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


As the recruitment space becomes more and more candidate-driven, businesses are frequently looking for innovative ways to attract and retain talent. But sometimes, going back to the basics is the most effective thing you can do.


Job advert copy

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



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


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


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


Working flexibility

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


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


Annual leave

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


Up-to-date company information

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


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


A company team celebrating by punching the air


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


Limit your requirements

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


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


Use the right job title

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


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


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


Get your ads seen by the right talent

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


A wide enough network

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


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



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


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


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


Banner for eBook Guide to Writing the Ultimate Job Advert


Social media advertising

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


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


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


Your careers page

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


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


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

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


Don’t sit on quality applicants

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


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


Video interviews

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


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


A simple process

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


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


Follow-up contact

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


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



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

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


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


ebook banner for maximising your recruitment process

Smart Recruit Online

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

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


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


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


1. Create A Job Description

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


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


2. Research The Market

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


2.1 The job title

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


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


2.2 The job salary

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


3. Create The Job Advertisement

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


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


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


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


4. Optimise your advert for keywords

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


5. Choose Your advertising channels

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


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


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


6. Manage The Applications effectively

The options here tend to be:

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


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


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



7. Establish your Screening process

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


8. Measure and record

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


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


Want to get started?

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


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


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


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


Mark Stephens

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

How to Conduct a Remote Interview
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


Here we take a look at how to conduct a remote interview, and overcome the challenges that can be presented by them.


Remote working has become far more common in recent years, with businesses embracing the many advantages of remote staff. However, hiring remotely often means conducting remote interviews. This can be very different than most managers and HR professionals are used to, and they can come with some potential issues.



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.

11 Reasons Why Diversity Hiring is Important
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


Why is diversity hiring important? Whether you have a small, large, or remote team, diversity hiring is the most vital hiring trend for you today.


What is diversity hiring?

Diversity means celebrating different age groups, cultures, and values in your organization.


With diverse hiring, you can gain a global outlook within your organization to target different customers, ideologies, and social values. Especially, today in the remote work culture, diversity hiring is the core success factor that can cut monotony in your business workflow.


However, if you haven’t yet practiced diversity hiring in your organization, let’s first understand why diversity hiring is important, and what better changes can diverse employee forces offer you before adopting this hiring system. So, let’s dig deeper into diversity hiring benefits.


A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.— Sundar Pichai


Why Is Diversity Hiring Important for Your Organisation?

Diversity hiring might sound like a small thing, but it can help you attract and retain highly competent talent from around the globe. Especially to support the present virtual recruitment system, diversity hiring helps a lot. In fact, 67% of job seekers consider diversity while searching for new job opportunities.



So, you should include diversity hiring in your company policy because:

1. It boosts productivity and livelihood

If people from the same culture and social backgrounds work in the organization, it will create a very boring work environment. There will be nothing new to discuss or learn in the company. All this will eventually reduce productivity and liveliness among the team members.


According to Forbes research, 43% to 53% of employees are bored right now in your organization. Yep, when your organization has nothing challenging and new to offer, it will automatically make your employees bored and unproductive. Hence, you should gather a diverse workforce so that each employee can learn from the other and grow together. This will bring more vibrancy to the workplace and lead to increased productivity.


2. It helps target the global market

Do you want to scale up your business operations by targeting global customers? If yes, having diverse employees can help you rule the global market.


You see, business owners, your diverse employee base can help you understand the needs and choices of the different customers. For example, if you plan to target the European market with your Indian SaaS products, hiring some local employees here will help you better understand the needs and psyche of European customers.


So, making your organisation a global brand is a key reason why diversity hiring is important.


3. It helps keep your employees motivated

Shockingly, only 15% of employees worldwide feel motivated. That means the majority of your employees don’t feel motivated to work better for your organisation. In fact, 87% of demotivated employees are likely to resign from their jobs.


Why diversity hiring is important statistic that 97% of demotivated employees quit


Therefore, to keep your employees motivated and engaged within your organisation, you should hire diversely. When you treat all employees equally in your organization without any discrimination, it will send a strong positive message out there. This, in return, will motivate your team to give their 100% to grow your business productivity.


4. It creates a multitalented and multilingual task force

One of the biggest reasons why diverse hiring is important is it gives you multitalented and multilingual employees. Locally, you might not find employees with versatile skill sets or command over different regional languages, but when you hire remotely, you have the opportunity to leverage the global talent pool.


It is common knowledge that when you have highly talented and multilingual people in your team, it can give a big push to your business success.


5. It aids in coming up with innovative solutions

With non-diverse hiring, you limit your team’s innovative thinking skills. When all your employees have the same experience and exposure, they will use the same old method to deal with a problem. And this lack of innovation can impact your business operations negatively.


For example, parameters to monitor remote team’s performance are completely different from the traditional office environment. Today, you need high-tech tools and technologies to address remote work challenges along with unique management strategies. Here if you have people experienced in remote working in your team, they can offer innovative solutions to deal with numerous operational issues.


Therefore, to harness innovative solutions in your organization, you should start diverse hiring, ASAP!


6. It improves quality and efficiency

When people possessing different experiences and skills come together to complete a project, it dramatically improves quality and efficiency. In addition, your diverse team can put different methodologies and ideas on the table that can amplify your work quality many levels up.


Automatically when you offer better quality to your customers, it will help in increasing your customer retention rate and business revenue simultaneously.


7. It boosts your employer’s brand

Team collaboration examples showing why diversity hiring is important

Your workplace diversity can also help you with promoting your employer’s brand. You can go vocal on your social media channels about how your company believes in diversity and how you encourage people from different cultures to be part of your team.


When people see your diversity goals, it will motivate highly talented people from diverse cultural and social backgrounds to work in your organization. For example, Microsoft has created a career page on Instagram where they often post content related to their diverse hiring approach.


8. It makes quick handling of workplace conflicts possible

Workplace conflicts occur at every place where opinionated and motivated people work. With diverse recruitment, you can effortlessly solve all workplace conflicts within the organisation.


That’s because every single person in the team will offer different ideas to resolve conflicts, and among so many unique ideas, you can easily find the best solution to solve conflicts.


9. Harness competitive environment

Healthy competition is great for an organization’s growth. Thus, when different-minded people work on a team, it will give birth to a little competition that can motivate employees to work harder.


This healthy competition in your organization can lead to higher profits, goodwill, and conversions in your organization.


10. It boosts employees’ confidence

If your employees lack confidence, diverse hiring will help them build confidence. When your low confident employees connect to employees working with different cultures, nations, and religions, it will work as a confidence booster for them.


11. It builds an amiable environment

A friendly work environment is what you can build with diverse employees. When people from different castes, creeds, and cultures work hand in hand, it can create an amicable environment. It will build good friendships among employees; this, in return, can bring peace and trust within the company.


Workplace Diversity — Yay or Nay?

Definitely, yay! Diversity hiring is important, as you can build a happy, healthy, and progressive work environment. You can motivate your employees to improve their productivity and skills.


Plus, diversity helps you to build an organization that can grow on international grounds and virtually succeed. So, whether your goal is to expand your business or harness a positive team culture, start promoting diversity in your workplace now!


Hiring diversely is just one way to create a high-quality workforce – learn more ways to hire quality candidates by watching our webinar on this topic.


Banner for webinar on how to hire quality candidates'
Ankur Machanda

Ankur is the co-founder and CEO of GreenThumbs. He is an HRTech enthusiast and a passionate entrepreneur. By education, Ankur is a Chartered Accountant. In addition to running his company, he is an avid reader and knowledge sponge.

How to Improve Your Time-to-Hire Metric
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


Your business wants top talent. Yet, your hiring process can inadvertently hamper your ability to stir up interest from quality candidates. But, with the right approach, you can improve and optimise your time-to-hire metric.


What is Time-to-Hire?

Time-to-hire refers to the amount of time it takes your business to fill a vacancy. To calculate your average hiring time, take the number of days required to fill vacancies across your organisation during a specific time frame. You can then divide the total number of days by the total number of vacancies to get your average time-to-hire.


Why the Time-to-Hire Metric Is Key

Group of people sat in an interview waiting room

Research indicates the average hiring process takes 25 to 46 days, depending on the industry. Ideally, your business’ time-to-hire should be minimal. The longer it takes to complete your hiring process, the less likely it becomes that quality job candidates will want to join your company.

For example, a long, arduous hiring process can hamper the candidate experience. The result: your company can miss out on opportunities to add outstanding candidates to your team now and in the future.


Let’s not forget about the cost of a lengthy and complex hiring process, either. Each day a vacancy goes unfilled can cause your business to lose money. This is because a first-rate candidate who fills this vacancy can hit the ground running and contribute to your business’ success starting on day one.


What Can You Do to Reduce Your Time-to-Hire?

Don’t wait to improve your hiring process. Now, let’s look at five tips to help you speed up your hiring process, and improve your time-to-hire metric.


1. Assess Your Hiring Processes

Audit your hiring processes. In addition to evaluating your time-to-hire, look at other talent recruitment metrics, such as:

  • Cost Per Hire: The amount of money you invest in your hiring processes divided by the number of employees you hire in a designated time frame.
  • Candidates Per Hire: Number of candidates interviewed before a position is filled.
  • Source of Hire: Where candidates are coming from.


As you conduct your audit, you may find weaknesses in your hiring processes. And, you can use your data and insights to uncover ways to transform these weaknesses into strengths.


2. Establish a Talent Pipeline

Create a talent pipeline, a pool of candidates who can fill roles across your company at any time. Your pipeline can provide you with convenient access to outstanding candidates. Plus, it ensures you won’t have to start from scratch to identify top talent as soon as a role with your business becomes available.


To put together a talent pipeline, here’s what you’ll need to do:

Two people interviewing a person

  • Establish hiring goals. Determine your short- and long-term business goals and how hiring top talent can help you achieve them.
  • Build a sourcing plan. Use networking events, employee referrals, social media, and other sources to identify candidates to add to your talent pool.
  • Reach out to candidates. Get in touch with candidates and encourage them to apply for jobs at your company.
  • Evaluate your talent pool. Review your talent pool and ensure it includes candidates who align with your company’s needs.
  • Nurture your talent pool. Provide candidates in your talent pool with updates regarding any new positions with your company that match their skills and career goals.
  • Offer training and development opportunities. Give candidates in your talent pool opportunities to engage in training and development programs and further improve their skill sets.


Your talent pipeline remains a work in progress. Over time, you can expand your pipeline, to the point where you can use it to quickly and effortlessly find quality candidates to fill entry- and senior-level roles right away. At the same time, you can improve your time-to-hire metric.


3. Foster Intercultural Communication

Promote intercultural communication so you can build and maintain a diverse talent base, and avoid drop-offs throughout the hiring process.


Effective intercultural communication enables you to engage with candidates across a wide range of cultures and backgrounds in a respectful manner. To foster intercultural communication with a candidate, you should:

  • Learn about a candidate’s history, customs, languages, and norms.
  • Be an active listener in any conversation with a candidate; to do so, maintain good eye contact, a positive tone, and respond appropriately to anything a candidate says.
  • Practice the “Golden Rule” and treat a candidate in the same way you would want him or her to treat you.


Gif of a man sat in a call center


Effective intercultural communication can be a difference-maker during the hiring process. If you strive to constantly improve your intercultural communication skills, you can boost the likelihood of adding talent from around the world to your team.


4. Enhance the Candidate Experience

Enhance the candidate experience by simplifying it. In doing so, you can show candidates why they should consistently keep an eye out for new jobs at your company.


Oftentimes, it helps to collect feedback from candidates who are currently in the midst of your hiring process or recently joined your business. You can use questionnaires and surveys to gain insights into the candidate experience. Next, you can leverage these insights to bolster your hiring process and candidate experience.


There are many other things you can do to provide an amazing candidate experience, regardless of vacancy. These include:

  • Write clear job descriptions.
  • Share information about the hiring process with candidates.
  • Communicate with candidates throughout the hiring process.


Consider the candidate’s perspective, too. Ultimately, you should make it easy for candidates to submit their application materials without delay via desktop or laptop computer, smartphone, or tablet. Also, you should allow candidates to receive regular updates regarding your vacancies. That way, you can ensure candidates enjoy a positive experience, reduce the likelihood of them dropping out of the process, and ultimately improve your time-to-hire metric as a result.


5. Research Job Candidates

Conduct research to identify and vet candidates. Start with an online search of a candidate’s first and last name, and you may find a wealth of information about him or her.


Of course, you can use LinkedIn as part of your candidate research, too. If you connect with a candidate on LinkedIn, they likely take professional networking quite seriously. Show him or her the value of pursuing both connections and jobs at your business. Then, provide the candidate with LinkedIn updates regarding jobs at your company that meet their expectations. This can help you grow your talent pool via LinkedIn and help the candidate grow his or her network if the job doesn’t work out.


Review the different types of business risks relative to your candidate research as well. For instance, a job can expose workers to fire, chemicals, and similar risks that cause physical harm, which may disqualify certain candidates from this role. By conducting a risk assessment across your workplace, you can identify on-the-job dangers and how they relate to various roles. You can next use this information to narrow your search for quality candidates to fill your vacancies.


6. Use recruitment technology

A man stood on an ipad with a city view in the background

Finally, using modern recruitment technology can really help improve your hiring process, and ultimately your time-to-hire metric. There are now plenty of tools and services that automate vital parts of the hiring process, as well as improve the candidate experience to avoid drop-offs.


Automated screening

Make your initial candidate screening process as quick and efficient and possible by using automation software. This includes tools like CV parsing software, which automatically reads CVs and ranks applicants on their suitability for your role, making identifying and hiring the best candidates easier.


Additionally, using software that automatically sends pre-screening questionnaires to candidates immediately after their application is received is invaluable for saving time.


Interview scheduling tools

Scheduling interviews can often complicate and lengthen the hiring process, as you struggle to find a time and date that suits both parties. Interview scheduling tools avoid this predicament, allowing candidates to pick their own interview slot and automatically block out your digital calendar.


Keep track of your pipeline

Losing track of candidates naturally causes issues for your time-to-hire metric. A good recruitment management software avoids the chance of this happening, by giving you an overview of each candidate and where they are in your hiring process. Everyone on your team can also have access to this, so any miscommunications about candidates can be avoided.


Optimise Your Hiring Time

The aforementioned tips can help you get the most value out of your time-to-hire metric. Use these tips, and you’ll be well-equipped to lower your hiring time and add top talent across your business.


Of course, time-to-hire is just one of the vital recruitment metrics you’ll want to improve to maximise your recruitment process. Build on this by downloading our 10 Ways to Maximise the Recruitment Process eBook, and make your entire process effective from start to finish.


ebook banner for maximising your recruitment process

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.

Recruitment Metrics: Everything you need to know
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


A consistently popular topic in the recruitment and HR space is analysing your recruitment metrics to figure out what is and isn’t working, and what you can improve within your business.


This guide has everything you need to know about recruitment metrics, so you can be sure you’re measuring the right ones, analysing them accurately, and making meaningful changes that will improve your recruitment performance.

What are recruitment metrics?

So, let’s get started with an important question – what are recruitment metrics? Recruitment metrics are measurements made throughout your recruitment process that evaluate its effectiveness.


They can be used to pinpoint what areas of the process could be improved. This leads to many benefits, from more efficiency, workload reduction, less stress, and wellbeing in the department, to save your business a lot of money.


Improving your recruitment metrics also helps you hire the right candidates – this is of course important for your business’ performance and productivity, so there really is no downside!


Key recruitment metrics

There are numerous recruitment metrics that your business could measure – this can be overwhelming, and time-consuming to measure and analyse.


To make things easier, we’re going to cover the top metrics you should focus on if you want to

accurately measure and see an improvement in your recruitment performance:

  • Time-to-offer
  • Cost-per-hire
  • Quality-of-hire
  • Candidate experience
  • Source of applications


So, what are these recruitment metrics, and how can you measure and improve them?



Time-to-offer means what it says on the tin – the amount of time from initial application to a job offer. You may have heard of ‘time-to-hire’ or ‘time-to-fill’, but we highly recommend you use the time-to-offer metric, as you usually don’t have any control over candidate notice periods.


Time-to-offer is a good indicator of how efficient your recruiting process is, and you’ll want to aim for at most an average time-to-offer of 30 days. A job that takes much longer to fill dramatically increases cost and implies poor performance, possibly due to poor systems, tools, and processes in place. However, a time-to-offer of less than 30 days is not unusual, especially if there is urgency or the role is relatively mainstream. Targeting a time-to-offer of under 16 days is very realistic and achievable.


The benefit of improving this metric isn’t just getting roles filled quicker – it also creates a better candidate experience, with fewer likely to drop out of the process or decline offers, increasing the probability of bringing top talent into your business.


How to calculate time-to-offer

Calculating time-to-offer is quite simple. Just take the number of days from when you started advertising your role to the day you made an offer of employment.


Remember an applicants perception of your time-to-offer will be calculated from the day that they applied for the role.


How to improve time-to-offer

Improving your time-to-offer comes down to making your overall recruitment process as efficient and positive as possible. This means spending your time wisely and avoiding drop-offs from top talent.



1. Post jobs to a wide network of channels

Around 75% of job applications are submitted during the first week. Posting on a wide range of job advertising channels naturally increases opportunities to attract a high number of suitable applicants quickly.


This doesn’t need to be expensive, with job multi-poster tools and aggregator services now widely available to post to 1000’s of free and premium job boards at a much lower price than if you were to post on each platform individually.


2. Use automated screening tools

When you’ve attracted enough suitable applicants, the issue may be whittling down your shortlist. Automated candidate screening tools are available to do this for you. For example, CV parsing software automatically scans and categorises CVs while AI grading software ranks applicants for relevance, so you can identify top talent quickly and discount any unsuitable candidates.


Other useful tools at this stage are automated workflows that send candidates personalised pre-screening questionnaires required after they submit their application. This saves you time and will help you reach the most suitable candidates much quicker.


3. Keep the application process efficient and simple

60% of candidates quit job applications because they’re too long or complex. This can be avoided in the initial screening stage (no candidate wants to spend hours filling in forms and completing lengthy tasks!). Again, automated screening technology is useful here, as it removes the need for additional questionnaires and allows candidates to apply to your job with a single click.


You also want to avoid any job application redirects. When you redirect applicants away from their chosen job advertising channel to a careers or pre-screening page, it interrupts the flow of their experience. Research by The Recruiting Unblog found that 45% of applicants searching on Facebook will drop out if this happens, so avoiding this is essential.


4. Start shortlisting immediately

Issue any technical assessment requests to the best applicants as soon as they enter your pipeline (made easier to identify by CV screening technology). This will help you assess applicants against important criteria like skills, behavioural alignment, and cultural fit more quickly.


On harder-to-fill roles with fewer potentially suitable applicants, it’s a good idea to contact applicants by phone as early on in the process as possible. These calls don’t need to last long, but are very appreciated by the applicant and show a human, caring side of the company and culture.


5. Keep track of your pipeline

Losing track of where candidates are in your recruitment process is a sure-fire way to harm your time-to-offer metric. This is where a good recruitment management software can help – this software gives your whole team access to information on each and every candidate in one place, helping you move them through your pipeline quickly and effectively.


6. Use interview scheduling tools

When a lot of hard work has gone into shortlisting the best applicants, screening, and getting ready for an interview, attempting to coordinate interview times and dates last minute can be a huge time sink. Using an interview scheduling tool removes this blocker, lets candidates pick their own interview slot and automatically blocks out your own digital calendar.


7. Use video interview tools

Initial interviews are better done via video interview technology such as Microsoft Teams; this is far easier to organise and more convenient for candidates. Additionally, if key team members are unable to attend the interview, it can be screen recorded and watched back later.



Cost-per-hire is a very popular and important recruitment metric to measure. It is essentially how much you spend on recruiting employees into your organisation.


Calculating cost-per-hire accurately is hugely important for managing your recruiting strategy and allocating budgets. It’s also useful for understanding where you may be able to reduce recruitment costs, by highlighting areas where you have the most spend (for example, if you’re spending a significant amount of your budget on recruitment agencies, could there be ways to improve your direct hire process?).


How to calculate cost-per-hire

Infographic on how to calculate cost-per-hire


How to improve cost-per-hire

1. Take your recruitment in-house

Making more direct hires is one of the easiest ways to improve your cost-per-hire. While using recruitment agencies is sometimes necessary if you don’t have the team capacity or are struggling to fill a role, standard fees range from 15-20% of the candidate’s first annual salary, sometimes going up to 30% for harder-to-fill positions.


It may feel daunting opting for in-house recruitment, but there are now plenty of tools and processes available that can help.


2. Select your job advertising channels carefully

Save on the cost of advertising your roles on the wrong channels by selecting your channels carefully. A good way to do this is simply searching on Google for roles in your sector and location, identify what job sites are ranking highest on the results page, and advertise on these sites.


You should also check these job boards for the level of competition – high levels of competition suggest you may be in the right place, and whether you need to apply more advanced job advert optimisation techniques.


3. Use job multi-posters

Job multi-poster technology allows you to post your job adverts across multiple job boards simultaneously. This gives you far more exposure and can often be done for the same or lower cost than directly posting on each platform individually. Our own multi-poster has access to 1000’s of free and premium job boards at the click of a button.


4. Use fixed price recruitment services

Use recruitment tools and services that have no risk of an increased fee – this may include things like multi-posters, candidate screening software, interview management tools, job advert writing and optimisation services and more.


5. Build a talent pool

You can reduce any up-front recruitment costs by building a database of candidates that have previously applied for roles in your business, or a ‘talent pool’. You can then contact these candidates when a relevant role becomes available without incurring any cost.


6. Be aware of seasonal trends

It’s good to be aware of seasonal trends that can drive up the cost of your job advertising. For example, although job search activity significantly increases in January, competition for the best candidates drives up costs. You can typically pay £5k less for the same hire in December than in January.


7. Use automation technology

Time is money, and automating typically manual administrative tasks will significantly impact your cost-per-hire. There are plenty of recruitment solutions that can help with this, such as:



  • CV parsing software: Used in the initial screening stages to automatically scan CVs for suitability and reduce time spent sifting through applications.
  • Automated messaging: Communicating with candidates via automated messaging technology like emails or text messages at key points in the recruitment process can save time and contribute to a better candidate experience.
  • Reporting tools: Using tools that automatically track and report on job advert and recruitment performance will help pinpoint areas for improvement and avoid the costs of poor performance in future campaigns.


8. Avoid applicant drop off

When applicants drop out of your recruitment process, the cost of time and resources is high. The primary way to avoid this is to have a good candidate experience – we cover this in more detail in the candidate experience section of this article, but at a glance this can include:

  • Keeping your application process simple and efficient.
  • Strategically nurturing and communicating with candidates throughout the process to keep them interested.
  • Providing adequate access to information on your company and the recruitment process
  • Making the process about the applicant.


Quality of hire

Quality of hire is a recruitment metric that measures the value a new employee adds to your business, looking at their long-term impact through skills & experience, cultural fit, and behavioural alignment.


Quality of hire is important to measure because it pinpoints whether there are any issues with the kind of candidates you end up hiring. Poor quality hires can have a significant financial and company-wide impact, with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh estimating they had cost the company “well over a million”.


How to calculate quality of hire

Quality of hire is best calculated through employee reviews at the end of the new hire’s first month, and then every 3 months. These should be around the 3 quality of hire criteria:


Some useful types of reviews are:

  • Skills & experience: Managers/MDs rate the new hire’s performance, competency, independence, and where they are compared to where the business would expect them to be.
  • Cultural fit: Managers/peers/team members rate the new hire’s cultural fit.
  • Behavioural alignment: The new hire rates their satisfaction and productivity.


Any reviews should be scored on the same scale (e.g. out of 10 or 100) and then you can calculate quality of hire using the following formulas:




How to improve quality-of-hire

1. Advertise in the right place

Attracting talented applicants in the first place is one of the most effective ways to improve your quality of hire metric. Selecting the right media channels improves the chance of this happening, so you want to find those that your ideal candidate is searching on. You can easily do this by simply searching on Google for the job title and location you’re advertising for, and review the top 3 results as a starting point.


2. Write job ads that covert

Once those high-quality candidates have seen your advert, you want them to convert and apply for the role. Here is where you need to sell the role and opportunity to them – a simple job specification isn’t going to cut it!


Some key tips for doing this are:

  • Avoid too many ‘essential’ bullet points
  • Appeal to them on an engaging and emotional level
  • Describe the opportunity and benefits of working with you
  • Avoid dictatorial language e.g. you MUST have
  • Avoid unconscious bias
  • Showcase your company values in the ad e.g. if you are a ‘fun’ company, write your ad in a fun way


Download our eBook for more details on writing job adverts that covert.


3. Assess for skills and experience

Ensure candidates will be able to perform well in your role by assessing them for skills and experience. Advanced AI recruitment software will pull out important information on this, completely avoiding human error and bias, and ranking applicants for relevance in a fraction of the time.


4. Assess for cultural fit

Cultural mismatch is one of the biggest causes for leaving employment, so you should establish a set of 5 or 6 common, but authentic values to match candidates against. These can be assessed at the interview stage, with questions like:

  • “If I walk by your desk at 5:30 pm, what will I see?”
  • “What are you most passionate about?”
  • “Describe your ideal working environment”
  • “If we were stuck somewhere, what would you do?”
  • “Walk me through your perfect workday”


5. Assess for behavioural alignment

Assess candidate motivation and engagement for the role using behavioural profiling tools. You can simply build a benchmark, and have candidates answer multiple-choice questions to see if they’re a match.


Video profiling or phone calls are also a good option here. You can ask candidates to submit a short, pre-recorded video of themselves answering questions, giving you an insight into their communication skills, personality and so on.


6. Communicate throughout the process

Unfortunately, high-quality candidates are much more likely to drop out of your recruitment process. This is because they are often already employed, only passively searching for a new role with little commitment. Poor communication is one of the biggest causes of candidate drop-off, so you want to make sure you’re engaging with them at each stage.


This means:

  • Acknowledging you’ve received their application
  • Giving expected timeframes
  • Providing clear information on any set tasks
  • Notifying them if they’ve been rejected or you’re progressing their application


Candidate experience

Candidate experience is basically how those applying for your roles experience your brand. Measuring and improving this has many benefits, from creating a positive employer brand, to attracting and retaining talented candidates. This will ultimately contribute to you bringing quality employees into your business.


View of three colleagues discussing


Alternatively, a poor candidate experience comes with a slew of disadvantages, including a high candidate drop-off rate, and more time and resources spent recruiting.


How to calculate candidate experience

The candidate experience is best measured by creating a candidate experience survey to send to applicants to fill in anonymously. This can include questions like ‘how satisfied were you with the communication from the recruiter?’ and ‘would you apply for a role with this company again?’. Simple Net Promoter score type surveys seem to work best here.


Looking at key metrics within the recruitment process is also a good indicator of candidate experience. Some you may want to consider are:

  • Drop off rate
  • Time to accept offer
  • Conversion rate on job ads


How to improve candidate experience

1. Make your job description accurate

Candidates won’t want to go through the trials of getting to the interview stage with you, only to find the role has not been accurately described. Make sure you use the most accurate job title in your advert – for example, describe a marketing manager role in events as an ‘Events & Marketing Manager’ rather than simply ‘Marketing Manager’.


Also try and outline the responsibilities of the role accurately. This will also help avoid applications from those who don’t match the skills or cultural values necessary to work with your business.


2. Avoid unconscious bias

Many businesses unknowingly use language in their job adverts that are subtly gendered or discriminatory. This can lead to a negative experience and discourage talented people from applying to your roles.


There are plenty of ways to ensure you avoid using this kind of language, including:

  • Limiting the number of gender-coded words
  • Limiting the use of obligatory language e.g. ‘you must have’
  • Limiting the number of ‘requirements’
  • Using inclusive and diverse imagery
  • Avoiding racial specifications for foreign language roles
  • Avoiding age requirements


3. Avoid time consuming processes

The candidate experience can be negatively affected by recruitment processes that are too long or complex to complete. Again, this includes things like lengthy pre-screening tasks and forms, which can be minimised by using automated CV parsing software that easily pinpoints the best candidates.


Other tools such an interview scheduling software and a good recruitment management platform also work to speed up any time-consuming processes, and quickly move candidates through your process.


4. Communicate with candidates early

53% of candidates don’t receive a response from employers until 3 months after applying, according to research by The Talent Board, leading to a negative perception of your business.


Recruitment metrics statistic that 53% of candidates don't get a reply until 3 months later


Retain the interest of the best candidates, and communicate at this vital stage by using automated communication technology. This technology lets you set up workflows that automatically acknowledge any applications, and give candidates extra information to build their interest in your opportunity without consuming too much of your valuable time.


5. Communicate with candidates quickly

One of the best ways to show candidates you value their time and experience is through quick communication. This can really set you apart from the competition. Make sure stages like acknowledging applications, screening requests, rejections, and interview requests are all sent as soon as possible. Again, much of this can be at least semi-automated.


6. Be courteous

It goes without saying that being polite to every applicant is very important for their experience. This means consistently thanking them for their time, application, and completion of any tasks. This includes candidates who don’t get the role, as word spreads, and you still want to leave a positive impression.


7. Provide access to key information

Eliminate any doubts or questions candidates have by providing access to information on key areas of the business and recruitment process.

  • The company: Simple things like a website link, company brochure, and social media links are invaluable. Make sure these assets are high quality and easy to navigate too.
  • The opportunity: Send candidates both the job advert and job specification ahead of their interview. Even outline what key competencies you want to explore with them on the day.
  • The team: Send a link to relevant LinkedIn profiles or a short video from the hiring manager explaining what they’re looking for, why they’re recruiting, and why they should work for you.
  • The interview: Outline the interview process, including how long it will take, who they will meet with, anything they need to bring or prepare, where they need to go, how to get there, and any other relevant information on entering the building, parking, and so on.
  • The process: Give a step-by-step breakdown of what to expect from your whole recruitment timeline and update candidates at each stage.
  • Use video: To provide windows into the company, meet people, and experience the company culture. Video can humanise what is often a highly automated process.


8. Humanise the experience

Automation technology is great, but this naturally makes the recruitment process less personalised for the candidate, who wants to feel valued and appreciated. There are a few key ways you can humanise the experience more:

  • Personalised automation: Make sure any automated responses you send mention the candidates’ name, the role they’ve applied for, and additional information about the role and company.
  • The two-minute call: Call candidates on your shortlist to introduce yourself, answer any questions, explain what happens next and wish them luck.
  • Human email addresses: Connect with candidates from a real, human email address rather than an info@ or careers@. Rejections from these kinds of email addresses feel detached and robotic.


9. Cover travel costs

Offer to cover any travel costs to the interview. This shows you value a candidate and their time, and the meeting is important to you. It will also set you apart from the competition, who are likely not doing this.


10. Interview etiquette

77% of candidates base their final decision on their interview experience. You can create a more positive candidate experience at this stage using a few tactics:

View of four colleagues laughing at a desk

  • Interviewer training: Give any interviewers proper training on best practices and keep the process as effective as you can.
  • Avoid interviewer fatigue: Only interview the strongest candidates using a combination of talent attraction and screening tools. Avoid booking too many back-to-back interviews using an interview scheduling tool.
  • On-site interviews: Make a good impression during on-site interviews by offering a tour, a short company presentation to ease them in, staff introductions and an informal chat to start with.


Source of applications

A final recruitment metric to consider is source of applications. This is the source of your applications that make it to shortlist, interview and offer. It could include sources like:

  • Job advertising channels
  • Referrals
  • Internal hires
  • Careers page
  • Recruitment agency


It’s worth taking note of this metric as you can easily see what sources are working best, and reduce recruiting budget allocated to least performing sources.


How can we help?

Getting started with measuring and improving your recruitment metrics can be challenging. The Smart Recruit Online talent acquisition platform comes with all the tools you need to make this easier – from advanced reporting on campaign performance, to a suite of talent attraction, candidate screening, job board advertising, recruitment management tools and more.


Interested? Book a demo with one of our Talent Acquisition Experts and find out how we can help you make meaningful changes to your direct hiring recruitment process.


Banner to book a demo with SRO

Smart Recruit Online

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

What is the Best Job Board in the UK?
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


We wanted to give our readers some useful insights into what exactly the best job board in the UK is, and the UK’s leading online advertising channels. This was discovered using our latest research and data analysis. 



Mark Stephens

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

The 8 Biggest Recruitment Challenges for 2021
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.


Three efficiency graphs 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.



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.


Banner to download candidate experience ebook


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.



Woman shaking hands with a man at an interview 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.


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.



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

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.


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. Luckily, many businesses that provide these kind of services offer a free trial, so you can decide if they are suited to your needs.


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. If you like what you see, you can sign up for a 12-week trial completely free of charge.

Banner to book a demo with SRO

Mark Stephens

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

Using Social Media to Recruit Employees
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


Recruiting and hiring top talent is no easy feat. Without tools and systems to streamline the process, your recruitment efforts aren’t likely to attract quality employees who ultimately want to stay with your company for years to come. This is where using social media to recruit employees comes in handy. 


One of the best tools you can use to streamline recruiting and hiring processes is social media. Building a recruiting strategy around social media is especially important because Millennials and Gen Zers make up a considerable part of the current candidate pool — and their daily use of social media includes looking for job opportunities.


Using social media to recruit employees can effortlessly attract the current workforce and open up the talent pool if done right.


This article will explore three ways social media can be used in the recruitment process. Let’s get started!


1. Creating Strong Relationships Within Your Network

First, social media is used in the recruitment process for the general purpose of creating solid relationships within your network. You must build genuine connections with people in your network by showing up each day on your platforms with something of value. This can take them from just loving your brand to working for it.


Start developing relationships with individuals in your social network with a design and layout that they’re attracted to. The way you layout images, the colour schemes you use, and even font types play a role in attracting good candidates. Use colours reflective of your brand, in-depth captions, high-quality images, and other innovative visuals to attract top-quality candidates to your pages.


A phone being held with social media icons surrounding it Share content that has nothing to do with open positions, like industry information or how to get the most out of the products/services your company offers. This helps nurture genuine, trust-filled relationships with your entire audience because they can rely on you for valuable, relevant information.


If you aren’t confident in your ability to make your social media pages visually pleasing to visitors, don’t be afraid to enroll in graphic design classes. These classes can teach you to use space effectively in your posts, the role of typography, the importance of proportion, and the influence of colour in your social media content.


The way you design your social media pages attracts potential candidates and creates a foundation for solid relationships to bloom within your network. But the content you share on social media is just as crucial to your recruiting efforts on these platforms.


2. Sharing Content on Company Culture

Many businesses use social media in their recruiting strategies by sharing content on company culture. A random post about a job opening here and there isn’t sufficient to gain the momentum you need when using social media to recruit employees. The content you share on your social platforms should include a focus on company culture.


Four employees talking and looking at some work


When the goal is to attract top talent to your company, you must share content that thoroughly looks into what it’s like to work for your company. First, ensure your employer branding is strong before posting content on company culture. It’s incredibly dishonest to share how fantastic your company culture is when your current employees constantly express how dissatisfied they are with working conditions. Make sure everything is on the up and up internally before sharing externally.


Then, dive into one of the best recruitment strategies to deploy on social media: sharing content on company culture. Share your company’s work environment through social media posts. Highlight exemplary employees and introduce new workers on your platforms. Show potential candidates how your company can help them grow their careers.


Also, ask employees to share their experiences and refer suitable candidates to open positions within your company. In addition, allow company leaders and employees to do a “social media takeover.” You can choose a day for them to lead your social media outreach by answering questions about day-to-day work in real-time or having company leaders introduce themselves and express their desire for new employees.


Finally, you can use this content to implement our last way to use social media in the recruitment process.


3. Advertising on Social Media


A person scrolling on their phone with social media icons coming off it


Using ads on social media is a great way to recruit top talent, but many businesses don’t use them efficiently. For example, the visuals accompanying the ads aren’t representative of what is being said in the captions. The captions aren’t descriptive enough, nor do they have a solid CTA that drives traffic to the careers page or application itself.


Many businesses also only use ads for one-off job openings and don’t have a real strategy to get the results they want. If you’re going to advertise on social media, do so consistently and with specific goals in mind. In this case, it would be to attract top talent to work for your company. So, use social media content on company culture that’s performing well as a base for the ads. Ensure your captions give detailed information on what the job opening is, who would be a good candidate, and where to go if they’d like to apply.


Also, to advertise on social media effectively, you may need to enlist the help of experts like personnel managers or human resource managers to ensure you are targeting the right kind of people in the right way for your advertising efforts. Both roles focus on attracting and retaining top talent. But their approaches are different. For example, a personnel manager can educate candidates on the benefits, training, and development opportunities available. And a human resources manager can help bridge the gap between company executives and employees to ensure a healthy relationship is built between them, ultimately resulting in excellent company culture.


Moving Forward With a Recruiting Strategy Around Social Media

Although building a recruiting strategy around social media is a smart move, you should be mindful of the pros and cons associated with this method. For example, it’s easy to get lost in targeting everyone on social media because there are so many users. But this approach ends up being counterproductive and extremely costly.


Another challenge is engaging with your audience effectively. When people start to comment, send messages, or share your posts more frequently, it can be hard to keep up. And lack of engagement can turn people off, especially candidates with questions about company culture, job openings, and so forth.


But the pros of social recruiting are that you have the opportunity to reach a wider audience, you can tailor your messaging and visuals to ideal candidates, and you can engage with active and passive job seekers.


Ultimately, building a recruiting strategy around social media should be done only with clear goals, efficient systems, and the right tools in place.


Ready to improve your recruitment process?

Attracting candidates through social media is just one vital part of the recruitment process. Learn how to maximise your whole recruitment process from start to finish by downloading our eBook on this topic.

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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.

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