6 Ways HR Can Increase Creativity in the Workplace
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


Creativity is often considered to be a key element in driving the growth of a business. Here are some effective ways you can increase creativity in the workplace, and push your business forward. 


There are many reasons why creativity could be stifled in an office work environment – whether it be micromanagement, an isolated workspace or just a general lack of confidence. Luckily, there are ways to improve ingenuity and inspiration when working in a corporate environment.


Why is creativity in the workplace important?

You may be wondering why exactly increasing creativity in the workplace is essential for your growth. Well, firstly it can help employees come up with better, innovative solutions to problems you may not have considered before. Many of these solutions have the opportunity to help you stand out from your competitors, which is always a bonus!


Another key benefit is it can create a more positive working culture. This has a variety of benefits in itself – effective workplace culture is thought to contribute to a 50% difference in performance between businesses in the same sector. Additionally, if word gets around that you have a positive work culture, this can attract more talented candidates to your business in the future.


Here are some great tips for all human resource representatives that will make staff members at all levels happier and more inspired as they walk through the door each and every day.


6 Ways to Increase Creativity in the Workplace

1. Encourage Remote Meetings

In the corporate setting, you may find that employees are hesitant to leave the office during the workday in fear of not completing assignments on time or missing crucial information. This feeling of isolation and constant anxiety can have a negative effect on work ethic and stagger workplace productivity.


Consider speaking with upper management and coming up with new ways to foster creativity from your staff. One strategy could be to schedule the weekly update meetings outside the office. Meeting at a remote location such as a café or coffee shop would be a refreshing change of pace that gets the team away from their desks.



Additionally, allowing employees to work from home once a week could also help boost morale. There have been studies that prove workers are just as productive if not more productive when they are able to work remotely or make their own hours. If it isn’t imperative that your staff be in the office during business hours, consider these types of options to boost free-thinking and relieve stress.


2. Allow Anonymity in the Workplace

Many employees, especially those at the bottom of the corporate hierarchy or that are new to the company, may find it uncomfortable to share their ideas. It can be challenging to be outspoken when you feel it isn’t your place to be or about things that are above your pay grade.


Urging individuals to come to human resources to voice their ideas or concerns anonymously may help negate this issue, and increase creativity in the workplace. You could also begin a suggestion box in the office for all employees to contribute to at their convenience. Many of these individuals may have great ideas in terms of improvements or subtle changes that would help better the workplace, so allow them the opportunity to make their voice known.


3. Foster Personal Growth

Encouraging staff to consult with their managers regularly in regard to their personal accomplishments and career goals is crucial to creating a thriving office environment with employees who are working hard to succeed.


Forming a culture that promotes upward movement from within can give your staff goal-oriented mindsets both in the short and long term. Be sure to set annual or even quarterly performance reviews for all employees with either their direct supervisor or HR to ensure continued success and growth. The more feedback your staff is given, the more opportunities they will have to prove themselves. And although it may seem tedious to consistently conduct these evaluations, it will prevent anyone from feeling neglected or unheard.


And don’t be afraid to invest in the cultural aspects of the company to foster a positive sense of well-being and togetherness among staff. Use this time to focus on those who are putting in 110%, looking for advice and stand out from the pack.


4. Reward Major Career Milestones

Most employees crave appreciation and praise for their hard work. Incorporating reward systems for those who are top performers at the company can help to jumpstart productivity in the workplace.


Whether it be an employee of the month award, bonus incentives, or simply giving promotions to those who are deserving of them are all great ways to boost morale.


Some companies celebrate anniversaries for years of service as well as host new hire lunches to connect new staff members with experienced co-workers in the department and/or department heads. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate milestones, employees will be appreciative and work diligently knowing that their hard work will be rewarded.


5. Streamline Workflow Processes

Find new and innovative ways to make your employee’s jobs easier, and increase creativity in the workplace. It will help take away the hassle of repetitive tasks and administrative work.


Many human resource departments will partner with the IT team to find the most effective methods of workflow optimization. Some have chosen to incorporate business automation software to simplify back-end tasks, while others have opted to reevaluate the corporate structuring and specific job responsibilities to ensure optimal workflow.


Certification programs for management training have also been used to help better delegation within and between departments.


There are many strategies you can use, depending on the size and industry focus of the business you are in. Take time to review where there is a significant lag in your business processes and what can be done to correct them.


6. Create a pleasant office space

Creating an office space that motivates and creates a sense of wellbeing is a huge part of boosting workplace creativity. There are a few very simple ways that you can do this.



Ensure that your office has the correct amount of light – a Department of Design study found that employees too far away from windows had a much higher risk of eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and more. Avoid this by trying to have as much natural lighting as possible in the office. You should also ensure to replace any flickering lights, and control any distracting glare on computer screens.


Colour can also have a significant impact on your office space. Instead of opting for a typical grey or beige office, consider introducing a splash of colour. Indoor plants for example, are thought to enrich a space, increasing productivity and employee happiness.


Want to create a great workplace culture?

Fostering increased creativity in the workplace is just one way to create a great workplace culture, and improve the performance of your business. If you want to learn more ways to engage your workforce, download our webinar on this topic!


Chandler C

Chandler Coleman is a contributing author to Smart Recruit Online and has expertise in business and tech-focused content.

Attracting and Retaining Talent in a Candidate Driven Market
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


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

We offer an evidence-based, talent acquisition and recruitment management system. Our platform will help you cut costs and increase the quality of candidates. While also improving the performance of your recruitment strategy and ensuring your candidates have the best experience of your brand. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and our technology at the cutting edge.

How Blind CVs Impact the Recruitment Process
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


Blind hiring, along with blind CVs, are a new solution for the recruitment process that has stepped on the scene. But exactly how effective are they? 


What is a Blind CV?

So what exactly is a blind CV? It is the basis of blind hiring, and a CV that doesn’t have any identifying factors. This includes things like a candidate’s name, gender, age, or race. The long and short of it is that there is no information present that isn’t related to the candidate’s working capabilities.


Areas like academic background, work experience, and contact information are all able to appear, as these create fewer issues around recruiter bias.


This type of recruitment has been introduced with the purpose of eliminating any type of conscious or subconscious bias. By evaluating the candidates more objectively, the companies will be able to hire diversified candidates who are truly fit for that job position. But the question is how does blind hiring affect the recruitment process?


Bias in the Recruitment Process

As much as we would like to live in a world without discrimination or favouritism, the reality is that they are often present, especially in the world of business. While this is not always purposeful, any type of preconceived idea or discrimination can hugely impact the candidate ultimately selected for hire.


There are many pieces of research and academic studies that prove that bias is widespread in the hiring process. Take a look at the following facts:


  • According to a 2017 UK study, just a third (32%) of HR managers felt confident that they are not prejudiced when hiring new staff. Nearly half (48%) admitted that bias affects their candidate choice, while 20% said they couldn’t be sure if bias affected their decisions.
  • A report by the Women and Equalities Committee from 2016 showed that Muslim women are three times as likely as women in other social groups in the UK to be unemployed.
  • In a US study, universities seeking a laboratory manager were randomly given CVs with male or female names. Those with ‘male’ names were rated as “significantly more competent and hirable.”
  • As a part of their study, the US National Bureau of Economic Research sent out 40,000 fictional job applications and found that the fictional workers aged 49-51 received 19% fewer responses than those aged 29-31. Those aged 64-66 received 35% more interview invitations than those aged 29-31.


Such a discriminating attitude towards potential candidates enables companies to find the best candidates. The characteristics which employers subconsciously value more don’t necessarily depict a better candidate. That is why blind recruitment was introduced.


The Introduction of Blind Hiring

It all started in 1952 when this method was used by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The musicians were asked to play behind the screen during their audition which increased the number of women who were accepted to the orchestra. According to later research, blind auditions by 50% increase a woman’s chance of being accepted by an orchestra.


The problem with bias is that it happens subconsciously so people don’t have control over it. Even those who claim that they are completely objective while going through the candidate’s CV, they still might choose a male candidate rather than a female.


How Does a Blind CV Work?

In a recent podcast about unconscious bias, Ksenia Zheltoukhova the CIPD’s Head of Research said, “Anonymising CVs is an effective intervention for increasing diversity in organizations and reducing bias in recruitment.”


Therefore, it all starts with censoring the CVs. You can’t really make the whole recruitment process anonymous but CV censorship will help you pick the best of the best without subconscious bias.


A blind CV can be executed in more than one way. It all depends on how much you want to emit. One option is to just eliminate the basics such as name and gender. Another option is to remove other personal details as well such as the educational background.



The reason why some recruiters opt for the second option – that is eliminating educational history – is to prevent favouring candidates who have a similar background to their own. For example, if the recruiter went to Yale, he or she might identify and feel closer to those candidates who also went to Yale.


The steps you need to take to make the blind CVs work are:

  1. Decide which information you want to remove from the CVs: Based on how unbiased you want to be, you should decide what information you want to omit from the CVs. You may decide to simply opt for removing the candidates’ names, or if you’re more concerned about age discrimination, their date of birth and some background information.
  2. Anonymise the data with an automation tool or colleague: There are now automation tools out there that let you anonymise the CV data, simplifying the process. Alternatively, you can ask a colleague who won’t be involved in the recruitment process to take your chosen information off the CVs.
  3. Review your blind CVs: Review your CVs as you normally would, so as not to impact your entire recruitment process too substantially. Once you invite your selected candidates to interview, you will find out who they are.


The Advantages of Blind CVs

Blind CVs can definitely improve your recruitment process. To summarize all the positive impacts:


  • They eliminate initial bias: Bias can occur in the very early stages of recruitment, and this can be avoided.
  • They limit the impact of personal information: Personal information can affect the recruiter’s judgment, leading to screening out potentially suitable candidates.
  • They discount race, age and culture: The best candidates can be singled out without these often discriminated against elements coming into play.
  • They help with a diversified workforce: Recruiters are arguably more likely to hire a diverse workforce if unconscious bias can be limited.
  • They show company values: Blind CVs can show that the company isn’t discriminating.
  • They boost the employer brand: If it’s clear that the employer cares about equal opportunity, this can be positive for the employer brand and help attract talented candidates to the business.


You might think that your recruitment team is already as objective as it can be, but you’ll never know unless you give blind CVs a chance.


The Potential Issues of Blind CVs

While the positive sides of blind CVs are notable, we can’t forget that there are two sides to every story. Some of the limitations and drawbacks of blind CVs are:


  • Gender and race quotas: Those who have quotas for gender and race might not be able to fulfill them if they eliminate personal information.
  • Cultural fit: Without knowing personal interests, the recruiters won’t know if the candidate is a match to their company’s culture.
  • Bias at interview: It only eliminates bias from the initial stage of recruitment, so the bias can reappear during the interview.
  • Not all information is limited: The recruiters can still form bias based on other information; e.g. the experience can reveal the age of the candidate.
  • An incomplete picture: Eliminating personal information can lead to an incomplete picture of the employee. If someone has a gap in their work history, a blind CV won’t give the explanation why and therefore it can harm the candidate’s chances.



Undeniably, using blind CVs has its issues as much as it has its advantages, but it can bring some innovation and improvement to the hiring process. It all comes down to what the company finds to be the best for its progress.


Final Thoughts

Using blind CVs can improve your company’s diversity and help you choose the best candidates by putting bias aside. Besides using blind recruitment, you can also emphasise your commitment to diversity by stating on the job post that you are interested in forming a diverse team.


Also, make sure that everyone on the hiring committee is ready to put their differences aside and accept the blind hiring process as the best choice for the company’s progress and success. By building a team of diverse people, you are building a better tomorrow for future generations.


Blind CVs are just one of the ways you can potentially optimise your current recruitment process, and make better hiring decisions. For more tips on how to create a great recruitment process, download our eBook on 10 Ways to Optimise your Recruitment Process!


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Diana Nadim

Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Besides working as a contributor writer for TrustMyPaper and WowGrade, Diana also runs her own blog. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.

How to Advertise a Job Effectively in 8 Steps
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


Here is our simple 8 step guide how to advertise a job effectively, and attract and retain talented candidates to your roles. 


The mere thought of recruiting a new member of staff and creating a new job advert may fill you with excitement or even trepidation. Regular recruiters will tell you that there is something very satisfying in running a successful recruitment campaign, but most will share with you far more horror stories about how it can go wrong. It is not so much an art as it is about making the right decisions and following the right processes, but if no one ever showed you, that might be why it goes wrong.


1. Create A Job Description

The first thing you need to do is create a job description/specification for the role you need to recruit for. This document should be comprehensive and should include the details of all the responsibilities for this role. This includes areas like where they’ll fit into your existing team, along with details of the key skills and education you’d like them to have.


Creating a job description at the beginning of the process like this can really help you to figure out this new employee’s role within your business and will come in handy later down the line when you have to draw up the employee’s contract. It’s also useful for your HR department, who can use the job description later on measure employee performance, and whether they are fulfilling their role duties after hire.


2. Research The Market

The next thing you need to consider with how to advertise a job, is researching the market. This means looking into what your competitors are doing, and what candidates seem to be looking for in a role.


2.1 The job title

Researching what the most appropriate job title is, and what other job titles candidates might be using, is a huge part of the job advertising process. The title you choose can ultimately have a dramatic impact on the number of prospective applicants you attract and apply to your role.


You should try and avoid using internal job titles that are unique to you, as candidates may not be using these same search terms. You can even ask the job boards or your recruitment partners to help you choose an appropriate job title based on evidence they have seen.


2.2 The job salary

It is also worth looking at what a similar job in your region might be offering salary-wise. This is because you want to make your role attractive to potential candidates, and offering an attractive and competitive salary does just this.


3. Create The Job Advertisement

Once you’ve chosen your job title and salary, it’s now time to design your job advertisement.


Let’s be clear; your job advertisement should be very different to your job description – and yes, you do need both! While your job description is extremely detailed in regards to what you are looking for, it is more used for internal purposes. Your job advert should be shorter and focus on selling the opportunity to potential applicants.


Your advert can be much less formal and can convey your business’ personality and values.


eBook banner on writing the ultimate job advert with an ipad and text


4. Optimise your advert for keywords

Candidates search for jobs using job titles and keywords, so it is essential that you factor this into your job advert writing. Candidates generally use a combination of the most generic job title and location as the key components in their search string, but technology jobs may also include a technical keyword too.


5. Choose Your advertising channels

There are obviously lots of job boards and other advertising channels to choose from. Some are generic, others are niche, and others are geographically orientated. Prices can vary from £0 up to £900 per advert, so choosing the right option for you will ultimately depend on your budget, level of difficulty or importance, and the sector.


Over 70% of all candidates that search for a job start in Google, so this is a good place to start looking. Try running a few searches as if you were the candidate and see what channels come out on top. We recommend that you select at least 2 or 3 channels to get maximum coverage, especially for senior, hard to fill, and critical positions.


The best solution for getting maximum value for money might be to select a multi-posting job advertising and management service, where you pay a single fee and enjoy maximum exposure across multiple advertising channels.


6. Manage The Applications effectively

The options here tend to be:

  • Use a 3rd party or a recruitment agency to manage all your applications
  • Have them sent to your inbox by email
  • Use an Applicant Tracking service
  • Use a free Online Campaign Management tool


It is important to remember that a well-written advert distributed across the right advertising channels is likely to attract a reasonable number of good quality candidates who are currently in work and only tentatively looking. Therefore, it is critical that you manage the recruitment campaign efficiently if you do not want to lose good candidates throughout the process. This is both annoying and unnecessary, especially when there are free recruiting platforms out there to help you.


The other important aspect of managing the recruitment campaign effectively is all about protecting your corporate brand.



7. Establish your Screening process

Most of us working in the recruitment industry are familiar with the statistic that over 80% of people that leave a job in the first year, do so for behavioural reasons and not because they couldn’t do the job. When you consider the real cost of making a bad hire is likely to be £30 – £60k after you factor in initial recruiting costs and time, induction and training, salary, impact on the business and other staff members, you start to realise the importance of performing proper due diligence and behavioural and cultural assessments. This might sound scary, but in fact, can be relatively straight forward and not too costly either.


8. Measure and record

Last but not least, always record and measure how you did on each recruitment campaign! Keep a record of each job advert, where you advertised it, the amount of responses you had, the number of interviews and the time that it took you to get to offer. This will help you to pinpoint where your process could be improved, and replicate campaigns that perform well in future.


Over 98% of all business owners believe that the recruitment of new staff is by far the single most important part of effective company growth. Get it wrong and it can kill an organisation, but get it right and you can enjoy the rewards of your endeavours.


Want to get started?

The points we’ve covered here are just some of the ways on how to advertise a job effectively. If you’re looking for extra tips that are proven to work, and attract talent to your roles, download our eBook on this topic!


eBook banner on writing the ultimate job advert with an ipad and text


Don’t feel like doing it yourself? A talent acquisition platform like Smart Recruit Online can help you effectively advertise your roles, with built-in multi-poster technology across thousands of job boards and channels, optimised job advert generators, and many other features that help move your candidates all the way from attraction to onboarding.


Interested? Book a demo with us and we’ll show you how we work.


Mark Stephens

Mark has worked in, and researched the HR & Recruitment landscape for over 20 years, focussing on the unique blend of recruitment technology, evidence-based processes, and human behavioural science in order to optimise performance and recruitment outcomes. He is a serial entrepreneur, previous winner of the prestigious Chambers of Commerce - Innovation in Business award, and founder of Smart Recruit Online Ltd, and Corporate Wellness & Mental Health UK Ltd (Corpwell). Smart Recruit Online has been the winner of several national and international awards for recruitment innovation.

5 Tips to Create a Recruitment Communication Strategy
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


Your recruitment communication strategy is hugely important throughout your recruitment process. Here we discuss why, and the best tactics to improve it. 


Speed and proper communication and two of the biggest essentials HR professionals need to balance during the recruitment process. They are also some of the most challenging to implement.


Why is communication important in recruitment?

An effective recruitment communication strategy plays a role in boosting your recruitment’s effectiveness. By zooming in on the right candidates and making the onboarding process seamless, you contribute to creating a better overall candidate experience. Having a good candidate experience comes with a wide range of benefits:


Your employer brand

Around 72% of candidates who have a negative experience of your brand will tell others about it. A poor employer brand may actually put off talented candidates from applying for roles at your business in the future, creating unforeseen damage in the long-term. So it’s well worth treating each and every candidate with respect and communicating clearly, and that includes those who don’t get the job.



Retaining talented candidates

The most talented candidates tend to already be in employment, and are only passively searching for a new role. This means you need to impress them at each stage of your recruitment process, and create an unforgettable candidate experience. A good recruitment communication strategy helps you do just that, and keeps these candidates engaged and interested in your opportunity.


Alternatively, if you’re providing a sub-par candidate experience, this increases the chance of talented individuals dropping out of the process, and a lower quality of applicant you eventually hire.


Talent shortage is a massive issue today and almost 73 per cent of employers report difficulties in filling positions. At the same time, employee engagement is lower than ever before. Disengaged employees cost businesses up to 550 billion dollars per year – a massive amount that can be reduced through better communication about expectations and roles on both parts.


Recruitment Communication Strategies

So, what does it take to make the recruitment process more informative, more tailored and more effective? Here are some of the communication strategies that HR professionals can rely on to improve their communication efforts.


1. Data Collection

Good communication with candidates is heavily dependent on going into every meeting fully prepared. This can be difficult if you’ve got various documents and clutter for HR professionals to go through, from CVs to completed tasks and cover letters.


Luckily, there are now various technologies available today that digitise and optimise the recruitment process. These can help you gather relevant candidate data, and organise it in an easy-to-sift-through way.


A good recruitment management system will manage all your recruitment documents and processes from one single platform. This helps reduce the amount of time you spend on administrative tasks, and allows you to prepare easily over the course of the recruitment process.


2. Online Communication

Everyone is online – this is a fact that recruiters need to account for when communicating with candidates.


Think about it – a large majority of the best applicants are often only passively searching for a new role. These candidates are more than likely present on a variety of online spaces, so ensuring you are also present there, and are communicating using these resources is invaluable.


It’s wise for recruiters to be present across online platforms to streamline and speed up the collection of information. Social media platforms like LinkedIn for example have already become the standard in the recruitment realm, whether that’s reaching out to potential candidates, or supplying important, engaging information about your brand online.


Another common but effective practice is for companies to employ live streaming and video calls. These make tasks like scheduling interviews much easier, as digital interviews give you much more room to work with. With the worldwide coronavirus pandemic changing the way we live and the way we work, this has had a profound effect on the way interviews are being carried out and onboarding is occurring.


Using the digital technologies at your disposal is ultimately a great recruitment communication strategy to boost your communication with candidates in a cost-efficient, tailored way that all businesses can benefit from.


3. Automation for Immediacy

Automation is becoming more and more prominent in the recruitment space, and certain parts of the candidate communication process can be effectively automated. This is hugely beneficial, as it frees up human resources time for more strategic tasks needed.


When a human being has to manually go through every single step, some processes can be needlessly prolonged, and the chance for human error increases. This is where recruitment technology can be employed and give HR professionals a breather.


A very simple example of how communication automation can be used is:

After a person has sent in an email with their application, they could receive an automated response. The automatic email can shed a bit more light on the company culture, the onboarding process and the additional steps that the candidate will have to go through in case they’re considered relevant for the position.


While this is a very basic example of how recruitment communication can be automated, it paints a clear picture of how everything can be sped up and simplified for the purpose of simpler, quicker and more efficient processes.


Due to its popularity, a number of recruitment platforms and software now come with automated response functions built-in as part of the product. This is great value for money as an extra add-on to other useful recruitment features.


4. Always Have a Timeline for Replies and Processes

Many people who apply for specific positions complain that they never hear back from recruiters or that they hear back too long after the initial contact. In fact, a Talent Board report found that 53% of candidates say they don’t receive a response from employers until 3 months after applying.



This shows the importance of setting strict timelines for responding and for staging out the recruitment process.


Using automation as a key communication strategy will take a lot of the administrative burden off your shoulders. This way, you can focus on setting a timeline for responding and completing every single step of the candidate filtering out process.


While such timeframes are more or less guidelines, they create a sense of urgency and move the communication forward. Our minds are wired to perform better when a deadline is in place and the rule does apply to corporate communication.


5. Clarifying Roles within the Hiring Team

The final strategy is purely organisational, but it can have some impact on the quality of communication within the recruitment team itself, as well as with candidates.


It’s very important to clarify the role of every single member of the human resources department. Very often, there are implied roles and responsibilities that may be taken on by more than one person. Not only are such processes ineffective, but they can also lead to reduced productivity and serious mistakes down the line.


If there’s a lack of clarity, the department will need to address this internally before a recruitment campaign is initiated. What’s the role of the hiring manager? Does the team have a senior leader at all? Who’s leading the interview process and how are they communicating with everybody else?


These are just a few of the key questions that need to be addressed for proper responsibility allocation. When recruitment team members have a clear idea about their role in the department, they can start communicating more effectively with everyone involved in the process.


Improved communication can speed up recruitment and save a company tons of money. The recruitment team must work to address any ambiguities as soon as possible. Such processes are far from expensive and when carried out correctly, they can contribute to profound operational efficiency in the future.


What’s next?

Improving your recruitment communication strategy is just one part of the puzzle to an overall improved recruitment process. For more tips on how to create a fully optimised recruitment process, download our eBook on 10 Ways to Optimise your Online Recruitment!


ebook banner for maximising your recruitment process

Ben Brown

Ben Brown is freelance writer and a content manager at dating site DoULikeSenior with top notch communication  skills. He enjoys learning new things and learning more about people from all over the world. His passion and diligence enable him to consistently grow and improve both himself and his career.

5 Essential Interview Questions to Assess Culture Fit
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


A candidate might look great on paper, but how do you know they will fit into your organisation? There are 5 interview questions to assess culture fit, so you can find out. 


What is cultural fit?

So, what exactly is cultural fit within a business context? When we talk about a business culture, we mean the core values and beliefs that a company abides by. They essentially determine how the employees interact, and may be reflected in your business hours, hiring decisions, dress code, treatment of clients and so on.


A business culture is often implied and not outwardly defined. However, it is becoming more common for businesses to have cultural guidelines for their employees to follow, and that are brought into the interview process.


Cultural fit is basically how well an employee matches up with the business culture. This doesn’t mean not having a diverse workforce, as this has a multitude of benefits for businesses. It simply means ensuring they match up with these values in some way. For example, if your business values collaboration in the workplace highly, someone who works best individually may not be a good fit.


Why is cultural fit important?

Cultural fit is becoming increasingly important to businesses, with 86% of CEOs and HR leaders confirming this in a recent Deloitte survey. This is unsurprising, as an effective culture is said to create a 50% difference in performance between businesses in the same sector. Other reasons why cultural fit is important include:



Staff satisfaction:

When your staff is happy, they tend to be more engaged, productive and motivated to succeed. Being part of a culture that aligns with their own tends to incite these feelings.


Improved performance:

When employees feel like they belong, this can lead to increased enthusiasm in the role, and a willingness to go the extra mile to succeed.


Higher staff retention:

If your employees are happy, they’re less likely to leave the business. This will help save you the cost of recruitment for a replacement, as well as any additional time and money spent training new hires


Interview questions to assess culture fit:

Cultural fit is one of the most important things hiring professionals need to evaluate in a job interview, but it’s also one of the most challenging traits to identify. Without working with an applicant, or knowing them, determining whether they are a good fit for the team is difficult.


But, asking the right interview questions can help. There are lots of questions you could ask, but here we give you five of the most effective interview questions to assess culture fit.


1. “If I walk by your desk at 5:30 p.m., what will I see?”

The answer to this question will reveal the candidate’s view of work, and what the workplace should be like.


Their response can then be evaluated against your company culture. For example, does everyone in your business tend to stay until 9pm to work? Are you a start-up, where everyone works remotely all the time? Or perhaps most of your team have left by 4:30 pm in an effort to beat the traffic.


If the candidate were to say “I’m long gone”, or “I’m working hard and ordering takeout dinner”, then you can evaluate how this measures up against your own culture. Do they fit in, or are they an outlier? You can also evaluate if a response slightly off from your norm is a deal-breaker or not.


2. “What are you most passionate about?”

Asking this question is a great opportunity to understand a candidate’s hobbies, enthusiasms, or whatever is important in their life. It can help identify if they are a well-rounded individual, and if into your culture.


Even if their passion is unrelated to the role they will be filling, their answer will show your hiring manager if they are a committed person with interests and goals, an important quality for any role.


3. “Describe your ideal working environment.”

If the candidate had a magic wand, and could create their perfect job and work environment, what would it look like?


Giving a candidate free range to describe what they desire in an organisation is a great way to highlight whether their ideals match up with your company culture.


For example, maybe they prefer to work in a quiet, closed-off environment, but your office is frequently busy with sales calls and collaborative working.


4. “If we were stuck somewhere, what would you do?”

Understanding how a candidate would handle being stuck somewhere will give you an insight into how they deal with challenging situations.


Any manner of tough situation can happen within an organisation, and knowing you have people on your team who can keep their cool, and perhaps come up with a solution is invaluable.


5. “Walk me through your perfect workday.”

Asking about a candidate’s perfect workday gives them the chance to identify what they value in the workplace. Do they prefer to work independently or with teams? How does socializing fit into their idea of working?


The majority of interview questions often assess a candidate’s competence to do tasks, and how they would fit in with that aspect. This question gives a glimpse into what the candidate values, which you can then compare to the company.


Want to create a great company culture?

It’s one thing to ask interview questions to assess culture fit, but is your culture one which performs well? Make sure you’re cultivating great company culture, by watching our webinar on this topic.


Josh Tolan

This is a guest post by Spark Hire CEO Josh Tolan. Spark Hire is a video interview solutions provider.

The Ideal Driver: How To Recruit Delivery Drivers
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


With the demand for home delivery increasing, this guide explains how to recruit delivery drivers for your business. 


Amazon have announced a temporary pay increase of £2 an hour for UK delivery drivers, and they’re currently hiring thousands of new employees in the US to cover the increase in demand for deliveries. Small retail businesses looking to keep up with the competition in the current climate may be considering how they can branch out into home deliveries. With pressure on existing courier services, it may not seem like the best time to offer home delivery, but local businesses could navigate the issue by recruiting in-house drivers.


If you’re looking to hire only the best talent for your business, here’s what skills you need to look for when you’re recruiting a delivery driver, and what you can do to attract and convert these kinds of applicants.



Lucy Wyndham

Lucy Wyndham is a freelance writer and editor.

Effectively Writing a Job Advert: The Complete Guide
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


One of the most common challenges facing anyone recruiting staff is effectively writing a job advert. This doesn’t mean the job specification, but the advert for the opportunity.



We recently reviewed more than 200 job adverts for a variety of mainstream and niche roles across various industry sectors, picking 3 leading job boards and selecting the top 5 results for 40 unique job titles.


We were looking for evidence that advertisers were applying the basic rules of successful advertising. We were not being subjective, just looking at structure, style, content, and keywords, and determining whether the copy could be considered an advertisement for the opportunity or if it was more a specification of what was required.


Writing a job advert statistic that 173 job ads reviewed would've failed an assessment


173 of the job adverts that we reviewed would have failed any basic assessment. It is evident that the majority of ‘recruiters’, whether ‘in-house’ or ‘agency’, do not understand how to maximise their response rates and attract the best applicants.


When you consider that over 90% of all job-related searches are performed by people who are already in employment, you can recognise the importance of appealing to these passive online job seekers in an engaging way. Here, we run through some of the basic things anyone writing a job advert can apply, and improve their conversion rates from ‘view’ to ‘apply’.


eBook banner on writing the ultimate job advert with an ipad and text


What is a job advert?

But first, what exactly is a job advert? It’s important to understand that a job advert is very different from a simple job description or job specification. A job specification will often list specific requirements that an employee has to fulfill and how they will be measured.


A job advert, on the other hand, highlights key benefits and features of a role, in an effort to get the candidate to buy into your organisation, culture and opportunity. Writing an advert is all about selling the role to potential applicants, and attracting the right kind of talent to your business is an exciting and engaging way.


How to effectively write a job advert

1. Mindset

First, you need to re-frame your mindset around writing job adverts. Ideally, you want to get out of the habit of trying to screen out unsuitable applicants in your advert, and instead think of it as having the goal of attracting the very best candidates currently working with your competition. This may be challenging if you’re used to writing a simple job specification, but changing your mindset will have a huge payoff.


2. Avoid screening

It is very tempting to outline your requirements for the role when writing job adverts, but you need to remember that you are not writing job specifications. You are writing adverts. Only desperate applicants will apply to that type of job advert.


The reason that recruiters try to screen applicants out is to avoid having to sift through dozens of unsuitable CVs / application forms. The problem with this strategy is that it tends to result in very uninspiring job advertisements that put off the very best candidates.


Remember, it’s a massive decision for most candidates who are currently in employment to even consider another job, so the content of your advert is actually very valuable real estate that needs to be utilised effectively to highlight every positive aspect you can think of about this opportunity.


3. The salary

You should always try and include a salary banding when writing job adverts. This is because many candidates won’t actually apply for a role that doesn’t list the salary, and job board filtering options now also allow them to avoid these kinds of ads displaying.


If you don’t want to list an exact salary, listing a salary banding is hugely beneficial to ensure you still appear in the search results.



4. The introduction

Your job advert introduction should grab the reader’s attention, mostly because this is what will be displayed in the search results when someone searches for a role.


You can treble the number of prospective applicants simply by optimising the opening section of your job advert. Just try and make it sound as appealing and persuasive as you can, to encourage that initial click onto your full listing, for example using questions or persuasive language.


5. Use the Essential and Desirable criteria section

This section of the job advert is where your qualifying criteria can go, so use it properly. Candidates are far more likely to refer to this if they like the sound of the opportunity you are advertising.


5.1 Essential criteria

Only list what is absolutely essential here. If you overload this section when writing a job advert it can be overwhelming and put candidates off. It’s very rare that a potential candidate will match every essential criteria you list, and this has even been shown to discourage female applicants from applying in the first place. If you must include additional criteria, it’s better to include these in a ‘highly desirable’ section.


5.2 Desirable criteria

Anything that would be useful for the candidate to have should be listed in your desired criteria section. This may include a list of tasks the person will be required to perform, or perhaps operational roles that don’t have specific terminology. Just be sure to highlight that nothing on this list is essential.


6. Sell The Opportunity

The biggest question being asked by the vast majority of applicants reading your advert is “What is in it for me?” Over 90% of people reading your advert already have a job, so one of the first sections of your copy should be dedicated to selling the opportunity. To think that people will apply for your job just because they can do it is naïve at best.


A sign saying 'opportunity just ahead'

Most candidates will be motivated by the perception that your opportunity represents a positive change for them, and will need to justify the subsequent job application and interview logistics that lay head accordingly if they progress.


Consider what the opportunities are that you can highlight in your advert: To learn something new; to develop or improve their skills; to experience something different; to join a bigger, more highly skilled team; to join a smaller team where they can become a bigger fish; to progress their career; take on more responsibility or to earn more money. The list goes on.


Unless the applicant believes that your job can satisfy the ‘what’s in it for me’ question, they will not hit the ‘apply’ button.


7. Make the job sound ‘sexy’

Two women talking on beanbags

An important section of writing job adverts is the job description and this is where the temptation is to revert to spec. You really need to focus on what is interesting, challenging, and is likely to be seen as ‘sexy’ to your prospective applicant.


What the candidate will be doing at this point is weighing up and comparing their current role against what they could be doing with you. Consider what can make the job sound more interesting and appealing: Previous or current or future projects; technology and tools; clients; the people; the team; the culture or anything about the company that is worth shouting about.


If you get stuck, think about how you would try and sell the role to a friend in the pub.


8. Keyword optimisation

Most job search engines decide how relevant an ad is based on the number of times keywords appear. Choosing the right job title and keywords that you want to be found for is essential, especially for highly competitive jobs. The difference between getting your job onto the first page of results and the second can be as high as ten times the number of views.


The job title

It’s critical to use a job title that will attract the best and most relevant talent to fit your role. This really depends on the type of role you’re recruiting for. For more generalist roles, picking the most common or searched for job title can have a dramatic impact on application numbers. For more specific roles, it’s better to select a very specific job title, which may bring in less matches, but these will be of a higher quality.


The job title is the most important keyword to use throughout your job advert copy, and should be used around 4 or 5 times in a typical job advert of 100-150 words. Try not to overuse it though, and ensure the copy flows naturally or you may be penalised.


9. Structure your job advertising copy

How you structure your job advert is important. Placing information in a logical and appealing order is not only easier to read, but helps you focus on adding the right kind of content to your job ad.

Here is our recommended structure:

  • Job Title
  • A Powerful Intro (The elevator pitch)
  • The Opportunity
  • The Job Description
  • Essential Criteria
  • Desirable Criteria
  • The Company


Following this structure makes the task of writing job copy much easier. It also helps avoid filling your advert with content that has limited value to the applicant or in helping you, the recruiter.


There are many other advanced tactics to further refine your job adverts and improve application responses, but I hope this list will get you started on improving the quantity and quality of your application results.


What can you do now?

Writing a job advert is easy once you know where to start. For many more tips on how to publish the most effective job adverts online, download our eBook on How to Write the Perfect Job Advert.


eBook banner on writing the ultimate job advert with an ipad and text


Need some help?

Don’t feel like doing it alone? The Smart Recruit Online talent acquisition platform comes equipped with all the tools you need to write an effective job advert and attract quality talent to your business, including job advert generator tools and multi-poster technology. Interested? Book a demo with us and we’ll show you how it works.


Mark Stephens

Mark has worked in, and researched the HR & Recruitment landscape for over 20 years, focussing on the unique blend of recruitment technology, evidence-based processes, and human behavioural science in order to optimise performance and recruitment outcomes. He is a serial entrepreneur, previous winner of the prestigious Chambers of Commerce - Innovation in Business award, and founder of Smart Recruit Online Ltd, and Corporate Wellness & Mental Health UK Ltd (Corpwell). Smart Recruit Online has been the winner of several national and international awards for recruitment innovation.

Discriminatory Job Adverts & How to Avoid Them
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


If we only hired employees from a certain background, age or gender, life would be pretty boring! I once saw a discriminatory job advert that said the company was looking to recruit someone with “at least seven years’ experience (preferably continuous)”.


Smart Recruit Online

We offer an evidence-based, talent acquisition and recruitment management system. Our platform will help you cut costs and increase the quality of candidates. While also improving the performance of your recruitment strategy and ensuring your candidates have the best experience of your brand. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and our technology at the cutting edge.

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