How to build a candidate attraction powerhouse: the biggest takeaways from Dave’s Recruitment Smarts Live chat

by in Webinar

Wave CEO Dave Jenkins recently appeared on the excellent Recruitment Smarts Live podcast with Louise Triance, speaking about how to build a candidate attraction powerhouse.

They spoke about the importance of onboarding training and seamless integrations when it comes to great recruitment technology, keeping recruitment human-centric in a word dominated by technology, candidate attraction tools and strategies, and one of the most under-used yet powerful candidate attraction tools – the recruitment website.

We’ve pulled together the key points and biggest takeaways from the podcast but if you didn’t manage to catch it live, it is well worth a listen here.

What makes great recruitment technology?

Essentially, what makes good technology great is when it goes above and beyond the technology itself. Having a piece of technology that works – whether that’s greater automation, attracting candidates, improved communication, and so on – is obviously important but everything that supports that technology is also vital.

If you don’t receive the right training, onboarding, service and support with your tech, it won’t be fulfilling its purpose and could even be making things harder for you. You can have a great piece of technology but if there isn’t the support system to train you how to use it effectively and efficiently, or help when you hit snags, that technology won’t get used or at least not used to its full capacity.

The challenge is that busy recruitment businesses want technology to be ‘plug and play,’ which is understandable but isn’t always possible. Much of it is up to a point but if you want to integrate the technology with your existing systems, you’ll need to get two or more of your suppliers to talk to each other. If, for example, your CRM isn’t seamlessly integrated with your tech, the candidate journey will be negatively affected. This of course is one of the huge benefits for Wave clients – we have both a multi-poster and a website design and build product and so obviously they talk very nicely together, plus you don’t have to liaise with different suppliers.

And this is where it can unravel. You can have two really good providers, two market-leading products in their own right, but there is a huge amount of work from both sides in integrating two tools and that takes time and energy and sometimes simply doesn’t work well. You almost have to create a new product every time you run an integration because one has to work inside the other and it needs to be made to fit within your current eco-system.

How do we keep the recruitment process human-focused in a world dominated by technology?

We constantly have to be conscious that recruitment is a people business. Technology’s focus should be to bring the recruiter closer to the candidate or the client, not to push them further away from the human element. One of the biggest complaints in recent years from candidates is that the response from recruiters to candidates can very obviously be an automated response and that’s not what you want from technology that is supposed to be bringing you closer to candidates. But, done right and used well, AI and humans can make an extremely beneficial partnership, working together to achieve optimum results.

For recruiters, technology is fast becoming an indispensable tool, allowing them to streamline the recruitment process and focus on the very human task of recruiting people.

That’s when technology works the best – when it owns the tasks that take recruiters away from the human element. AI can increase efficiency and improve the candidate experience, as well as make data-powered recommendations to help with decision making and strategising. Human recruiters can utilise the information gifted to them by AI to make better job posting decisions and engage with shortlisted candidates.

Technology shouldn’t be feared but embraced for the myriad ways it can help enhance the humanity of recruitment. It gifts recruiters the time to do what they do best – connect and engage with people. No technology can replace the inherent and essential human nature of recruitment but what it can do is save recruiters time and money and improve the efficiency of the entire process. Working together, humans and AI can be a candidate attraction powerhouse.

What can recruiters do now to attract talented candidates that will still work in the future?

Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand. It’s not that there are far fewer candidates, but there are so many opportunities available that competition for each role is fierce. There probably isn’t a huge amount that you need to change but the priority is to look at the basics and make sure you’re getting those right. We suggest that you:

  • Focus on investing in your brand, ensuring that your brand values are communicated on your recruitment website. Producing relevant, topical content may not be an instant solution but play the long game and you will be rewarded.
  • Ensure that your jobs ads contain the right copy, that you’re posting to the right platforms, and that you’re using all the available tools at your disposal. That should be done today, tomorrow and the next day.
  • Communicate through your website who you are and how you differ from your competitors as there is so much competition out there right now.
  • Don’t simply chase the latest fad. Posting a job ad on job boards, your website and LinkedIn, and then also doing a Tik Tok video, will only work if you have the means and the resources to funnel those different types of job ads into different formats so that they match the platform you are using. Your job ads must be relevant to your audience and be a genuine reflection of the way your agency works.

Other than posting jobs well, what other recruitment strategies can recruiters use to attract candidates?

Firstly, you have to do exactly that – use the job ads as attraction tools and post them to the right channels, using data from WaveTrackR and the job boards to get it right. Don’t ever blindly post.

One hugely under-used strategy is to look at the database you’ve already got. Develop a candidate pool and use it as a pipeline.

Start to consider your website as a candidate attraction tool and not something that is built, left and re-built in four years time. It must be constantly worked on and utilised as a platform on which to communicate your brand, culture and values.

Candidates have the choice of thousands of agencies and they will look at your website to decide whether they will apply for any of your jobs. They will want to know who the consultants are, what the company stands for, how they will be treated (a huge amount of discretion is required for some roles and circumstances).

They will be asking whether the agency has contacts with the type of companies they want to work for. It is amazing how much of that kind of key information isn’t on the average recruitment website. Often they can be full of buzzwords that are simply page fillers. It is vital that you communicate who you are rather than what you think you should say.

Keep your website up to date and it will build a pipeline for the future. Your recruitment website should be part of your candidate attraction strategy rather than a solely marketing function along with letterheads or printed pens.

What about recruiters who don’t think they need a website?

This really depends on a recruiter’s network but the number of people who genuinely have a huge network with a self-providing pipeline is shrinking, other than in incredibly niche spaces.

Having a website is also a matter of trust. If you don’t have your own website that candidates can easily find, it can sound out warning bells. Plus, you simply can’t get the true essence of a business from LinkedIn.

Candidates come through organic search, or referrals from a job board, and many go straight to meet the team page before looking at your jobs.

Something else to consider is that some candidates haven’t applied for a job in years and genuinely don’t know where to start, so do what we all do in similar situations – perform a simple Google search. An online presence that goes beyond social media is therefore vital in most circumstances.

Dave’s top 2 immediately actionable tips to building a candidate attraction powerhouse:

  1. Look at your website or, even better, ask someone else to look at it as a candidate novice and then review your content based on their feedback. Constantly ask yourself, what can I do to improve my website’s candidate attraction.
  2. Post the right job to the right channel, using data from WaveTrackR and the job boards.