How to recruit the very best talent in Cambridge

Working in talent acquisition (internal recruitment) is an extraordinary job because it provides a regular opportunity to meet people who are looking for that ‘next step.’ They want to see if a place exists for them at your company and you are the lucky one who gets to help them decide.

In talent acquisition, you are often the first face a candidate sees or the first voice they speak to, and it’s vitally important to make an excellent first impression with the job seeker. You are, ultimately, the decision maker at this early stage and you will only pass on the profiles of those that you believe have a chance to go further. Quite a responsibility!

To do this, internal recruiters have to be empowered and be able to employ the right techniques to get to the better quality candidates sooner rather than later. You can use “spray and pray” techniques and hope for the best, or you can develop strategies that will guarantee success time after time.

Below we have listed some of the very best strategies that will help you to find the people you are looking for today, not tomorrow!

Your employee referral scheme

Did you know you have a network within your network? All of your employees will have talented friends, family members, or former colleagues who will be right for your company.

It is so much easier to hire someone when a trusted member of your team has vouched for them as it will often remove a lot of the ‘guesswork’ involved in the hiring process and, more often than not, result in another stellar person joining your team!

To make the most of this strategy you need to incentivise your staff. If you aren’t already, you should be operating an employee referral scheme. Scheme’s vary in both the end incentive and its value, but most will offer a cash ‘bonus’ once a new team member has joined and completed a successful probation. While some schemes offer as little as £500 and others as much as £10,000, they all represent a way for team members to ‘boost’ their monthly earnings.

It is also a way to save money for many Cambridge companies. If you are already paying 20% agency fees for new members of staff, paying an employee referral bonus instead will result in saving money and boosting staff morale. Can’t be bad!

However, to make this strategy really work, you need to ‘reassure’ team members that any recommendations are still put through a full vetting and interview process, with any final decision resting firmly on the recruiting manager’s shoulders.

No-one wants to refer a real ‘dud’ or someone who goes on to fail, and this can often deter people from referring anyone.

So, make sure it is clear that all they are doing is helping to start things off, with no strings attached!

Online Job Boards

This may not be obvious, but different job boards attract different candidates. For example, some job boards are more effective at finding part time job seekers, while others will be better at engaging with the passive job seeking community. Some will have a more international reach, which can significantly increase applicant levels (don’t forget this doesn’t guarantee they will all be relevant applications!), and others are focussed on the local area, thus fewer applications but from people who are more likely to know who you are and the Cambridge area.

Which job board(s) you choose to work with will ultimately have a real bearing on your recruitment strategy and its overall success.

A lot of job boards make it compulsory for candidates to apply through their own system. Candidates have to first register their details (often with a CV), before being able to see who the job advert has been placed by. In this ‘GDPR era,’ this is a real barrier for many job seekers and the point at which they leave the website.

At the Cambridge Jobs Board, we have taken the approach to make this process as ‘hurdle-free’ as possible. Thus, employers can place adverts on the site that link directly to the company applicant management system, without the need for any restrictive registration process.

Most job boards are also dominated heavily by recruitment agency adverts. On some of the UK’s largest and best-known sites, as much as 90% of all posted adverts are with recruitment agencies. For many job seekers, this is very off-putting, as they never really know who is advertising the job and are reluctant to apply for fear that their personal details will then be sent out without their prior agreement.

That is why the Cambridge Jobs Board only allows direct employer adverts. There are no recruitment agency adverts on out site meaning 100% transparency and a much more enjoyable job seeking process.

In short: you cannot afford to list your jobs on incorrect job boards. They should be a well-understood part of your recruiting strategy.

Attract the right job seekers

Different generations have different expectations of what the perfect job will look like. For the older generation (the 2.4 children generation), stock options and substantial benefits to support families will be higher on the list of priorities. For millennials, it’s more likely to be a more fun and enjoyable work environment that is modern and tech-savvy.

You must make sure you position your company to attract the type of applicant you want. Knowing what job seekers want to see in your adverts is important.

Always ensure you list all the company benefits in your job posting, including the beer fridge! Helping job seekers to get an idea of the company culture and decide if they’re a good fit before they’ve even applied is vital. Company benefits often show job seekers very quickly what sort of company it is.

Things like remote working or flexible working hours are more common than 10 years ago and more and more job seekers are looking for this in their next job. So, if you offer this as part of your package, make sure it is clear to anyone reading your advert that this is the case.

Don’t force people to assume this is the case or, even worse, assume it is not the case because they can’t see it in black and white. Make it clear!

While some of you benefits might seem more minor, or assumed, still list them out for all to see. It could just be the difference between someone applying (or not).

An up to date careers page

We’ve spoken already about the importance of job boards and listing your available jobs online. But have you considered the importance of listing your jobs in Cambridge on your own website?

While job seekers are more likely to find out about your open jobs through a professional job board, like the Cambridge Jobs Board, having all your open jobs listed on your careers page is essential.

Rest assured, once they have seen your advert on a job board, their next port of call will be your company website and, sooner or later, the careers page. Unlike the Cambridge Jobs Board, most sites do not provide company profile pages. Thus, once a job seeker has found your ad, they will want to know more about you and the only place for them to do this is on your own website.

Trust me when I say there is nothing more off-putting to potential job seekers than going to a careers page and finding that the job you have just read about on the Cambridge Jobs Board is not listed.

Has it been filled? Is the job board out of date? Am I too late? These questions can quickly lead to uncertainty and the job seekers leaving without applying!

Additionally, having an up to date careers page with lots of information on topics like company culture and employee benefits will show job seekers that hiring is a top priority. Very important!

In summary

All of the above strategies can help you get people into the interview room, which is often half the battle of hiring. Ultimately you want to hire the very best people promptly, maintaining your high standards of employee, while keeping costs to a minimum.

Having an organised recruiting strategy that includes the above points will reduce the number of unqualified or unsuitable candidates that apply for your open jobs in Cambridge. This will save you time (and money) and will allow you to focus your time and effort on those applications that can add real value to your organisation.

Win-win!