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Attracting the right job applicants


increased number of people looking for work means that you are likely to get more applicants so you need to ensure that your advert attracts the people you want to consider while discouraging those who are not suitable. Before you can write your advert you need to take time to work out exactly what you want in terms of a new employee. Clearly define the role you are searching for; this way you have a benchmark of what is expected from any potential candidate. You can’t work out who you need until you know exactly what you want them to do. Set out the purpose of the role and the main duties in a job description. As you want to attract the most capable person you can, you need to try and ensure that you make the job role as interesting and challenging as possible. This will appeal to people who are looking to push themselves further in their career and want a challenge, increasing the likelihood of you getting candidates with imagination and initiative. Once you have set out the role, you


need to consider what skills, abilities and experiences an individual will need in order for them to be successful at the job. Use this to draw up your person specification. Make sure it reflects what you actually need, so that you don’t discourage suitable people because they don’t meet an unnecessary requirement. Consider

I feel like my recruitment process is becoming tedious and long. For each role I’m

getting an awful lot of applications, which are taking a long time to go through. Even more of the applications I receive seem to be below the standard of employee I am after, but by the time I have read them through I have wasted my own time and consequently money. How can I attract the best talent through my job adverts in order to avoid this problem in the future?

In the current economic climate, the job market is now more competitive than ever. The

The state of the jobs market means a poorly-worded advert could leave you sifting through piles of unsuitable CVs. PETER DONE offers some tips on narrowing the field.

on board that can bounce ideas off each other, so don’t discourage candidates of certain personality types. However, while taking this into

consideration you also have to make sure your advert focuses on the job, not the person you are looking for. In this way you can avoid falling into the trap of using descriptions of the individual that can be held to be discriminatory. Make it eye-catching, focusing on a fun aspect if possible. Set out what the role is intended to do and invite anyone interested to contact you for further details. It is normally best to use an application

whether or not qualifications are necessary. Don’t forget, it could be discriminatory in relation to age if you put in place a require- ment that by its nature disadvantages older or younger members of the workforce without justification.

Be careful of tailoring your advert in such a way that it only appeals to certain personality types. Many businesses often fall into the trap of assuming that extroverts automatically make the best employees, but that can be a mistake. Set out the skills and abilities rather than personality traits to ensure that you don’t put off the best candidates. Roles that involve complex problem solving, independent work and deep concentration and creativity are often better suited to introverts. Businesses thrive better when they have a mix of personalities

Focus on the job, not the person


form so that everyone’s application is addressed in the same format. This requires applicants to think about how they meet the person specification and set this out rather than hoping you can interpret this from their CV, and will make shortlisting a lot simpler. It also allows you to specify any absolute requirements, such as an agreement to a CRB check or to disclose any convictions, and include a requirement for a signed statement of truth where candidates acknowledge that their employment can be terminated if they have provided false information. By following these tips you should be

able to save a significant amount of time as the quality of your applicants will have increased, and you will have a better workforce as an end result. ❖

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, a leading

provider of employment law and health and safety services in the UK. For more information phone

☎ 07976 922 314

Better Business No 189

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