There is no doubt the UK labour market is shrinking and, in some key areas, the competition to attract talented candidates is fierce. If sifting through CVs is becoming tiresome and your HR team or recruitment agency are scratching their heads to find the right candidates, then perhaps it might be time to re-evaluate your brand communications.
5 steps to creating the right first impression for recruiting top talent
1. Modernise the brand
If you knocked up your logo ten years ago in PaintShop Pro or purchased an icon for $5 online, then now could be the right time to invest in a fresh brand identity. Your existing brand may have fulfilled a function when the business was small. However, as the business grows, the best candidates will be considering larger players in your industry. Therefore, having a more up-to-date brand can make a big difference. Design trends change, competitors emerge and even typefaces can date rapidly over time. Your brand isn’t just the logo; it encompasses the whole identity of your business, including your overall purpose, your message, your colour palette, style and font choices. It creates a lasting impression that needs to make sense and be cohesive across all communications.
2. Personalise your company website
It is important to look at all external company communications. In most cases, the first step to completing a job application is to look at the website. When creating a new website, the majority of project leaders see the site through the eyes of a customer. We talk to our clients about mapping their customer journeys and creating opportunities to convert clicks into orders or enquiries. Although this remains critical to grow sales revenue, it is vital to review your website from the perspective of prospective candidate. It is a good idea to introduce the personality of your company. Include your back story. How was the business founded, what is it like to work here and what values are important in your company culture, are all good places to start. For some organisations, it maybe appropriate to add a team section to show the faces of the people who work there or, as a minimum, include images of the Directors or Management team. If a candidate can see the people, then it is easier to imagine themselves joining the team.
3. Keep news and social media regularly updated
There is a tendency in some businesses to go all guns blazing with a new website when the project starts and then to let things slide once the sales start to come in. We often see websites with news sections not updated for over a year and links to several social media platforms, started and then abandoned. Externally, from both a prospective employee and buyer perspective, this can give the wrong impression. Particularly if you are searching for candidates from a younger generation who have grown up with social media and blogging as part of the norm. If you have a news page, keep it updated at least two to three times per month and regularly populate live social media feeds with content. If you don’t have the resource to manage them all, focus on one or two channels that are the most aligned with your target market audience.
4. Invest in PR
If your company is investing in an industry accredited training programme or part of the national apprenticeship scheme, it may be worth investing in a local PR campaign to spread the word. Winning awards, listing industry accreditations and getting your name known in the relevant local and trade press, can all be steps in the right direction to making your brand more attractive when in the process of recruiting.
5. Careers SEO
If the business is expanding rapidly and you have two or more vacancies, it would be worth adding a careers page to the website. By conducting new SEO keyword analysis focused on the job opportunities available, you can choose the right copy and phrases to optimise your pages and drive increased recruitment traffic to the site. Add Google analytics to each page to monitor progress and map user journeys to review which content is most relevant. In addition, if you have a news or blog page, it can help to include employee profiles and achievements in this section. Could you write blog about the training progress of a member of staff or a successful project one of your teams have been involved in? Is someone in your team running a marathon this year or raising money for charity? Highlighting their achievements in your news and social media feeds, can all help to showcase your company values and ethos to the outside world, making your business more attractive to prospective candidates.
Investment in marketing is usually a consideration when a business is looking to grow sales in existing markets or reach new ones. If monthly revenue is rising month by month, it is tempting to move resources into other areas. This could be a mistake if recruiting new talent is part of the overall business strategy. How a company is perceived externally is critical to attracting the right candidates, therefore it is important not to overlook this when reviewing marketing spend.
If you believe your external communications maybe hampering your recruitment efforts, please get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help.