How to Improve your Recruitment Efficiency
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Want to improve your recruitment efficiency? Here we give you some top tips you can start implementing into your business.


Every recruiter knows how difficult it is to find, recruit, and retain top talent. This is especially true of today’s tight labour market, which is finding employers struggling to keep their businesses optimally staffed.


However, it’s not only attracting and keeping talent that’s proving formidable for businesses today. Even when you find the best candidates, you’re still often facing an unnecessarily long and arduous hiring process, and that can be a significant drain on company time and resources. Worse still, a lengthy and difficult screening and onboarding may well result in the loss of a highly qualified applicant.


Fortunately, there are ways to improve your recruitment efficiency, making the hiring process more seamless, effective, and efficient. This article describes the best strategies you can implement today to optimise your recruiting efficiency and onboarding practices for years to come!


Prioritise Automation

One of the best ways by far to improve your recruitment efficiency and efficacy is to harness the power of technology. Automation tools, such as a good recruitment platform, can both speed up and streamline the entire process, from initial applicant screening to onboarding.



For example, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are increasingly being integrated into recruitment processes to automate the analysis of candidates’ application materials. Using AI to winnow down the candidate pool frees recruiters to focus only on applicants whose training and experience actually meet the job criteria.


Automation can also enhance recruiting and onboarding by providing a unique and memorable hiring experience that reflects your company brand and enables you to better evaluate a candidate’s fit for the job role and the organisational culture.


For example, you might use gamification in the candidate selection and onboarding process to help you evaluate soft skills, from creative problem-solving to effective communication and collaboration. At the same time, you will be providing candidates with a fun experience that promotes their engagement with the company.


These tools support recruitment efficiency because the technology enables you to evaluate applicants quickly and accurately, decreasing the likelihood of a bad hire and the need to begin the search all over again.


Additionally, a more engaged applicants is more likely to continue the hiring process, making it less likely they’ll drop out and make the time you invested come to nothing.


Thinking Like a Freelancer

Another important path to recruiting efficiently is to think, and work, a lot more like a freelancer. Because freelancers depend on being able to land gigs and maintain productivity, they’re superb not only at automating job duties but also at consolidation and jettisoning of tasks.


In other words, they’re going to focus on tackling the tasks that best suit their particular strengths, while delegating or automating those in which they may be relatively deficient. Thus, a freelancer who is a superstar in landing gigs at in-person business meetings but who can’t craft an effective pitch letter to save their soul may focus their time and efforts on face-to-face networking while outsourcing proposal writing to a fellow pro.



Similarly, because recruitment efficiency is key to maximising revenues when you’re a freelancer, the savvy independent contractor may deploy technology, such as time tracking and invoicing technologies, to facilitate record-keeping.


An HR manager seeking to improve their recruiting efficiency can borrow similar strategies. This might include creating a library of modifiable templates for the correspondence that often takes up so much of a recruiter’s time. This might include prefabricated, but easily customisable, boilerplates for invitations to apply, solicitations of additional applicant documents, and interview scheduling.


In addition to the creation of a curated correspondence library, a recruiter can use automation technologies to schedule the sending of emails, track transmissions and responses, and schedule automated follow-ups.


Consolidating and Curating Resources

In addition to automating and consolidating as many tasks as possible in alignment with the freelancer’s model of efficiency and productivity, it’s also beneficial for recruiters to consolidate and curate their resources and work products.


For example, a good recruitment management platform will enable you to archive, access, and adapt your resources easily and efficiently from a single system. This will save significant time because you will no longer need to transfer work product from one platform to another.


Everything you need to do your work effectively, from candidate screening to applicant outreach to the publishing and promotion of job ads, can all be found on a single, secure, and cohesive system.


Optimising Onboarding

In addition to making the hiring process more streamlined, improving your recruitment efficiency can also significantly improve the onboarding experience for new hires. Once again, this is an arena in which the profound benefits of automation truly shine through.


For instance, by automating onboarding processes, you will have the tools you need to personalise the experience for your recruits. Onboarding automation enables you to craft individualised welcome packets uniquely tailored to the job requirements and the specific needs of the new hire.


This offers an unprecedented opportunity to create a stellar first impression on new hires, which is often instrumental to retention. When your new employees feel well-supported from the beginning, when they feel that they have been equipped from day one with the tools they need to succeed, they’re more likely to quickly evolve into highly productive and loyal team members.


Whilst you are giving your new hires an excellent start to their new career with your company when you automate the onboarding process, you are also freeing yourself to work on other aspects of the recruiting process.


This makes for a more efficient workflow because tasks are both automated and consolidated. You can be reviewing applications, performing background checks, writing job ads, or conducting interviews, while at the same time using your automation tools to train new hires in their job roles and introduce them to company policies and procedures. Such task consolidation isn’t just going to accelerate the hiring process, it’s also going to make it more cost-efficient.


Tracking Recruiting Performance

Another critical aspect of improving your recruiting efficiency is understanding exactly what is working in your process–as well as what isn’t. For this reason, it’s imperative to track key metrics throughout the recruiting process.



This would include indicators such as the number of responses per job ad, ad type, and recruiting platform, the number of replies and number of non-responses to invitations-to-apply and related outreach, the number of new hires retained versus those lost during onboarding, and new hire retention rates for the first year and beyond.


Understanding which recruiting strategies and channels are the most effective can help you focus your time, efforts, and resources only on the techniques that work. Recruitment software like the Smart Recruit Online platform can help you collect and analyse the key metrics you need to substantially reduce time-to-hire and hiring spend.


The Takeaway

Efficiency isn’t just crucial for profitability and productivity. It’s also essential to effective recruiting. Fortunately, there are many strategies and tools recruiters can use to make the hiring process more streamlined.


Smart Recruit Online helps you take advantage of recruitment technology to do just this, with a range of recruitment automation tools and tracking software. Interested? Get in touch with us today.

Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. When he isn't writing you can find him travelling, hiking, or gaming.

Building an Employer Branding Strategy
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

This guide teaches you why employer branding is critical for your business, and how you can build an employer branding strategy that works.


Recent research on employer branding suggests that “Over 90% of people would consider leaving their job if offered a position in a company with an outstanding corporate reputation.”


90%! This shows just how crucial employer branding is for any company looking to bring top talent on board and keep them.


Excellent branding can absolutely help you in the recruiting and hiring process when done right. From attracting quality candidates to providing a memorable hiring experience, employer branding can make or break the strength of your internal teams and operation overall.


Before we help you build your own branding strategy, let’s explore the definition of an employer branding strategy and why it’s important to improve continually.


Employer Branding Strategy Definition

Experts say, “At its most basic, employer branding is how you market your company to job seekers and what employees say about your company as a workplace.” An employer branding strategy allows you to shape the conversation about your brand and what it’s like to work for your company into a more positive one that makes you more appealing to potential employees.


An employer branding strategy differs from an employer branding tactic. A strategy is an overall plan to achieve a goal, while a tactic is an action taken to achieve that goal. However, both are vital for a solid employer brand.


Next, let’s explore why an employer brand strategy is worth improving.


Why an Employer Branding Strategy is Worth Improving

An employer branding strategy is worth improving because it directly impacts your ability to attract top talent, bring down hiring costs, and significantly reduce employee turnover.


A strong employer brand can also help you reduce candidate dropoffs in the hiring process and create an experience that candidates remember as positive, low-pressure, and seamless. In addition, you’ll be able to fill your teams with members that are a perfect match for your company’s culture, organisational direction, and preferred experience in candidates.


Furthermore, an employer branding strategy could result in lower spending on recruitment. Recent research on branding revealed that “Having a great brand can bring the expenses related to hiring and training down by as much as 50%.”


Read on for how to build an employer branding strategy that works for your company.


Building an Employer Branding Strategy


gif of a man saying he likes to plan a strategy


Building an employer branding strategy isn’t as complicated as people believe. By making a few crucial considerations and taking your time drafting the details of your strategy, you can be well on your way to an employer brand that stands out.



Here’s how to build an employer branding strategy:


What do you want your brand to communicate?

First, a considerable part of building an employer branding strategy is finetuning exactly what you want your brand to communicate to potential workers. In other words, what makes your company a desirable place to work? Why would someone love going to work every day at your company?


Be sure to polish your employee value proposition so that what’s expected from the company and prospective candidates during the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes is out in the open. Ultimately, you want to ensure you’re highlighting your company’s unique culture, mission, vision, and values.


With a clear understanding of what you want your brand to communicate to the outside world, move on to defining your ideal applicants.


Who are your ideal applicants?

Defining your ideal applicants is essential. To bring on team members who are perfect for the company, you must know who they are, how to communicate with them, and what will make your company attractive.


five people sitting in a waiting room


Instead of a buyer persona, create an ideal applicant persona. Map out the details of your perfect applicant and how they would move through their journey with your company, from introduction to hiring to onboarding. This way, you can craft a strategy and content tailored to the people you want to work for your company.


Next, define your employer branding goals.


Define employer branding goals

What do you want to achieve regarding employer branding? For instance, are you looking to reduce your hiring costs? Do you want to decrease candidate dropoff during the application process? Are you hoping to better your employee retention rate?


Whatever employer branding goals you have, write them down and make them visible to the entire HR team. You’ll also want to attach Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to your goals so that you can easily track your progress toward them.


Choosing suitable tools is next on the list for creating a killer employer branding strategy.


Choose suitable tools

Implement tools and platforms that help you find and hire the best talent out there. This will help free up your HR team’s time so that they can work on more pressing needs. Be sure your tools help keep your branding consistent and streamline your efforts throughout the hiring and recruiting process. They should do things like:


person typing on a laptop with faces in the background


  • Organise your branding elements
  • Help you find the most talented candidates online
  • Create job advertisements that help your company stand out
  • Post to job boards and sites automatically
  • Automate communication during vital parts of the process
  • Organize your relationship with a candidate so that you always know where you are with them
  • Screen resumes and covers letters
  • Video interviewing and virtual onboarding


Now it’s time to draft your strategy.


Draft your strategy and develop employer branding materials

Once you’ve defined your goals, draft your strategy either on paper or digitally. Be sure to include details like what communication channels you’ll use, your budget, who’s in charge of what, deadlines, content calendar, and how you’ll make the strategy visible to everyone in the company.


You’ll also want to address the content you create and employer branding materials necessary to carry out your strategy. For example, you’ll likely need extraordinary brand photography to give people an inside view of the atmosphere and culture in the workplace. Or maybe you’ll need to create employer branding videos to showcase a genuine and exciting side of your company.


Lastly, be sure to track your strategy’s performance.


Track your strategy’s performance

Implement analytics tools so that you can monitor the performance of your employer branding strategy and pivot when necessary.


Analytics tools can help you take advantage of new opportunities, address weaknesses in your strategy, and ensure you’re still meeting your company’s needs.


Do ample research on any analytics tool you’re considering. Be sure it’s the right fit for what you’re trying to track and the people who will be working with the data. Ultimately, it’s all about refining your approach to ensure your employer brand is the best it can be.



Creating a killer employer branding strategy is one of the best investments your company can make. Not only will you have a better chance at attracting top talent, but you’ll also create a company culture that’s a joy to work in.


The strategies discussed in this guide are made easier when you use the right recruitment technology. Why not get in touch and find out how our recruitment software can help you make better hires with a great employer branding strategy?

Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. When he isn't writing you can find him travelling, hiking, or gaming.

HR Academy Live – Event Key Takeaways
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Last week, Smart Recruit Online hosted our first free HR Academy Live event.


This is the first of a series of live online events bringing HR & Recruitment thought leaders and specialists together to share insights around the biggest topics impacting the industry, and giving attendees the chance to have their questions answered with a live Q&A.


This week’s session covered three trending topics affecting the recruitment and HR space: Talent Attraction Strategy, HR & Recruitment Technology, and Diversity, Equality & Inclusion.


Talent Attraction Strategy

So many businesses struggle to attract quality and a high enough quantity of applicants, even for mainstream unskilled roles. Our first session covered the art behind a truly effective talent attraction strategy.


Measuring how effective your current talent attraction strategy is, is the key to improving it. This all depends on your business goals, measuring meaningful metrics around these goals, and then highlighting where improvements can be made – for example, is recruiting at any cost more important than keeping costs down?


Here are just some of the meaningful metrics highlighted:

  • Cost per application
  • Time to offer
  • Cost per hire
  • Applicant drop off
  • First-time fill rate
  • Attrition levels


Based on their own experiences, our panellists also discussed the most counterproductive pitfalls in talent attraction. Common ones included advertising your roles on the wrong channels, poor job advert copy, and redirecting applicants away from a job board onto a careers page, causing drop-offs to soar.


Top tips on what to implement into your talent attraction strategy included:

  • Choosing the correct job title using keyword research tools
  • Avoiding job titles exclusively used internally
  • Adding ‘work from home’ after the job title if you offer it
  • Ensuring to include a salary banding
  • Use of automation to fast track you to the best applicants e.g. CV parsing, AI ranking, bulk candidate communication tools
  • Using email and SMS communications in conjunction to create a seamless candidate journey
  • Regularly re-engaging with your talent pool with creative forms of communication


Poll Results


HR & Recruitment Technology Selection

The second session covered vendor selection strategies for HR & Recruitment technology. Choosing the right technology for your business is challenging, but anyone who takes talent recruitment seriously knows it’s essential.


Our panel looked into the reasons vendor selection has become harder, including the volume of solutions now available in the market, and the need to select a solution that works for your business.


A simple Google search won’t work, and recruiters need to do their homework to find the technology that solves their issues.


Other key frustrations of recruiters include:

  • Lack of platform flexibility
  • Lack of configuration options
  • Expensive development costs
  • Lack of ongoing support from vendors
  • The cost of add-ons like additional reporting tools or email templates


Selecting a recruitment technology can be broken down into several steps:

  1. Map out every part of your candidate journey and the touchpoints e.g. what communication tools you’ll need, who is responsible for each part, the impact on the candidate experience
  2. Define your technology must-haves and nice-to-haves
  3. Stick to your list throughout the vendor selection process. Don’t get side-tracked!
  4. Look at the core products the system offers, what’s included in the initial package, and any add-ons
  5. Look at the ongoing customer support, training and implementation plan offered. How will your hiring managers be supported? What are the cost implications of training? Would your team work well with the vendor on a regular basis?
  6. Ensure it will be a smooth adoption process for your whole team. Are managers happy with the system? Does it add or improve upon what they’re already doing? Will they actually use the system?


Poll Results


Diversity, Equality & Inclusion

The final session covered DE&I in the workplace. Diversity and inclusion are more than just making tick box hire and filling a quota – no candidate wants to feel like a token hire, and will likely be able to tell if they aren’t being hired on merit.


The benefits of hiring a diverse workforce are numerous. People want to work with good people, but they also want to work with different people; showing how diverse your company is will attract more talent.


It also enables your team to think more innovatively, and has been shown to improve employee retention. These all point towards a much more profitable business that reflects the kind of customers you’re serving.


Some top tips to improve your workplace diversity include:

  • Training staff to accurately understand what diversity and inclusion is, and how to avoid bias
  • Don’t rely on referral recruitment, as you may end up with all the same types of people
  • Ensure your job descriptions are inclusive
  • Reflect any values around having a diverse and inclusive workplace in your culture
  • Don’t make assumptions that candidates don’t have a protected characteristic – some disabilities are invisible!
  • CV anonymisation tools are useful for removing bias in the initial stages, but education needs to take place with your recruiters on diversity


Poll Results


If you didn’t get a chance to attend HR Academy Live this time around, you can watch the recording here.

Smart Recruit Online

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.

How to Use Onboarding Automation Effectively
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Onboarding automation has become an essential part of the recruitment process. This guide gives you the top areas you should focus on for successful onboarding.


Strategic employee onboarding continues to be a major focus for many businesses, and yet, research has found only 12% of employees agree their company does a great job at it. This leaves a staggering 88% that don’t think there is room for improvement in their company.


As a positive candidate experience becomes more and more vital for successful recruitment, its importance is clear even after you’ve made a hire during the onboarding process.


The benefits of effective onboarding

Businesses that invest in improving their onboarding experience see numerous benefits. An effective onboarding programme can increase employee engagement levels, foster quicker productivity for new hires, and decrease employee turnover.


In fact, research by Brandon Hall Group found companies with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. It’s no secret that an engaged workforce is a key driver of business success, so it’s important to engage and retain employees from day 1. An effective onboarding process is the first step to achieving this.


Why automate your onboarding?

Over the years, automation has become one of those business buzzwords you hear tossed around at almost every meeting. And yes, it can be just a buzzword if you don’t implement it into your organisation, but it can also be a solution that transforms every department and every process in your company.



Automation encompasses a myriad of software and hardware solutions that aim to cut extraneous business costs, elevate efficiency and productivity, improve compliance and security, and bring numerous other benefits to the table. This includes improving the employee onboarding experience. 


When you implement onboarding automation, you can turn newcomers into productive team members in no time. But that’s just one of the ways that automation can improve the onboarding experience.


Let’s take a look at how you can automate onboarding to achieve better business results in the years to come. 


1. Ensuring data security and confidentiality

Let’s start with one of the benefits of onboarding automation that managers tend to forget about – the security and confidentiality of new employee data.


Data confidentiality is another broad term that encompasses the security of personal devices, new accounts, and all the software that your new employees use to get the job done. Remember that newcomers are inexperienced with your processes and how you use all of these devices and software, so they might inadvertently create potential security holes while they’re getting the hang of things.


You can’t be expected to check for these security risks manually, especially when you don’t even know if they exist. So, a big part of onboarding automation is to automate password creation, implement early warning systems, and automatically balance access rights. The last one is super important for controlling which employees have access to which data stores and features in your system. You can use automated access rights to delegate access easily according to their level of clearance.


2. Personalised and comprehensive welcome packets

Welcoming a new employee into your organisation is nowadays much more complex than a firm handshake and a smile. Whether your employees are working in a physical office space or if you’re currently hiring remote workers only, the way you welcome them can make all the difference.


You should use this opportunity to create a personalised welcome package that will boost onboarding and help make the newcomer into a productive team member as quickly as possible. This package can be completely digitised, thus automating this part of the onboarding experience, and you can drop it into their inbox.


It can contain a heartfelt message from you or the team lead, but more importantly, it should contain all the information, guides, and materials the employee needs to learn the ropes quickly. Take the time to craft these packages for every employee and their position in your company and you will invariably improve their productivity from day one.


3. Automated background checks 

Many employers may choose to conduct background checks on new hires post-offer as part of the onboarding process. With automation, you can get these checks sent out to the new hire before they start, so their first day can be spent with introductions and training, rather than going through paperwork.


Some centralised recruitment systems allow you to send automated requests for background check authorisation, driver’s license copies, and anything else you may need ahead of time.


Webforms, email and eSignature tools can then be used to make the process easier for the candidate, and the completion of these tasks is automatically tracked on the system. This makes the screening process much more efficient for HR and hiring managers, and creates a seamless candidate experience.


4. Monitoring time, work, and attendance for new hires

One of the biggest productivity killers for new hires and the reason why it takes so long for them to get a handle on things is that managers fail to monitor them and their work.



Remember, one of the secrets to successful onboarding is making sure that you have real-time visibility of all your teams. This allows you to make better decisions quickly, support newcomers in their work, and delegate more efficiently.


Of course, this is not something you should try to do manually, because it’s time-consuming and financially impossible. Instead, you should automate the process with the right time and attendance solutions that give you comprehensive team visibility along with real-time insights into their status, location, and work.


This allows you to automate various different parts of the onboarding process and better manage your new employees no matter where they are in the world.


5. Improving productivity and efficiency

As you might have guessed, one of the biggest benefits of onboarding automation is improved productivity and efficiency in general.


If there is anything that newcomers rightfully struggle with, it’s maintaining high levels of productivity, especially if they are new to the tools and processes you use. If you want them to be engaged and motivated, automation should be one of your priorities. 


That said, the more intuitive tools you use and the smarter the software, the easier it is for newcomers to get the job done without making any mistakes along the way. So, using a project management tool with a variety of intuitive and automated features, for example, allows new team members to handle tasks more easily and consistently, track progress, and stay in touch with their colleagues. 


6. Providing continuous guidance, training, and support

Last but not least, there is no way to avoid an occasional blunder or getting your inbox flooded with questions from newcomers on a daily basis. Don’t blame them, they’re new to your organisation, so it’s natural that they have a lot of questions.


Continuous support and guidance on your part are instrumental in making them independent and successful in their work, but it is time-consuming. That’s why you should automate these processes as much as you can.


By crafting detailed FAQs, video tutorials, and even integrating a chatbot into your internal support tool, your employees and new hires will have an easier time resolving every issue they come across without bugging you. It saves you time, but it also makes the whole workflow more efficient.


Wrapping up

Automation is a big deal nowadays, and when it comes to onboarding, it can be a lifesaver. Be sure to automate onboarding and employee management as much as you can to create a more efficient and productive employee collective.


Looking for more ways to automate your recruitment process, and save yourself time and money? Our talent acquisition platform can help. Get started by booking in a chat with one of our experienced consultants.


Pink book a demo button

Lauren N Wiseman

Lauren is a regular SRO Blog and Bizzmark Blog author that has many articles published with the main focus on clients who want their brands to grow in the fast-changing and demanding market. Her personal favorites are successes of small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. She goes through life with one strong moto - Kindness, always.

Top Recruiting Trends for 2022: The Complete Hiring Guide
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

It’s time to take a fresh look at your recruitment strategy in 2022. Get a head-start on your competition by following these recruiting trends.


Keeping up with the change in the recruitment space may seem impossible, but with CEOs listing acquiring the right talent as a top concern, you can’t afford not to. Recruitment technology is often central to these changes. Investing in this technology is now vital if you want to succeed and hire effectively.


This guide covers the top recruiting trends entering 2022, and how your business can follow them.

1. Evidence-based recruitment

Decisions are made at every stage of the recruitment lifecycle. From how you write a job advert, to selecting to best advertising channels and candidates.


Instead of just going with your gut, technology helps you make important decisions based on hard facts. This is known as evidence-based recruitment, and many companies don’t apply it.


Artificial intelligence, predictive algorithms, and big data are all evidence-based tools readily available to help you find and hire the right talent.


Search engines

Search engines like Google are a quick way to get insights into where relevant applicants are looking for jobs. This helps you select what job advertising channels you want to post on.


Simply search for roles in your sector, and see which websites appear first on the results page. Ensure you advertise on these websites, but rather than going to each job board directly, use a job multi-poster to save time and money.


Check job boards

Check relevant job boards for competition in your sector. If competition is high, you’re in the right place. Increase chances of beating your competitors by optimising your job adverts to appear first, and be appealing to applicants.


Checking job boards also help identify what your competition is offering, and if you can match or exceed this.


Seasonal recruiting trends

Consider seasonal recruiting trends before advertising your jobs. For example, job search activity tends to increase in January, but competition for candidates drives up costs. Consider advertising in December instead, and pay less for the same hire.


Gif of man tapping his head


2. Plugging the skills gap

The skills employers need are changing with the emergence of new technologies and disruptive forces. A Deloitte report suggested this ‘skills gap’ could leave around 2.4 million roles unfilled between 2018 and 2028 in the manufacturing industry alone.


Whether it’s the need for soft and digital skills rising with remote working, or automation and AI continuing to leave their mark, employers are struggling to hire appropriately trained staff.


Internal training

Internal training programmes with experienced team members help get new and existing hires up to speed.


This may include:

  • Mentorships with senior staff
  • Creating a talent development programme that focuses on specific skills an employee lacks
  • Performance reviews to monitor progress


Upskilling & reskilling programmes

Industry giants like Amazon and PwC have invested heavily in upskilling and reskilling programmes well before it became a recruiting trend.


These programmes have numerous long-term benefits, improving employee engagement, retention, attracting new talent, and speeding up the adoption of new trends in the business.


This may include:

  • Job shadowing or swapping between teams
  • Investment in industry courses and qualifications
  • Time away to attend relevant seminars and events
  • Group sessions with external training providers


Woman stood in front of a board presenting


Apprenticeship & graduate recruitment programmes

Apprenticeship and graduate programmes are a great way to recruit from the ground level up.


Most people coming out of education won’t have the precise industry experience that you can evaluate them against, but that also means they don’t have bad habits either. Considering prospective candidates using behavioural assessment techniques ensures you recruit people that are motivated and engaged in the type of work that you want them to do.


Creating your own graduate program or using an aligned apprenticeship course, can help develop individuals quickly and at a far lower cost than recruiting with existing experience. If you are aware of skill sets that will be in demand by your organisation on a longer term basis, then this strategy can have massive benefits.


Use of learning technology

E-learning has become a very popular way to plug the skills gap. This is because it can be done in a microlearning format at the employee’s convenience, making learning more flexible and engaging.


This may include:

  • Social media learning
  • Video learning e.g. webinars or training videos
  • Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs) that create a personalised, social, online learning experience for employees from a singular platform


Use of assessment tools

Using assessment tools to test skills and behaviours before you make a hire is also important.


Getting this stage wrong can be costly, so using a recruitment system with access to assessment tools will help you manage admin and pinpoint top talent.


This may include:

  • Behavioural assessments to find genuinely motivated and engaged candidates, likely willing to continue to learn and improve in their field.
  • Employment scenario testing tools to identify how well they will fit into your organisation.
  • CV parsing and AI technology to automatically scan CVs and assess applications for relevant skills and experience.


3. Diversity & inclusion

Everyone is talking about diversity and inclusion (DE&I), but why is it important?


Statistic that 76% of job seekers consider diversity when searching for a role


A diverse workforce attracts highly competent talent from around the world. In fact, a Glassdoor survey found 76% of job seekers consider diversity when searching for new opportunities.


Other research shows that diversity boosts employee productivity, motivation, and helps your business come up with innovative solutions that target the global market.


A more ethical and fairer approach to recruitment will also be attractive to attracting and retaining top talent.


Unconscious bias awareness

Bias in the hiring process may not always be purposeful, but it can seriously impact the candidate selected for hire.


Proactively speak to your recruiters about unconscious bias when selecting candidates for interviews or writing job adverts. Find out what preconceptions people hold and why. Increasing conscious awareness and challenging these beliefs is the first step to creating greater inclusiveness.


Blind CVs

Blind CVs eliminate bias by not having any identifying factors, including candidate names, gender, age, or race. They help you pick the best of the best, and create a more diverse workforce.


The steps to anonymising CVs are:

  1. Decide what information you want to remove.
  2. Anonymise the data with an automation tool or colleague.
  3. Review your blind CVs and select candidates for interviews.


Woman with a blindfold on


AI ranking of candidates

AI ranking technology can be used during the screening process to automatically rank candidates for role relevance. AI simply scans CVs for keywords and phrases related to the job criteria, and evaluates career history. This is completely unbiased and avoids any human error.


DE&I forms

You can create DE&I forms that gather diversity information about candidates. This helps measure applicant diversity, and ensures the recruitment process is inclusive.


4. Proactive & accountable tech providers

A common complaint amongst recruitment technology customers is a lack of proactive support and accountability. Companies sign up for an expensive ATS, but once the system is installed and they’re trained to use it, the vendor seems to lose any interest in them.


Providers that take a more proactive approach will now do better – after all, customer acquisition is only as powerful as customer retention.


What can you do?

Companies should actively look for providers offering ongoing customer support. This is especially useful if your team is new to using recruitment technology and needs extra support to create high-performance campaigns.


This may include:

  • Assistance with job advertising media selection
  • Copywriting support & training
  • Monitoring of job advert success
  • Effective candidate screening
  • Interview management
  • Use of reports to review and analyse what’s working and what isn’t


5. Workplace perks

A Glassdoor Employment Survey found 60% of job seekers greatly consider benefits and perks before accepting an offer. Think about what perks are popular, and whether you can offer these. At the moment ‘time perks’ are an especially popular recruiting trend.


Colleagues sat down laughing


Flexible hours

A Deloitte survey found lack of work flexibility as the most common reason millennials quit. The demand for flexible hours has also increased along with the pandemic.


If the role allows, and your competitors are offering it, this is a good perk to include. This could be hybrid working, earlier finish times, longer lunch breaks, and so on.


Burnout breaks

Employee burnout is a very real and damaging issue. It can cause decreased productivity, output, and collaboration. Chronically stressed staff create a slew of negative business outcomes.


Big companies like LinkedIn and Bumble have introduced ‘burnout breaks’ for employees. This involves staff shutting down for a week’s paid holiday to re-set.


Concerns around mental health are more prominent than ever, but should we wait for employees to get to breaking point before introducing these measures?


Remote working

An Expert Market survey of 100 business owners and CEOs found 72% anticipated employees wanting to keep working remotely, even once the pandemic is over.


There are many benefits to offering remote working, including happier employees and fostering trust. But there are challenges too, including team innovation, productivity, and accountability. Decide as a business what balance you want between remote and office-based spaces.


6. Caring culture

Colleagues gathered around a laptop The kind of workplace culture employees value frequently shifts. Between 2000 – 2010, a ‘cool culture’ of casual Fridays, ping pong tables, and beer fridges ruled.


The corporate culture valued has now shifted from ‘cool’ to ‘caring’. The newer workforce is more focused on companies that take wellbeing, environmental issues, and corporate responsibility seriously.


A caring culture might seem like a ‘nice to have’ too many leaders, but the recruiting trend towards ‘must-have’ is in full effect. Top talent is not willing to compromise on this.


Wellness & mental health initiatives

With the demand for mental health support is increasing, companies need to be more proactive and offer strong wellness & mental health package.


Providing support here is not completely selfless, as depression and anxiety are thought to cost the global economy more than $1 trillion in lost productivity every year.


In the workplace

  • One-to-ones: Regular one-to-ones with managers helps identify any issues with workload or mental health early.
  • Limit micromanaging: Micromanagement creates stress and distrust.
  • Recognise symptoms of burnout: If your employees are unable to concentrate, easily upset or angered, or have recurring sickness, you could be dealing with employee burnout.
  • The ‘stop exercise’: Encourage your employees to stop for 60 seconds – 3 minutes three times a day. Make this part of your company policy.
  • Get outside: The benefits of taking a 15-minute break outside in the fresh air and exposed to sunlight just twice a day are enormous when it comes to wellbeing and productivity.
  • Flexible working: Research has shown flexible workers have higher job satisfaction.
  • Zero-tolerance policies: Maintain this for any workplace bullying and harassment.


Man and woman sat down at a desk talking


Additional support

  • Encourage learning & development: Have an afternoon every week dedicated to self-development, or group meetings to solve business challenges.
  • Encourage exercise: Exercise boosts your mood and reduces stress and anxiety. Provide gym membership schemes, running clubs, or even a brisk walk 5 minutes a day.
  • Provide counselling services: If you can, offer to pay for counselling sessions for those who need them.
  • Corporate retreats & workshops: Give employees the tools to manage their mental health and reward them for their hard work.
  • Support groups: Have support groups ranging from those specifically for LGBTQ staff, to mental health aid.


Proactive environmental and social responsibility

You’ve likely heard the bulk of ways to improve your environmental and social responsibility, so we will list the key ones here.


  • Recycling scheme: Offer rewards and recycling incentives. Discuss what would motivate staff to recycle and experiment with a range of schemes.
  • Green commuting: Encourage staff to choose alternative commuting methods like walking, cycling, or car sharing.
  • An energy audit: Assess if there is anything in the office that can be switched to an energy-efficient alternative e.g. lightbulbs, use of natural light, water-saving practices in the kitchen and restrooms, and rainwater storage.


7. Highly configurable & customisable recruitment software

A common issue for ATS or HRIS system users is they offer minimal configuration, and customisations are usually slow and expensive. Users get stuck with a complicated one-size-fits-all platform for several years.


The best modern recruitment systems are cloud-based, plug & play, and act like a configurable web application rather than a website. This means they can be updated regularly with new and improved features, and user requests can be fulfilled quickly and without incurring cost.


What can you do?

Look for vendors that operate within ‘Continuous integration and continuous delivery’ (CI/CD) model, as this means more responsive development, usually better code quality and shorter development cycles and more regular updates to users.

Other tips include:

  • Look for cloud-based recruitment technology providers that offer configuration capability
  • Providers that are openly flexible about how you use their software
  • Choose regularly updated systems
  • Providers of custom features for clients in the past (indicated in case studies or product pages on their website)


8. Remote working v hybrid v office based

The pandemic has upended how workplaces operate. Employers have been forced to adapt to remote working (Work From Home), or to offer a hybrid-based model.


Additionally, employees are keen to join businesses that are clear in their intentions around which of these models they adopt.


What can you do?

Be clear on if employees will work remotely, hybrid, or from the office in your job adverts. This is a key factor job seekers look for, and you may miss out on talented candidates by not including it.


Split screen between working from home and in an office


Decide which model is best for your business. Do you prefer your staff to come into an office for collaborative work? Or perhaps you’re happy for employees to work completely remotely.


Office-Based Remote-Based Hybrid-Based
Commuting Staff will spend time and money travelling to the office Less time and money spent travelling for staff  

Staff only required to commute some days when teamwork is required


Hiring Challenges recruiting talent who aren’t local Recruiting based on skills not location

More flexibility around hiring outside your location


Collaboration Collaboration is more direct, easier, and more effective for new starters Proper communication needed and systems set up for collaboration

Collaboration can be done during office days and remote days more solo work


Productivity Largely depends on the office environment i.e. are there quiet spaces to work? Can be more productive when working on projects and tasks that require no team input

Having the choice to select the work environment may improve productivity


Communication Communication is done easily in the office space If all employees work remotely, a uniform system to communicate A mix of in-office and video tools when working remotely


9. The top 3 drivers for attracting talent

When advertising your jobs, there are 3 areas you should aim to include in your adverts if you want to convince top talent to apply.


  1. Salary & Role
  2. Culture
  3. Opportunity to grow and develop


Naturally the best candidates are looking for roles that sound exciting and challenging with fair pay as standard, so it’s vital you include both in your adverts.


Having a clearly defined ‘caring’ culture that is ethical and environmentally sensitive is becoming more and more important as the younger generations enter the workforce, as well as the ability to learn and grow within the role. These are now necessities to include if you want to win the best candidates.


As job hunting becomes more of a social exercise, around 80% of applications come from people already employed with a lower level of commitment to changing jobs. Once you have received an initial application from these candidates, they will be placing a lot of emphasis on your recruitment process to assess your company before accepting any offers.


This is where it’s vital to make your overall candidate experience as positive as possible so you retain top talent. There are lots of ways you can create a great candidate experience by simply reading our guide on this topic.


10. The future of ATS

The use of applicant tracking systems has been a recruiting trend for some time now. With 98% of all companies falling within the SME category, it’s likely that the ATS market will continue to adapt towards satisfying this portion of the market.


Smaller companies are likely to have fewer resources and want all encompassing systems that come pre-integrated and ready to go.


The pricing and functionality of applicant tracking systems are likely to align with these needs. They will be offering more pre-integrated services, automation and self-serve options, and be developed with more configuration options that allow users to adapt to their own preferred ways of working.


Low cost, quickly activated plug-ins that meet these user needs will be accessible via market-place (think Salesforce, Bullhorn, Hubspot etc.).


Buyers of recruitment technology in the future will be looking for more reliable, proactive, and accountable solutions that measure meaningful recruitment outcomes and metrics. There will be no hiding for vendors as they become more transparent about their product and what it can help recruiters achieve.


Want to make hiring easier?

A new year is a great time to follow current recruiting trends and optimise your processes. Make this less daunting with the Smart Recruit Online talent acquisition platform, designed to make recruiting easier, faster, and more effective than any other ATS in the market.


  • Simple and easy to use
  • Automates large portions of recruitment
  • Access to the widest online advertising network in the world
  • Make the right hires with built-in candidate screening tools
  • Build a diverse workforce with blind CV and CV scanning tools
  • A proactive team to help optimise your recruitment campaigns
  • Experienced copywriters to help optimise your job adverts
  • Fully customisable software to meet your recruitment needs


And much, much more. Interested? Book a demo today.


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Smart Recruit Online

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.

The 8 Biggest Recruitment Challenges for 2022
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


When you’re looking to hire the best talent for your business, it’s inevitable that you’ll run into a few recruitment challenges along the way. Here we discuss what some of these biggest challenges are, and some useful tips that help solve them. 


1. Market Fragmentation

One of the biggest recruitment challenges is understanding the different tools are services out there, and which are most effective for improving the recruitment process. This can be a daunting task, with hundreds of potential solutions out there that claim they can get your job filled, making it hard to distinguish which are best for your recruitment needs.


From job boards and aggregators, to social media, sponsored advertising, agencies and RPOs, it can be hard to know where to start, as amongst the very good solutions, there are some very poor ones too. Each job will need a different set of solutions, so finding the ideal combination of advertising media, technology and processes is the best way to get your job filled efficiently and cost-effectively.



Luckily, there are now recruitment services available that let you centralise all your recruitment activities. Many of these services have integrated 3rd party tools so you can get several recruitment solutions in one, giving you better value for money.


A key tip to establish which is the best service for you is to first list your company objectives, then you can think about the tools you need to achieve them. For example, if you want to reduce recruitment costs, selecting tools that reduce your dependency on agencies could be the best option.


2. Efficiency During The Recruitment Process

Inefficient administration processes and duplication of effort are what soak up the vast majority of a recruiter’s time. For example, sourcing potential applicants and reviewing CVs and profiles can take hours, if not days.


When lots of time is spent inefficiently on recruitment admin, it can actually create a substantial cost to your business. Yet, when calculating the cost-per-hire metric, many businesses don’t factor in the time and resources spent on these kinds of tasks.


Creating an efficient recruitment process is essential for getting high-quality applicants into your shortlist, as quickly as possible. It’s also important for managing efficient ways to reject unsuitable applicants quickly, while protecting the corporate brand.


Three efficiency graphs



A good recruitment management system is essential for improving your recruitment efficiency. Recruitment management systems let you coordinate all your processes from one single platform, where you can easily identify what tasks are the most time-consuming, along with many other tools that automate and simplify the recruitment process.


This will dramatically reduce time spent on manual admin tasks, and save on long-term costs to your business. For example, you may notice screening applicants is taking far longer than necessary, so you could benefit from implementing tools like behavioural assessments, video profiling and technical assessments.


3. The Candidate Experience and Protecting the Company Brand

Company brand is all about reputation, and this can be significantly affected by the candidate experience throughout the recruitment process. This can be seen in research that found 80% of candidates who have a bad recruitment experience will openly tell others about it, with many proactively doing so.


A poor candidate experience can damage your brand image, impacting how both candidates and customers may see you in the future. Yet understanding how to execute a positive candidate experience seems to be one of the biggest recruitment challenges.



Improving the way you communicate with candidates is one of the best things you can do to improve their experience and protect your brand. This can easily be done with personalised automated email and SMS responses at each stage of the application process, acknowledging applications and providing additional information about your job opportunity to keep them engaged.


This is important even for candidates who aren’t suitable for your roles. According to a PwC survey, 61% of candidates have experienced recruiters withdrawing from all communication suddenly and without explanation, even after they have had an interview. This can leave candidates feeling negatively towards your brand, increasing the chance of negative word-of-mouth.


Download banner for eBook on ways to improve the candidate experience


4. Avoiding Bad Hires

The person doing the recruitment may be under pressure to get the job filled quickly above anything else. This can lead to unsuitable candidates being selected, and bad hires being made. Bad hires can cost your business almost a third of the employee’s first-year earnings, and affect your team’s overall performance and productivity, so naturally this is something you want to avoid.



Applying due diligence even in the earliest stages of recruitment is key for avoiding bad hires. This can be done in the form of sophisticated candidate screening tools, such as CV parsing, behavioural assessments, and video profiling. Tools like this will help closely match candidate experience, behaviour, and cultural fit to your role and business.


5. Direct Applicant Quality

Every recruiter is looking for the secret sauce to this recruitment challenge. Attracting quality candidates is important, but something many businesses struggle with. This isn’t helped by the fact that the typical drop-off rate during the application process is 80%, and this tends to be the strongest applicants passively searching for a new role.


Speech bubble with the words 'we are hiring'


Poorly optimised job adverts that don’t include appropriate keywords are often the centre of this problem, as the right candidates aren’t discovering the role. Many job adverts are also poorly written to convert, creating the challenge of turning a view into an actual application.



There are short and long-term solutions to this challenge. A short-term strategy would be to ensure your advert will be displayed by search engines like Google by using the most effective job title and relevant keywords that your ideal candidate will be searching for. Make sure to include these keywords in your ad copy, page title and meta description.


Once candidates find your job ad, making it engaging and well-written will help improve conversions more than a simple job spec.


More long-term strategies that will help improve direct applicant quality are to improve your company brand and reputation using the tactics mentioned for improving the candidate experience.


We also recommend building your talent pool and establishing relationships with quality candidates ahead of trying to recruit them, for example those that have previously applied at your company, follow you on social media or have joined groups you manage on LinkedIn.


6. Improving Time to Hire

With 81% of candidates expecting the hiring process to take 2 weeks at most, improving time-to-hire is a recruitment challenge increasing in importance. This is because candidates are far more likely to drop-off the application process if it is taking too long, or get snapped up by another company.



Instead of measuring your time-to-hire, use the time-to-offer metric instead. This is much more sensible to assess your performance on, as things like candidate notice period are beyond the recruiter’s control.


If you find that your time-to-offer is still too long, then you need to start looking for ways to speed up your recruitment process so you don’t miss out on talented candidates.


Some ways to do this include posting your jobs to a wide enough network, writing optimised ad copy, communicating with the best applicants continuously, and automating manual processes through technology like CV parsing, to name a few.


Woman shaking hands with a man at an interview


7. Measuring Performance and Results

What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t improve. Tracking data like application completion rates, drop-off rates, and declined offers is important for identifying areas where you might need to improve your recruitment process. It’s also useful for spotting what campaigns perform well, so you can replicate these in future and save on the cost of weak recruitment.


Recruiters need to generate simple, accurate reports that give this kind of information, and the recruitment challenges lies with what tools are most effective for doing this.



A good recruitment management system is once again an easy solution to this challenge. These systems provide you with detailed reports across all your recruitment activities that you can then analyse for performance and pinpoint areas for improvement.


8. Reducing Recruitment Costs

Perhaps the most prominent recruitment challenge concerns reducing your recruitment spend. Many companies look to cut back on agency costs, which is unsurprising given standard fees range between 15 – 20% of the candidate’s first annual salary. Hiring directly in-house is one of the most effective ways to reduce these costs, but hiring the right candidate is what will repay that cost several times over.



Having the right tools, systems, and processes in place is critical to improving your in-house recruitment process, and reducing overall recruitment costs. Our Guide to Reducing Recruitment Costs covers this in more depth, and will give you all the tips you need to do this.


Many fixed price solutions are able to offer extremely good value for money when it comes to your media advertising, and some come with outstanding management systems that can help you to address many of the other challenges that recruiters face.


Gif of woman saying 'I'm not paying that much'


Ready to solve your recruitment challenges?

You may have noted that many of the biggest recruitment challenges can be solved using recruitment technology and services.


Smart Recruit Online offer free online demonstrations of our talent acquisition platform. Our platform comes fully equipped to solve the challenges we’ve spoken about here, with recruitment management software, candidate communication tools, screening tools, job advert optimisation tools and so much more available on one, easy-to-use platform. So, why not book a demo with us today?


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Mark Stephens

Mark has worked in and researched the HR & Recruitment landscape for over 20 years. His key focuses are how recruitment technology, evidence-based processes, and human behavioural science can be used to optimise recruitment performance. 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).

6 Steps to Creating a Talent Pipeline for Your Business
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

You want talented employees in your business, but finding and attracting these employees can be challenging. Creating a talent pipeline is a great tactic, but where do you start? This article covers everything you need to know.


Let’s set the scene.


You work as a recruiter, and have recently been given a new job posting seeking an electrician with a highly specific skill set.


You scour through your existing database of candidates, but can’t identify any with electrician NVQ apprenticeship experience required. This leads you to hastily search through LinkedIn, bombarding potential candidates, rushing the hiring process, and ultimately taking a lot longer to source anyone appropriate.


You eventually make a hire for the position, only for them to end up costing you and the hiring company hundreds, ruining your reputation as a recruiter.


If only you’d sourced a better pool of candidates in advance, perhaps this whole mess could have been avoided. This is where a talent pipeline can help.

Introducing the talent pipeline

Businesses always need a fresh supply of talent.


Whether it’s because they’re expanding, need to replace a departing employee, or have recently established a range of new goals, businesses only ever look for the best of the best. This puts a burden on modern-day recruiters to have a steady stream of talent ready and waiting.


Woman in dotted shirt looking down at paper writing This burden, coupled with the fast-paced and increasingly competitive hiring landscape, has led to many recruitment companies developing a more proactive approach to their hiring processes, trying to attract the best talent even before there are positions available to fill.


This approach is what is known as creating a talent pipeline, which is what we are here to discuss in this article.


Join us as we highlight what exactly a talent pipeline is, and run through what you need to do to develop one within in your own company.


What is a talent pipeline?

A talent pipeline is a group of candidates pre-determined as viable candidates that companies may want to hire in either an existing or future position.


Setting this up in advance prevents recruiters from needing to start their talent searches from scratch each time they need to fill a position, ultimately making the whole hiring process a lot more efficient.


However, as we’ve mentioned already, filling a talent pipeline can take a lot of hard work and will require a proactive approach. To do this effectively, recruiters need to constantly amend and establish strategies that nurture long-term relationships with potential candidates.


The key benefits of a talent pipeline

Creating a talent pipeline strategy offers a huge range of benefits. From the obvious advantages to the more unexpected, these are a few reasons why you may want a talent pipeline for your business:


Better candidate quality

When it comes to trying to fill an open position, it can be all too easy to rush in and make hasty decisions that won’t tend to work out too well. Making the wrong hire can lead to a slew of negative outcomes, from impacting business performance to distractions for other employees.


However, a talent pipeline strategy provides recruiters with the freedom to plan in advance. It means they can think more strategically about who they put forward as potential candidates, and why.


This has a knock-on effect on the overall quality of the candidate who fills the position, reducing the likelihood of suffering the high cost associated with making a bad hire.


Reduce time-to-hire

According to LinkedIn, 70% of companies take between one and four months to process a new hire.


Statistic that 70% of companies take one to four months to process a new hire


Talent pipeline strategies help reduce this timeframe significantly, enabling recruiters to streamline the process and fill their open positions in a much more timely manner.


This then gives recruiters more time to work on other areas of their role, sourcing even more talent, and making the process a lot more efficient.


Improve the candidate experience

The days of posting a job listing and waiting for applications to flood in are outdated.


Thanks to the emergence of talent pipeline strategies, recruiters can identify talent, engage with candidates on their own terms, and provide them with a much more positive experience.


Having a good experience of your employer brand means candidates are much more likely to be excited at the prospect of being considered for potential roles. This in turn helps establish a more nurturing hiring journey.


How to create a talent pipeline strategy

If you’re looking to establish a talent pipeline framework for your company, look no further. Here are the key steps you’ll need to follow:


Step 1: Determine your business’s long-term goals.

Arguably the most important step, you will need to run some brainstorming and discussion sessions with your fellow staff to work out what you’re looking to achieve, who you’re looking to attract and how you’re going to go about it.


This is also a good time to identify any potential blockers to these goals, and prepare for multiple outcomes.


You’d be surprised how many businesses jump straight in without discussing this.


Step 2: Create an attractive employer brand

One of the most effective times to build a positive reputation as an employer is during the recruitment process.


Some simple ways to do this include ensuring you give each and every candidate a positive experience – yes, this includes those you don’t end up hiring. 80% of candidates who have a bad experience will tell other potential employees and customers about it.


You can also share what it’s like to work at your company on social media. Showcase your company culture, highlight exemplary employees, and introduce new workers on your platforms.


People in an office having a pizza party


Make sure that you’re being honest about what it’s like to work for you in these posts however – you want to avoid sharing how amazing it is if your current employees constantly express their dissatisfaction with the working conditions.


Step 3: Create a candidate sourcing strategy

Now that you have identified your company’s needs, you can start filling your talent pipeline with quality candidates.


There are a variety of methods you can use to do this effectively.


  • Social media sourcing: Using a social media platform like LinkedIn for example is a great way to find the kind of talent you need. Simply search for keywords related to your roles or business, as user profiles will contain this information. You can also follow relevant hashtags on Twitter, Facebook groups, or forums online.


  • Referral programs: Setting up an employee referral program means your current employees can refer you to potential candidates for a reward if it results in a hire.


  • Search your applicant tracking system (ATS): If you use an ATS, look for candidates who reached the final stages of your hiring process previously. Some systems allow you to tag certain candidates, or enter them into your own database for future use.


  • Meet candidates in-person: Meeting potential candidates in-person at networking events for example is a great way to build a connection in a more natural way. You can even host your own events to both build your employer brand and attract talented people.


  • Partnering with a data provider: If you don’t have your own candidate database to pull information from, you can partner with various data providers to gain access to quality candidates.


Step 4: Reach out to candidates

Once you have identified the candidates you’d like to work with, it’s time to establish contact with them.


Start by asking them informed questions about their experience, and plans for the future. This helps you develop a connection and trust early on, rather than outright asking them to apply for a certain role with no background information.


Gif of man saying 'I love making connections'


Having this information will also help you identify the roles the candidate would be best suited for more easily.


Step 5: Keep nurturing your candidates

Once you have filled your talent pipeline with high-quality candidates, your work doesn’t stop there. Now is the time to take the effort to nurture every one of them.


This means continuing to build the relationship with them, without it reaching a point where you’re irritating them by bombarding them with job listings.


You want to provide them with valuable, relevant content that they will be genuinely interested in. This may include industry information, or how to get the most out of the products or services your company offers.


It’s also important to let candidates determine how they want to stay in touch. Ask whether they’d prefer regular check-ins, invitations to events, or simply want to receive useful content from you.


Leave the door open for them to reach out to you whenever they like – just ensure that they are connected with you in a way they are comfortable with.


Step 6: Continuously assess your talent pool

Once you have your established pool of talent, it’s important to assess how they actually align with the needs of either your specific company or the companies you are working on behalf of.


You can do this by asking questions surrounding cultural fit, their skillset, and the company’s diversity initiatives. Their responses will help you identify if the candidates are worth investing more time in or not.


Final thoughts…

Creating a strong talent pipeline strategy can aid the recruitment process significantly. It not only helps attract a stronger pool of candidates, but also ensures you have a steady stream of talent consistently available.


Of course, it’s just one part of creating a recruitment strategy that will get you the best results possible. For more tips from experts on how to improve your recruitment process, download our eBook 10 Ways to Optimise your Online Recruitment.


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Annie Button

Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and recent graduate. Annie has written for various online and print publications, she specialises in business, recruitment and career development.

How to Attract Talent: The Complete Guide
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


Want to make better hires? This guide walks you through how to attract talent, and retain applicants once they enter your pipeline. 


The recruitment space is becoming more and more candidate-driven, with the very best candidates typically already being in employment, and needing a good reason to move onto another role. Businesses are now looking for innovative ways to attract and retain talented individuals, beyond simply sending out a simple job specification.

Talent Attraction definition

But first, what exactly IS talent attraction? Talent attraction refers to parts of the recruitment process that support attracting prospective candidates, up to the point of application.


It is a small part of what should be an overarching talent acquisition process, which is everything that happens in the recruitment timeline from attraction all the way to offer on employment.


The stages of Talent Attraction

There are a number of different stages involved in how to attract talent, from job advert writing, to advertising channel selection. We will cover some of them here.


1. Job advert writing

How you write your job adverts is an integral part of the talent attraction process. This is because many businesses make the mistake of writing a simple job spec, with their essential requirements for the role and little else to excite and engage a prospective candidate.


With the best candidates often passively searching for a new role, your job advert is the perfect place to really sell the role and opportunity to them.


2. Job advert optimisation

To make sure your job advert actually gets seen by talent online, fully optimising your advert is important. This means writing it in a way that guarantees it will be seen, clicked on, and applied to online.


75% of internet users never actually scroll past the first page of results, so you want to increase your chances of appearing on the first page of your chosen job channel. Optimising your advert helps with this.


3. Advertising channel selection

Getting your role in front of the right candidates means selecting the right media channels that these candidates will be searching on. This may involve some research to select the appropriate channels for your business.


You also want to be present across a large enough number of these channels, as this naturally means you will attract a higher volume of talent.


4. Job posting

Once you have selected your job advertising channels, actually posting your jobs on your selected channels is of course a key part of the talent attraction process.


5. Applicant capture

Actually capturing applications from talented candidates is what you want the final outcome to be of the talent attraction stage. You don’t want potential applicants dropping out of the process, overwriting all of your hard work.


Why is Talent Attraction important?

A good talent attraction process is the key to finding the right quantity and quality of applicants for vacancies at your business.


This is important because making the wrong hire can cause a huge financial strain on your business, from issues with under-performance to poor cultural fit that impacts the wider company.


Getting talent attraction right at the beginning of your recruitment process will help you make better hiring decisions, and bring employees into your business that match your needs.


How to attract talent

There are several steps in how to attract talent, and optimise each stage of the talent attraction process.


Each technique should be well researched, and influenced by data, and tried and tested methods. There are 3 key outcomes making these changes will achieve:


  1. Maximised views of your job
  2. More applications generated
  3. More applicants retained


Below we cover some of the ways you can achieve these outcomes.


1. Maximise views of your job

When you get your jobs in front of more candidates, you increase the likelihood of talented individuals seeing and applying to your roles. This depends on two factors: advertising media range AND selection.


Media range

Media range is the breadth and range of job advertising media channels your job actually goes out to. While being present on numerous job boards and advertising channels naturally increases your visibility, buying advertising credits can become costly to your business.


Using a recruitment service (such as an ATS) with access to a job multi-poster is a very cost-effective option. You can simply purchase credits, and post your jobs onto multiple job advertising channels at the click of a button, saving you valuable money and time.


This ultimately helps you increase your reach, and improve your brand visibility online.


Media selection 

Media selection is all about ensuring you are selecting the right job advertising media channels, where your ideal candidate is likely to be. This means taking an evidence-based approach, researching which channels are best for you, and will give you the best return on investment. There are a few ways you can do this:


  • Search Engines: Search engines like Google and Bing are the fastest way to see where relevant applicants are likely to be present. Simply Google the job title and location you’re advertising for, and review the top 3 results as a starting point.


  • Job Boards: Checking job boards for the level of competition can help you decide whether to advertise there. High competition indicates you’re in the right place, and if you need to apply advanced keyword optimisation techniques to ensure you appear in the top spots on these boards.This is also a good way to establish what your competition are offering to attract the best talent.


  • Seasonal Trends: Consider seasonal trends when advertising your roles. Although job search activity dramatically rises in January, competition for the best talent drives up costs. If you were to advertise for the same role in December, you could pay £5k less for the same hire.


2. Generate more applications

Naturally, the more applications you generate, the more talented candidates you have to choose from. Luckily, there are some ways you can guarantee improved visibility and conversions from views to application completions.


Improved visibility

75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of results, so you want to improve your visibility on your chosen job advertising media channels. You can do this by taking advantage of their algorithm for displaying results. A few simple techniques improve the chance of your job appearing higher in the results, thus generating more views.


Some ways to do this are:

  • Use the most effective or searched for job title for your role
  • Ensure you use this job title in your advert copy, page title, and URL 
  • Use relevant keywords/synonyms your ideal candidate will be searching for in the advert copy


Increased conversions

To increase conversions from views to actual applications, the focus should be on your job advert copy. You want to include more than a simple job specification, as the highest quality candidates are usually already in employment, and need a good reason to leave their current role.


You need to really sell the role and opportunity to these passive candidates. A few tips for doing this are:

  • Avoid dictatorial language e.g. you MUST have
  • Avoid too many ‘essential’ bullet points
  • Avoid unconscious bias
  • Refrain from putting the needs of the company until the ‘essentials’ part of the ad
  • Appeal to the reader on an engaging and emotional level
  • Bring your company values into the ad e.g. if one of your values is you’re a ‘fun’ company, write the ad in a fun way
  • Describe the benefits of working for you


For more details on writing job adverts that improve your visibility and conversions, download our eBook on this topic.

eBook download banner on how to write the ultimate job advert


3. Retain applicants 

Once you’ve attracted your talent, retaining their interest is a vital part of the process. This again comes down to the fact that many of  the most talented candidates are only passively searching for a new role; you need to continue to impress and engage them throughout each stage of the recruitment process to avoid drop offs.


Improved capture

Improving your applicant capture means avoiding the loss of any applicants in the first stage of the application process. Keeping your recruitment process as simple and efficient as possible is a primary way to achieve this.


  • Avoid platform redirects: Redirecting applicants from your chosen job advertising channel to a careers or pre-screening page interrupts the flow of their experience, and can lead to drop offs. Avoid this by keeping your initial application phase on the same platform.


  • Avoid lengthy pre-screening: Few candidates want to spend too much time filling in pre-screening forms and completing lengthy tasks. Avoid losing candidates by simply having them submit a CV in the first stage, and use automated CV parsing software to scan these for relevance. Any pre-screening questionnaires can then be issued after their application is received.


Improved engagement

Once you have received you applications, avoiding drop offs involves improving the candidate experience through a good nurturing strategy. You want your applicants to feel valued and retain their excitement about the role.


  • Candidate communication: Ensure you communicate quickly and regularly with candidates. Automated communication technology can help with this, so you can set up workflows at vital points in the recruitment process, such as acknowledging applications, screening and interview requests, and even rejections.


  • Be courteous: Consistently thank candidates for their applications, time, and completion of any additional tasks. Reply politely if an applicant drops out of the process, as you still want to leave a positive impression.


  • Access to information: Supply candidates with adequate information on your company, role, and recruitment process to eliminate any doubts or questions they have. Provide a website and social media links, company brochure, job advert and specification, company groups, and information on key team members. Give details on the interview process, and a tour of the site on the day, and leave your line open for any additional questions they may have.


  • Humanise the experience: Humanise your recruitment process where you can, with personalised communications, video content on your company background, phone calls, and use of a human email address (rather than a basic info@ or careers@ email).


Get started

So that covers how to attract talent to your business. Getting talent attraction right for every job isn’t easy, and many online recruiters get this very wrong. If you’re stuck with where to start, there is plenty of recruitment technology out there to help.


The Smart Recruit Online talent acquisition platform is designed to help with talent attraction and beyond. From job advert creation and optimisation, to advertising channel selection, the ability to post your job across multiple channels at a discount, and tools that enhance your candidate experience.


Interested? Book a demo and improve your talent acquisition today.

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Mark Stephens

Mark has worked in and researched the HR & Recruitment landscape for over 20 years. His key focuses are how recruitment technology, evidence-based processes, and human behavioural science can be used to optimise recruitment performance. 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).

Key Benefits of HR Technology
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

In any organisation, human resources are one of the most active and most overloaded departments. Needless to say, HR professionals deserve all the help they can get. This article covers the key benefits of HR Technology, and how it can help take the load off your HR team. 


Before cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and smartphone apps, HR professionals were constantly struggling to keep up with hiring, compliance, and endless piles of paperwork. This meant less time could be spent really pinpointing and connecting with the best candidates, which has a huge impact on businesses long-term.


HR Technology is now available, and offers numerous benefits allowing greater efficiency by simplifying tasks such as payroll, recruitment, training, and recordkeeping.


What is HR Technology?

HR Technology (or HR Tech) is an overarching term for any software or hardware that helps automate vital HR functions. Whether it’s employee payroll, talent acquisition, performance management, or benefits administration, HR Technology helps make these processes easier for your team.


The use of HR Tech has rapidly increased in recent years, with a PwC survey reporting 74% of companies plan to increase their spend on HR Technology. But why exactly is this?


The Benefits of HR Technology

It’s no surprise that the demand for HR software is steadily increasing, as the technology continues to change and benefit the face of HR in numerous ways. Here are the top reasons why HR technology is now vital, and you may want to consider implementing it into your business.


1. Greater Efficiencies

Hiring new talent is a costly and time-consuming process. Before the digital age, companies had to rely on newspapers, job listings, and face-to-face networking to source new hires. It would then take a lot of time and money to winnow hundreds of applicants to a small handful of carefully selected candidates.


Now, thanks to the benefits of HR Technology, recruiting has become much easier. Recruiters can now cast their net wider to find the right talent, with a range of online job advertising tools, such as job board multi-posters, PPC & Programmatic advertising, social media and more.


Once collected, whittling down applications from a large talent pool can now be done more efficiently with screening software powered by AI, such as CV parsing tools that automatically scan CVs for relevance. This ultimately saves HR teams time and money sifting through CVs manually.


2. Better Candidate Quality

In the past, even with multiple interviews and candidate screenings, it wasn’t uncommon for a new hires to fall short, resulting in both time and money wasted.


Using recruitment software solutions in the early stages of the hiring process avoids the risk of making the wrong hire for your business. The use of AI for example ensures that any unconscious biases recruiters may have are avoided, and the best applicants aren’t unintentionally written off.


Additionally, humans make mistakes, it’s only natural. The use of AI technology to find and select the right applicants ensures only the best candidates make it to the final stage of the hiring process.


But even with the most advanced recruiting software, HR professionals have the final say. In the foreseeable future, finding the perfect candidate for the job will depend on a recruiter’s ability to intelligently automate the hiring process.


3. Less Paperwork

HR teams have always had a hard time staying compliant. Laws and regulations are always changing, and HR departments need to deal with more and more information and paperwork in order to ensure compliance. And, until recently, storing that data could be an issue. A HR department had to have dedicated IT storage capacity to stay compliant.


Today, companies can securely store data in the cloud. Cloud computing allows HR professionals to conveniently search, access, and organise personnel data and other important electronic files. Thanks to cloud technologies, HR departments don’t need expensive storage rooms and file cabinets to keep everything in order.


HR professionals no longer need to stockpile forms or complete them in duplicate. Even government institutions allow people to easily access government forms online and print them as needed. As far as paperwork goes, HR compliance has become completely streamlined.


Not only is storing in the cloud convenient, it’s also secure, password protected, and won’t get lost in a fire or flood. This protects sensitive candidate data, ensuring your business is being GDPR compliant.


4. Smoother Onboarding and Training

The HR process is the same for every new hire. They need to deal with the same policies, formalities, and paperwork. They face the same issues and need to answer the same questions. If several new hires are joining the company at the same time, the onboarding and training process can get stressful for the new employees, HR staff, and everyone else involved.


To smooth things out, more and more companies are using HR Software in the onboarding and training process. This software can help automate certain parts of onboarding process, creating greater efficiency and an overall better candidate experience.


Some examples include automatically sending onboarding tasks such as offers, contracts, questionnaires, and background checks. The completion of these tasks can then be accurately tracked against each candidate, giving your HR team complete visibility over their progress.


There are now also AI HR chatbots available, that can manage the employee onboarding journey by responding to their questions throughout, and help gather the necessary documents and information.


By automating paperwork management, HR chatbots leave the more humanised processes to the HR pros, such as helping the new employee get better acquainted with the company culture and feel more comfortable in their new role.


Instead of waiting for an HR professional to become available, new employees can hit up the chatbot at any time of the day and get instant replies. To analyse the experience of the new hires, HR bots can also send them small feedback sheets and quizzes.


Digital training platforms allow companies to train new hires more efficiently. Since such platforms are available online, managers and HR staff no longer need to take time away from work to train newcomers.


Not only do virtual training programs allow HR teams to train a larger number of new employees, but they also allow them to effortlessly track the progress of each employee.


5. Better Performance Management

By facilitating regular employee reviews, collecting supervisory feedback, and monitoring performance, HR staff are the ones who are driving the performance management process. Technology helps them streamline the process and eliminate many unnecessary steps.


At the moment, we are entering the next, data-driven phase of performance management. About 71% of businesses claim that people analytics are a high priority in their organisation. The widespread adaptation of people analytics can be attributed to its ability to help HR pros make better decisions related to their company’s workforce.


As part of the performance management process, HR professionals can apply people analytics to sentiment data collected from thousands of interactions between managers and employees. They can use the findings to create actionable insights and make data-driven decisions related to matters such as cross-functional team staffing, succession planning, and promotions.


6. Fewer Errors

As mentioned, the use of HR Technology reduces the chance of errors occurring within your business that can cost you, whether that’s through non-compliance, or simply duplication of effort taking up your team’s time and resources.


For example, companies that rely on paper-based systems where data is inputted manually are at a greater risk of errors. The use of HR Technology means any information stored is likely to be more accurate by automating redundant tasks and integrating information system-wide.


Looking for a new HR system?

The benefits of HR technology we’ve spoken about are easily attainable for your business. Our Talent Acquisition Platform comes with numerous tools that make the HR recruitment process simpler, from attracting talent and automated candidate screening all the way to onboarding and hiring.


Interested? Book a demo with one of our consultants today!'
Michael Deane

Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.

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