Based on insight from hundreds of client meetings conducted over the past year, we’ve distilled our key learnings into 6 useful tips for hiring in 2017 in a bid to help companies position themselves as the employer of choice.

  1. Diversity 

With recent concerns about intolerance in society the importance of diversity in the job market has never been higher. According to Glassdoor, two-thirds (67%) of active or passive jobseekers evaluate the diversity of the workforce when considering a future employer.

Research from the Harvard Business Review has shown that companies with a diverse workforce are 45% more likely to report an increase in market share over the previous year, and 70% more likely to expand into a new market.

The advantages are clear, so what can businesses do to embrace this?

  • State that you are an equal opportunities employer on job descriptions AND link this to your diversity policy. State your commitment to a diverse workforce in any ‘Who are we’ communications.
  • Ensure that your online presence reflects the diversity of your company
  • When screening CV’s any opportunity for bias should be removed – names, hobbies and dates of birth should be excluded. Focus on candidate experience and if education isn’t an essential requirement, remove it.
  1. Salary isn’t the be all and end all

We’ve seen a changing attitude in regards to salary being the most important factor when choosing a new role. Personal development and training are equally as important to employees. We expect this to continue into 2017, and our Digital Salary Survey explains the findings in more detail.

Candidates are looking at a company’s culture, the potential for growth, for interesting & challenging projects and what kind of training is available. With this in mind, we recommend the following:

  • Make sure that your job ad covers these areas and details any training opportunities.
  • When offering training and development, include a focus on soft skills; presentation workshops, negotiation skills, and leadership.
  • Ensure that your website reflects the training and development on
  • Try to display your work culture as well as the projects you work on.
  1.  Flexibility

Many of our clients find creative ways to fill the gaps in their workforce Recently a company was looking for a marketing manager who was both creative and analytical. As these two qualities are difficult to find in one candidate, they hired two part-time employees, one with great creative skills and the other with a strong background in analytics.

  • Understand the value of an individual, a lot of talent is lost because they can’t fit into the 9-6 mould.
  • Consider part-time opportunities, flexibility for parents returning to work and non-customer facing roles to help the right candidate join your company.
  1. Returnships

We recently wrote a post detailing the types of companies successfully offering ‘returnships’. These are usually paid internships aimed at parents returning to work after maternity/paternity leave and are key to getting parents working at a high level. Many of the big players in the States – AirBnB, PayPal – and in the UK – Credit Suisse, Vodafone – offer such schemes and we predict they will grow in popularity in 2017.

  • Consider the talent and experience you can bring back into your workforce just by offering a little bit of extra support.
  1. Employee Branding

Candidates want to align themselves with the company they work for and one of the most important issues for them Corporate Social Responsibility. How a company pitches itself to a candidate is really important, it’s a 2-way interaction. Good candidates will be wanted by your competitors too, so don’t take the process for granted. Make people feel valued at each step of the interview process:

  • Give your company a personality. So often websites fail to properly reflect the company, their culture and vision.
  • Millennials are really interested in companies’ CSR policies. If you have one make sure potential employees can find it. Shout about it!
  • Make sure the hiring manager / recruiter is well prepared before the interview. Read their CV, look them up on Linked In/Medium/Twitter and have a solid understanding of the role requirements and challenges.
  • Every business is focused on the customer’s experience, this thinking needs to be extended to prospective employees and existing ones!
  1. Employ a recruitment consultant

Of course we’re going to say this, but a company’s staff are their most important asset, right? If it’s any consolation most recruitment companies use recruiters too!

If you work with a recruitment consultancy they should become an extension of your business. Often ours is a PR role – if candidates have preconceived notions about employers, we can turn potential negatives into positives.

  • We can sell the vision or specific projects with our specialist knowledge and insight. This is often crucial, especially when a company is starting a digital transformation and not always possible to convey on a job advert.
  • We’re also a great negotiator for both parties, giving impartial advice on salary levels, competition within the market and the values and cultures to both promote and seek out.
  • We can advise employers on positioning and how to present themselves as employers of choice.

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