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The 1 thing you should do to become a desirable company to work for!

Unemployment is at its lowest since 2004. Businesses that are looking for their next new star employee are struggling and this, in turn, means agencies are also feeling the pressure when looking for talented, reliable candidates.

It is a candidate led market, which means job seekers usually have the choice of at least two positions and very strong applicants could be deliberating between four or five roles! All this taken into consideration means that companies must do everything possible to stand out from the crowd and set themselves apart from the competition to attract the best candidates. If the actual job role cannot be ‘jazzed up’ any more than it already has, then the attention needs to be on the company itself!

magic open book of fantasy stories

As part of an ongoing campaign at Headway Recruitment to champion the significance of “Employee Engagement”, we recently focused on the strategic narrative of employers and how important it is to job seekers to work for a company with an interesting history and promising future plan.

We asked all candidates registering with us within a two-week period:

When applying for a job, at what stage would you take the time to research the background/history of the company? (Please tick one)”

  • When applying for the role online
  • When being put forward by an agency
  • When you have secured an interview
  • When you have been offered the role
  • When you start
  • Never

With the current state of the recruitment market, it is unsurprising that 45% of responses stated they would actually research the background/history of a company at the very beginning of the application process – when applying for the role online.

In fact, every single person we asked would do research and, at the very latest, when having secured an interview.

People care about people and when a company has evidenced stories about who started the business, who has contributed to its growth and who will lead it into the future, it really adds uncompromising credibility. This is not limited to well-established and long standing companies, even a start-up business should have details of why the company exists. To a candidate, a start-up with no details of its history will pale in comparison to a start-up with an inviting story about why it has begun its business journey!

Engageforsuccess.org sum this process of strategic narrative up perfectly; “…a story, with a beginning, a middle and a future! Not your personal story but that of the organisation, and the people in it. A story with a clear message and purpose. A story that helps your people feel they belong in the organisation, and makes them want to stay. A story that involves your people in the next chapter. A story that brings meaning and purpose to people’s working lives.”

As a business, you not only need to convey your “story” to new applicants but you and your existing staff need to live it! There are lots of tips and ideas as to how this can be achieved and by committing to at least one of these activities you will boost your employee engagement and, as a result, have more suitable applicants and a stronger presence in the recruitment market – win-win all round I say!

At Headway we have weekly branch meetings and monthly meetings with our other office, we also have regular “staff do’s” to celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries. Some other ideas could be:

  • “Five minutes with…” – a short question and answer session with the director/owner
  • “Breakfast with the boss”
  • “Back to the floor” – where directors help out with everyday clerical tasks

Remember, to make your company desirable to candidates you need to start with your existing staff – as Richard Branson once said “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

April Atkinson

By April Atkinson

A proven recruitment expert. Worked with a range of clients across Leeds and Bradford from start-ups to multi nationals. Recognised for hiring all office based and management roles.
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Brilliant recruitment company who got me some temporary work placements very quickly. A special thank you to April and Jacqui for finding me work so quickly in a relevant field. Will definitely be using Headway again in the future! Thank you!

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