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Business management

The race for talent: four important steps to successful recruitment

Is your business at risk from losing top talent to the ‘great resignation’? Here, Royal Bank Mentor discusses how SME owners can secure the right people.

1. Get the most out of social media

Many client-side HR managers are following the lead of recruitment agencies and finding potential candidates on social networks, including LinkedIn and Facebook. While this is free to do, recruiters still need to follow some pointers. Namely:

Look at what your current employees say about your business: Candidates will want to know who they are working with, and how current employees see you as an employer. Encourage existing staff to be active on LinkedIn, updating their profiles as they get promoted and sharing their quality work.

Focus on marketing your brand: Post content that reflects how rewarding and enjoyable it is to work for your company. If you’ve won an award for being a good employer or simply have some evidence of a fun social or charitable day, post it and get your staff to talk about it online.

Get the details right: Use relevant keywords in job ads to improve the chances of finding the right candidate. You might consider setting up your own LinkedIn group, such as ‘marketing managers Sheffield’ to create a pool of candidates to advertise jobs to when you need to.

“The best candidates often are not actively jobseeking, so don’t be afraid to reach out to people directly to make them aware of the opportunities you have,” says Edwina. “Even if it’s not right for them, they may be able to share with others in their network who could be interested.

“Having up-to-date social media pages with engaging content not only tells your story but also sets you apart in a competitive labour market and can make all the difference.”

Employees are your best brand advocates and know what new talent and skills are vital to their already established teams.

2. Bring employee engagement to the hiring process

The hiring process should be engaging not just for potential recruits but for current employees, too. These employees are your best brand advocates and know what new talent and skills are vital to their already established teams. Plus, they might belong to a network to pull candidates from. Consider rewarding current employees who refer a successful or strong candidate.

“When businesses recruit they can forget that applicants are often customers, too,” says Edwina. “Providing a great experience (with clear communication about the recruitment process and timely feedback) can make the difference between a job applicant buying your products and services again or recommending your business to others in the future.”

3. Get the most from a recruiter

If you can’t do without the help of a professional recruiter, it might not be as expensive as you think. Many agencies work on a success-only basis and may offer a discount to a business prepared to work with them exclusively. This means organisations save on the cost of advertising and time spent sifting through many unsuitable applications, and instead receive a handpicked selection of potential recruits who have been pre- interviewed, screened and, where applicable, skills-tested.

“Specialist recruiters will be able to help advise you on where best to advertise your roles and the places your candidates will most likely be looking,” says Edwina. “For some roles this may well be LinkedIn, but for others, specialist job sites may be more appropriate.”

4. Don’t forget to protect data

The recruitment process involves dealing with sensitive personally identifiable information (PII), and these intimate details about job applicants and staff are a common target for cybercriminals. The UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires companies to store personal information in a manner that ensures applicants are secured against unauthorised or illegal processing.

“Application forms should be securely retained by the business for at least six months but no longer than one year after the role was advertised,” says Edwina. “This is because of the time limits jobseekers have to bring a claim under equality legislation.

“Successful job applicants’ documents will be transferred to their personnel file when they join, which would be retained on file for up to six years until after their employment has come to an end.”

When you’re recruiting, you need to:

  • Safeguard candidate information by using encryption methods, limiting those who can access personal information and ensuring that malware or viruses can’t get at it either.
  • Think carefully about which details to request from applicants and consider minimising and anonymising the data collected during recruitment.
  • Seek help if you need to, starting with government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which offers a Cyber Essentials certification.
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) also publishes advice about passwords and encryption.

If you feel you could benefit from free business tools, resources and guidance, sign up to Royal Bank MentorDigital and get access to employment law, HR, and health and safety support. You don’t need to bank with Royal Bank of Scotland. Royal Bank Mentor also provides advice for more complex workforce matters, through a subscription service. Mentor’s subscription services incur a cost. 

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This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of the NatWest Group Economics Department, as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

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