The recruitment sector is more competitive than in recent memory, so the importance of finding and keeping the very best candidates is greater than ever. But it’s one thing, of course, to identify the best person for the vacancy you’re advertising; it’s quite another to ensure that they want to stay with you. So what are our top eight tips to ensure you’re ticking both boxes?

1 Create a recruitment strategy
It’s often the case that businesses recruit in a hurry, either to fill a vacancy that’s suddenly become available or as part of an expansion process. In many cases there’s little thinking behind it and a lack of planning can result in a string of failures. So whether you have a dedicated HR function or you work with an external resource such as ourselves, it’s important to devise a recruitment strategy so that your time and money aren’t wasted.

2 Create a positive rewards culture
Offering a competitive salary is clearly vital to attracting a candidate with the right level of skills and experience, but post-Covid it isn’t all about the money. Additional benefits such as a company pension and private healthcare can also be a big influence on candidates’ decision-making, in particular if they’re weighing up two or more job offers.

3 Understand what candidates are looking for
Without doubt you’ll have a good idea of the profile of candidate that you wish to appoint, but what are they looking for? One key element of successful recruitment is to stand back and objectively think about what the person applying for your vacancy is likely to be looking for and to ensure that you’re ticking all the boxes.

4 Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet
It’s important to remember that recruitment is a competitive activity – you’re not just fishing in a lake to snare the best candidate as they will no doubt be talking to other potential employers. So take this opportunity to showcase what’s best about your business, whether it’s the culture, the people, the philosophy, or all three. That way you’ll be demonstrating why the role they’re accepting will be more than just a job, but a chance to build their career with you.

5 Be efficient in your recruitment
Research indicates that as many as four in ten new starters who leave their jobs do so within the first year, and that disappointing onboarding and a lack of focus around key tasks and expectations were the primary causes. Shaping an onboarding process that lays out what you expect of the new recruit and what they can expect from you is vital here, as is opening up opportunities for training and career development.

6 Ask your employees’ opinion
Surveying your team is a great way to receive invaluable feedback and to give you insight into how they’re feeling about their role now but also into the future. Are they challenged, motivated and inspired? If they are then there’s more chance that they’ll want to stay.

7 Conduct regular performance reviews
Since Covid, the role of performance management has evolved, especially for businesses that have moved to a hybrid or fully remote model. The annual review is less common now, with businesses moving towards more frequent opportunities for employees to talk about their objectives, goals and overall job satisfaction, so incorporating this into your HR strategy can be beneficial.

8 Embrace reward and recognition
A culture of reward and recognition can also be a key factor in employee retention. The reward doesn’t have to be only financial – although everyone loves a pay rise – as it can also be in the form of highlighting great performance and celebrating that with colleagues. Post-pandemic, employees appear less concerned about their salary and benefits and more about their work-life balance, so ensuring that your staff know that great performance is noticed and appreciated is a powerful way of building loyalty.

Rosa dos Santos, owner of Exact Sourcing, firmly believes that it’s incumbent on employers not only to take care to recruit the right people but to do their best to retain them. ‘Covid 19 has changed the recruitment landscape significantly,’ says Rosa. ‘Candidates are being much more selective now, and employers must react or lose out. Not only do they need to plan their recruitment to give themselves the best chance of attracting and recruiting the very best talent for their needs, but they also need to implement an effective HR strategy that will lead to new recruits wanting to stay. As a successful recruitment agency, we understand the mechanics of bringing staff on board, making them feel as though they’ve landed their dream role and ensuring that that feeling lasts.’

Exact Sourcing is a recruitment agency in Cambridge and Newmarket, and we also serve Ely, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Royston and Sawston. If you’re looking to build your team, please call us on 01223 919 409 or complete our enquiry form to learn how we can help.