starters? Is there a feedback forum, buddy system or specific line manager designated to partner with the new starter as they find their feet?

Attraction, recruitment and onboarding processes are not tick boxes on a list, they are living, breathing, organic situations that require constant attention and agility in order to keep them on track and positive. And once your chosen candidate walks through the door on day one, it doesn’t stop there. You then need to think about their career journey and how to develop and retain them. And sometimes, if you reach an impasse, you need to be able to exit them in a positive way that doesn’t affect your brand either internally or externally in the market. Take a look at some ideas on Competitor Intelligence – Development, Retention and Exit


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