Helping employers stand out from the crowd

By Julia Morgan, Sales Director, Brook Street

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK currently has an employment rate of 74.3%. This indicates that competition amongst employers for the best talent is more intense than ever. With a plethora of opportunities available, candidates have the luxury of choice regarding where they want to work. Coupled with a skills shortage in the marketplace, employers must now find innovative ways to attract the best workers.

So, as an employer, how do you stand out from the pack? Below, we explore several strategies that can help differentiate your company in the competitive job market.

The interview is a mutual exchange

Interviews are one of the most crucial elements of the recruitment process. For organisations, interviews serve a dual purpose: evaluating potential candidates and allowing candidates to assess whether the company aligns with their values and career goals. Here are some common issues with the candidate screening process:

  • Lengthy interview processes:
    Interview processes with numerous stages and extended periods can lead to candidate fatigue and disengagement. It can become burdensome and cause candidates to lose interest or accept offers from other companies.
  • Tests or assessments that may be unnecessary or irrelevant:
    These tests can be frustrating for candidates especially when they are irrelevant to the position and are not fulfilling for the candidate.
  • Lack of empathy or emotional intelligence in interviewers:
    Interviewers who lack empathy or emotional intelligence may fail to create a comfortable and supportive environment for candidates leading to candidates feeling undervalued or uncomfortable.
  • Lack of transparency about the business, focusing solely on questioning the candidate:
    Lack of transparency creates an unbalanced dynamic. Candidates need transparency to make informed decisions on whether the company is a good fit for their career goals and values.
  • Not considering the emotional and physical needs of candidates, especially those who are neurodivergent:
    As businesses strive to be more intentional with implementing DEIB procedures, it is important to accommodate the diverse needs of candidates, otherwise this can cause significant barriers. Neurodivergent candidates, for example, might require specific adjustments to the interview process, such as clear and direct communication, a predictable interview structure or sensory considerations.

A more empathetic, transparent and efficient interview process can make a significant difference. Ensuring that interviews are fair, inclusive and considerate of all candidates’ needs is essential.

Working from home and flexibility is a trust thing

The way we work has fundamentally changed in recent years. Remote work and flexible working arrangements have become the norm rather than the exception. The benefits of working from home are numerous, with improved work-life balance topping the list. Candidates now expect some level of flexibility; rigid office-based roles are increasingly seen as unattractive.

Employers need to trust their employees and offer the flexibility to work from home or adopt hybrid working structures. Studies have shown that productivity levels remain high in such arrangements. Without flexibility, employees may feel mistrusted and are likely to seek other opportunities quickly.

Supporting candidates with the right home working setup, flexible hours and additional benefits like childcare days can significantly enhance job satisfaction and loyalty.

Would candidates be proud to tell their peer group where they work?

A brand’s Employer Value Proposition (EVP) plays a critical role in attracting and retaining talent. A strong EVP enhances an organisation’s reputation, making it more attractive to potential candidates and easier to retain current employees.

Candidates are increasingly prioritising a company’s culture and ethical values. How transparent is your company about its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts? How well do you communicate your Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) policies during the interview process?

To effectively convey your company’s culture, consider incorporating live examples or videos in your recruitment materials. This gives candidates a glimpse of what it’s like to work at your company and aligns their expectations with your corporate values.

Your social media presence is another critical factor. Today’s candidates conduct thorough research before applying for jobs, and the information they find online significantly influences their perceptions. Ensure that your social media profiles reflect your culture and values accurately and positively.

In a highly competitive job market, employers must go the extra mile to stand out. By refining the interview process, embracing flexible working arrangements, and clearly communicating your EVP, your company can attract and retain top talent more effectively. Remember, the goal is to create a workplace that employees are proud to be a part of and that candidates are eager to join.

How can Brook Street help you perfect your hiring process? Get in touch to find out more.