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How to draw the attention of top HR candidates to your upcoming job vacancies

By Barney Ely, Director of Hays Human Resources

As might be expected, HR professionals’ insider knowledge makes them discerning applicants, and their expectations of a recruitment process reflect this. With competition for talent at an all-time high, it is imperative that when looking to hire HR professionals, employers fine-tune their recruitment methods in order to attract the best candidates.

Despite this competitive climate, our latest research in the Hays What Workers Want 2018 report shows that many employers are missing opportunities to attract talent as a result of avoidable roadblocks on a candidate’s application journey. In fact, 63% of candidates tell us they are being deterred from completing job applications as a direct result of a negative experience with an employer’s application process.

For many HR candidates, a job advert constitutes their first interaction with a new employer. Yet this seemingly simple part of the recruitment process is easy to get wrong and can have far reaching consequences, not only for talent attraction, but retention too: a misleading job advert was the reason why 43% of HR professionals say they have left a role in the first 12 months.

HR candidates are interested in the following elements when reviewing a job advert:

1. Clarity at all times

Above all, applicants are looking for transparency when considering a new employer. This means providing accurate information on the role itself, its requirements and the culture of the team and organisation and making this information easily accessible at all stages of the applicant journey. According to our research, the top factor for HR candidates when reviewing a job advert is a description of the role itself, which is important to 80% of HR professionals. If this is not provided, candidates may either be deterred from applying or be disappointed when they start the job due to unfulfilled expectations. Of the 51% of HR candidates who have left a job within the first 12 months, 42% stated this was because they didn’t fit in with an organisation’s culture as expected.

2. The right detail

Our research shows that candidates are looking for detailed information on the salary, benefits, working hours, and requirements of a job, with compensation and benefits cited as an important factor (by 67% of HR candidates) alongside specific role requirements (56%) when reviewing a job advert. These are key factors that determine why someone takes a job, and including ambiguous or inaccurate information on these aspects can be a deterrent. Candidates are likely to be filtering their searches based on these criteria, so getting it right is crucial or your job advert may never be seen.

3. Consistently implemented content

Your job advert may be the first thing an applicant sees, but the content you provide about your organisation needs to be consistent at every touch point of the applicant journey. Ensure your recruiters and interviewers are able to talk about all aspects of the job description and advert. You should also consider what is being said about you on employee review sites, and if necessary take steps where these reviews may contradict the image you are portraying through your own channels.

Join one of our events or webinars to find out more about our What Workers Want report, which features detailed insights into how employers can hone their application process to attract top talent.

About this author

Barney joined Hays in 1993 as a business graduate and is now Director for Hays Human Resources. Barney also has operational responsibility for Hays offices across the South of England, placing professionals in over 20 industry sectors covering everything from accountancy and finance to construction, IT education and healthcare.

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