MT Expert' Ten Top Tips: How to become an employer of choice

With unemployment up, businesses have their pick of graduates. But how do you entice the best of the best? Andrew Evans explains.

by Andrew Evans
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
Steve Jobs left Apple as one of the world’s most successful companies and, let’s face it, the firm he co-founded in 1976 is the one every technology professional in the world wants to work for. But if you haven’t quite got the star power of the Silicon Valley giant, how do you make yourself an employer of choice?

Simple, says Andrew Evans, managing director of executive search consultancy RMG. Just follows these 10 steps.

1. Reputation is everything
What people think of your business is vital. Technology, like LinkedIn, has made word of mouth recommendations (or disparaging comments) more public than ever. Companies forget that the recruitment process can have a huge impact on how people view them. Hiring new people requires a considered strategy.

2. Choosing a partner
The exercise starts at the very beginning of the process when you select your recruitment partner. This should be a consultancy that knows your business and your brand, and who can position your organisation most effectively in the marketplace.  

3. The ‘machine gun’ approach won’t work
It’s almost impossible for multiple providers to send out a consistent message: you’ll find it difficult to build the closeness you need to get the most out of your recruitment. And don’t forget that using an number of companies to approach the same talent pool could come across as desperate, rather than making you seem desirable.

4. Company benefits
Make sure recruitment partners are fully aware of the benefits of your company. Then they will be fully informed of the objective reasons why a candidate should choose you above your competitors.

5. Communicate your plus points
At every point of contact, from advertisement to final interview, highlight all the things that make your business a great place to work – from training and development to pension plans, and from flexible working to softer benefits.

6. Engage with candidates
Always remember that candidates talk, and that everyone who engages with a company should receive a positive impression. If you fail to treat a candidate well, it can only damage your brand. Interviewers should be fully briefed and know how to position your company.

7. Choose the right interviewers
Use people who can express their enthusiasm for the business and transfer that to the candidates, from the moment they walk into reception until they leave the building.

8. Manage feedback
Even unsuccessful candidates should be kept onside. First and foremost, they’ll undoubtedly communicate a bad experience into the marketplace. The candidate you reject today without a word of feedback might be making the decisions on the board of one of your biggest clients later.

9. Don’t lose track of those you rate but reject
Often, a candidate who’s short on skills might come back later, having vastly improved on areas where they were previously poorly qualified.  What’s more, you can never be sure who you will meet further down the line in business.

10. Show your commitment to people
Give every candidate detailed feedback clearly explaining why they weren’t selected and how they can improve. This will stop a disgruntled interviewee leaving a blemish on your reputation.

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