How to improve your recruitment efforts

By Dave Clough

Recruitment can often feel like a thankless task and it is easy to understand the frustrations. The main challenges faced by businesses are a lack of applications and getting applications from candidates with the right experience and skills. So, how do you improve your efforts and make recruitment a more fulfilling task?

Our aim is to help businesses with their HR challenges and as such, we have looked at the best strategies to implement to improve recruitment, together with some input from the experts.

Understand your needs

There are many occasions when managers aren’t completely sure what they want and this can come across in a job description. In some cases, it can lead to the wrong type of candidates applying. If you’re new to recruiting, take the time to work out exactly what the job will entail and what level of skills and experience you will need. This can save a lot of wasted time and effort down the line.

Rebecca Clough, managing director of In Car Safety Centre, said: “Be very clear in your own mind exactly what the role is and what it is you want the person to do, before even attempting to write a description. Asking for someone who is “good with customers”, or “can generate business leads” is not specific enough.”

Writing a great job description

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

The importance of a great job description can never be underestimated. After all, this is what will entice the candidates to apply for the job. If your job description is dull or just doesn’t explain enough about the role, it could be damaging to your recruitment efforts.

Instead of just listing the responsibilities and daily tasks of the job, make your job description a bit more scenario based. If candidates can envisage themselves working in the role, it can help ensure you get the right kind of applicants. For example, you may want to talk about a ‘day in the life’ of an employee already working in the role. What will they be doing and who will be their main contacts? This is an increasingly popular strategy and it can really give your recruitment efforts a boost.

Perry Timms, chartered MCIPD, TEDx speaker and founder – PTHR describes the importance of this by saying “There’s a deficit of attention in our information-rich world. So, cut to the chase: What is special about working in your SME? Avoid meaningless buzzwords and instead create a short story based on one of your existing employees.”

Tim Fouracre, founder and CEO of Countingup, reiterated the importance of a great job description. He said: “It’s important to let candidates know in a job description what their roles and goals are as this gives clarity of accountability and sets mutual expectations.”

Leon Brown, education content developer and MD of NextPoint Software also spoke about the benefits of a great job description. “Don’t fill your job descriptions with obscure minor skills, nor list them as must-have requirements,” he said. “Again, this can occur when a non-specialist recruiter is handing a job and there is the potential to fixate on small details.”

Make the advert easy to find

It may be tempting to spend hours deliberating over the perfect title. One which stands out from the crowd, is unique (even quirky), or inflates the importance of the role to make it more attractive to candidates. But don’t forget the basics. Candidates will search for the title of the job they want and if you don’t mention this in the title, they won’t be able to find it, so your efforts will go to waste.

As Kunjal Tannal, the recruiter and director at LT Harper puts it: “People don’t search for ‘fantastic opportunity’ when they are job searching. They search for e.g. ‘marketing executive’. Have the job seeker in mind when writing the title. Think about what they would search for.”

Dave Clough is adigital marketing consultant who specialises in editorial for SMEs. The information was created in partnership with Jerome Forde, founder of Forde HR Cloud, a HRIT platform that uses the most advanced cloud technology to bring a virtual HR office to start-ups and SMEs.


SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024