Blog Candidate Quality Attracting and Retaining Talent in a Candidate Driven Market
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As the recruitment space becomes more and more candidate-driven, businesses are frequently looking for innovative ways to attract and retain talent. But sometimes, going back to the basics is the most effective thing you can do.


Job advert copy

The way your job adverts are written and the information they include can have a huge impact on whether talented candidates both find, and apply for your roles.



You should always try and include the salary in your job adverts, or at least the salary banding. This is because the large majority of candidates will not actually apply for a role that does not have the salary listed.


This is particularly the case if the potential candidate is already in employment (which is often the case with the most talented candidates!). Why would they apply for a role, and go through the recruitment process, without the indication that you can match or exceed their current salary?


It’s also a good idea to check what your competitors are offering for similar roles, and try to at least match this.


Working flexibility

woman working from home to attract and retain talent With the pandemic causing most employees to have to work from home, the demand for working flexibility is higher than ever. This is a good thing to include in your job advert if you can offer it, particularly if your competitors are.


This may include flexible benefits like hybrid working, earlier finishing times, longer lunch breaks, and so on. It is up to your business on how much you want to offer.


Annual leave

This is another aspect of your job advert that is good to compare to your competitors. Ideally, you want to at least match the annual leave they are offering. The ability to buy extra holiday days has also been gaining popularity, a great alternative.


Up-to-date company information

Make sure that any information related to your company in the job advert is fully up to date. Whether it’s your address, logo, or a change in company tagline, these things are easily overlooked but can have a significant impact on how your brand is perceived.


It’s a good idea to also include a section on why the candidate should come and work for you. It’s as much about you convincing the candidate you’re worth it as it is for them convincing you to take them on.


A company team celebrating by punching the air


You should also try and be transparent about your company culture, and any progression opportunities within the role and business. Being upfront with these in the first place can help candidates identify if they match your business, and possibly excite them about the prospect of applying.


Limit your requirements

With the active talent pool smaller than it was pre-pandemic, you want to be realistic about the candidate applying, and limit the number of requirements on your job adverts. Try and list what is absolutely essential in terms of skills, attitude and knowledge, so as not to put off candidates from applying.


Consider leaving any desirables off your job adverts entirely. This is because some talented candidates may drop off if they don’t need all the requirements, particularly women.


Use the right job title

It’s so important to get your job title right to attract and retain talent. This is because 64% of candidates won’t apply for a job if they don’t understand the title, so it’s best to research the one that fits your role the best.


Statistic that "64% of candidates won't apply for a job if they don't understand the title"


This is also useful from an SEO perspective. Using the correct job title increases the likelihood of you showing up in the candidate’s search results, especially if you’re using the job title in your advert copy too.


Get your ads seen by the right talent

It’s all well and good writing a great job advert, but if it’s not being seen by the right talent, then only half the job is done. This is particularly important as less people are currently looking for roles, so you want to stand out.


A wide enough network

Posting your job adverts across a wide enough network of job boards is essential for increasing your brand visibility and attracting and retaining talent for your business. This is because the best candidates are more likely to see your opportunity if it appears more frequently and on the right job boards.


A job board multi-poster is the perfect solution to this. Multi-posters will post your role across numerous job boards, often at a reduced cost compared to posting on each board individually. This may include a range of boards, from those free to charge to premium and niche channels.



Many job seekers will be using their mobile phones to search for the new role. This means that they will see a smaller excerpt of your advert text, so it’s important to bear this in mind when writing your job ads.


You want to make the initial introduction as eye-catching and appealing as possible, so those using mobiles can become engaged and are more likely to click on your advert.


For tips on how to do this, download our guide for Writing the Ultimate Job Advert.


Banner for eBook Guide to Writing the Ultimate Job Advert


Social media advertising

If you’re using social media to attract and retain talent online, there are some best practices to follow.


Social media is a great place to attract passive candidates – think about it, how much time a day do you spend on social media? Typically, people spend up to 2 hours a day on various social media platforms, and this includes potential candidates.


Make your job adverts stand out by using eye-catching visuals. Don’t be afraid to use animation and video too, coupled with an enticing caption that will encourage clicks onto your adverts.


Your careers page

Make sure your careers page is fully up to date, like your job advert. This means your logo, company tagline, mission statement, address and so on.


Your careers page is also a good place to showcase how your company is a good place to work. You could talk about your company culture, and any awards you’ve received.


Ensure you don’t miss out on the talent you need

Candidate drop-offs are a huge issue within the recruitment process. There are a number of ways you can avoid drop off from the most talented candidates.


Don’t sit on quality applicants

It can be tempting to wait to contact quality applicants and begin the interview process if you’re still waiting for more applications to come in. This is a mistake, as if you’ve identified a high-quality applicant, your competitors likely have too.


Waiting too long to contact talented applicants gives your competitors the chance to snap them up. The best thing to do is try and move them through your recruitment pipeline as quickly as you can, without compromising a thorough selection process.


Video interviews

Man with headphones in doing a video interview Using video interviews in the first stage of your recruitment process will speed everything up significantly, as candidates in work won’t need to book time off and can take the interview in their lunch hour or before or after work.


This is more useful in the earlier stages of the process, as you can still pick up on candidate communication skills, motivation for the role, and whether they will be a good fit.


A simple process

Make your process as straightforward and easy as possible for potential applicants. The less clicks they need to make after seeing your job advert, the better.


If you can, try to start with a simple CV submission; this makes it much easier for candidates to apply, and any additional application forms can be sent afterwards.


Follow-up contact

Let’s say you’ve emailed a candidate to set up an interview and you don’t hear back from them. If this happens you may want to try calling them on the phone if they have provided a number. Not doing this could cause you to miss out on very talented candidates simply because you didn’t follow up.


It’s easy to assume when this happens that they’re no longer interested in the position, however it’s very possible that your email could have gone in their junk, or they simply missed it.



So, to sum up, some key areas to focus on to attract and retain talent online are:

  • Get your job advert copyright from the outset
  • Include the salary in the job advert and make sure it’s competitive
  • Decide what’s really essential in terms of requirements from applicants
  • Make sure you have a wide and targeted reach through job boards and social media to ensure your ads are seen by the right talent
  • Progress applications through the selection process as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality


For more tips on how to optimise your recruitment process, from attracting and retaining talent, to candidate screening and communication, download our eBook 10 Ways to Optimise your Recruitment Process.


ebook banner for maximising your recruitment process

Smart Recruit Online

October 19, 2021

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

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