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With the easing of lockdown kickstarting the economy and more employers seeking new staff, candidates have become far more selective about the jobs they decide to take. And where does a candidate gain their first impression of your business? During the recruitment process.

If you still think your ideal recruit will jump through hoops for the chance of an interview, think again. Candidates have far greater expectations when it comes to recruitment in 2022, and there are around 36% fewer applicants across industries in the first place. So, you cannot afford to let the ideal candidate slip through your fingers.

Where businesses go wrong with recruitment

Two key reasons why candidates decline a position include:

However, 52% of job seekers place lack of response from employers (or recruiters!) as the number one frustration during the job search — which explains why 89% of potential candidates drop out of the hiring process due to a drawn-out timeline.

During this new age of remote and hybrid working, company culture is also more important than ever. Failure to display a progressive attitude to work-life balance could be the ultimate turn-off for a potential candidate. According to Glassdoor, 77% of people consider company culture before applying for a job — and even believe it is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction.

What’s more, since the pandemic necessitated the widespread adoption of remote working, many people are reluctant to accept roles involving a long commute. Only one in seven workers expect to commute into their place of work five days a week — so, if your business cannot offer a flexible approach to work, your top candidates will likely seek it elsewhere.

How to improve the recruitment process

A candidate will gain their first impression of your business by checking it out online before even thinking about applying. So, if your online presence is inconsistent, incomplete, or out of date, people are unlikely to view your organization as a suitable match.

Ensuring everything — from your website and social channels to the job ad itself — is well written, accurate, and demonstrates a positive company culture will go a long way to reassuring a potential employee that your business is a legitimate and appealing prospect.

A business’ reputation also speaks volumes about its culture and values. Quality online reviews and feedback from current or past employees are crucial, so it is essential to build a positive working environment and reputation to prove how great your business is to work for.

Clear communication and timeliness from the start are also critical elements of the recruitment process. It takes a lot of time and resources for HR departments to keep up with multiple ongoing applications; by embracing technology and integrating digital processes, you can automate responses and streamline applications.

Once you have refined your software and remote onboarding processes, your pool of available candidates will expand significantly — especially since 43% of graduates have had to turn down interviews due to the cost of getting there. Plus, as the average cost of replacing an employee is 150% of their salary, it is well worth investing in the correct processes to get recruitment right the first time.

By Julie Mott, Managing Director, Howett Thorpe.

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