Two thirds of companies around the world admit they are struggling to recruit. A survey of more than 45,000 people in 43 countries revealed that 69 per cent can’t find the staff they need, proving that talented candidates really do have their pick of the market at present. Recruitment is both a key priority and a challenge.
Another key focus for many businesses is diversity and inclusion. PwC’s global diversity and inclusion survey found that 75 per cent of organisations view D&I as a stated value or business priority. Companies aren’t just looking for highly skilled talent, they’re also searching for a mix of people from different genders, backgrounds, and ages to help bring different viewpoints to the table.
So, what changes can you make to engage a wider candidate pool?
1. Don’t blame the talent pool
This is an argument we hear a lot, and it’s one that on first inspection appears to hold some weight. Companies can sometimes attract the same type of candidate as they have done for years, and what can you do if you don’t have a diverse list of applications in the first place?
Well, quite a lot actually.
If you’re seeing the same type of candidate over and over again, there’s probably an issue with your recruitment process, or your employer brand. You need to review what you’re currently doing and proactively explore new routes to finding talent.
Companies need to be aware of what’s getting put out into the world, what language they’re using for their values, for career’s pages, for job specs, and where they’re getting candidates from. For example, all employers should be aware of how certain words and nuances can attract a particular gender – there’s software to be used to ensure that job ads are neutral in their gender. Don’t accept this excuse from a recruitment agency either – they should know how to bring you a diverse shortlist.
2. Reconsider your “must-haves”
Paying close attention to your job adverts isn’t a new bit of advice, however, there has been a post-pandemic trend that means your job descriptions probably need a revise too.
The world has really changed since March 2020, and job descriptions have gotten longer. Rather than think about the key skills they really need from candidates, many organisations have simply added to the prescribed list.
Think about each point on your job description as a barrier to entry. Some are necessary, but others are nice-to-have or even outdated. The more barriers to entry, the fewer available candidates. So, think about whether you really need someone to have a certain qualification, or specific industry experience before you post your job ads live.
3. Look far and wide
We’re all a lot more accustomed to remote working these days, widening the net for employers who can work with candidates no matter where they are. Consider whether the roles you’re hiring for need to have a physical presence in your office, and if not then don’t limit yourself by geography. By saying the team can work from anywhere you open up the candidate pool hugely and remove barriers to entry.
If it is important that your candidates can come to the physical workplace then consider relocation assistance. It may seem like extra resources, but it can actually save you time and money in the long run because you can hire that much quicker.
We’re currently working with Zalando, Europe’s biggest online fashion and lifestyle platform, who do exactly this for the right candidates.
4. Make it an easy choice
Research shows that employees from underrepresented groups tend to be more loyal to their organisations than those who are overrepresented. This not only means that they’ll need more encouragement to apply, but also that they’ll need a very good reason to make the move.
This is where you need to sell yourself and your opportunity. Make sure the salary you’re offering is competitive and have a wide range of benefits that appeal to a mix of people. Think about career progression, culture, and L&D – what can the candidate get from you that they won’t get in their current role? Find out what makes them tick and do what you can to offer it to them.
Building a diverse and inclusive workplace isn’t straightforward, but it won’t happen naturally, there are things you can do with almost immediate effect to make things simpler. For more help and advice on hiring in 2022, please get in touch.