3 reasons your recruitment efforts are failing
17 January 2017

3 reasons your recruitment efforts are failing


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Recruitment and retention


Are you attracting the best talent to your business? Do you utilise all available resources when it comes to your recruitment strategy?

1. Employees don’t (or won’t) refer talent

Possibly the most cost effective way to recruit is to have current (or past) employees refer a contact, friend or family member.
According to a study by JobVite, it takes on average 29 days to hire a referred applicant, compared to 39 days to hire an applicant through a job posting or 55 days to hire through a career site.

employee referralsEmployee’s will only refer those individuals that they feel will be a good fit for the brand. They’ll be aligned with the company ethos and vision, fit the culture and be able to perform well in the role.
For these reasons referred applicants can be ‘onboarded’ quickly and easily, will be more productive in a shorter time frame and stay with the business for longer compared to candidates sourced through other channels.

However, in a study conducted by Innotrieve.com it’s reported that only 10% of employees usually take part in employee referral programs. It was also found that there were 3 main reasons why referral scheme participation is low:

  1. Referral schemes aren’t a priority for employees and although there may be a reward for referring contacts, there is no compelling reason why action is required in the short term. As a result, the referral scheme is de-prioritised and in many cases forgotten about.
  2. Employees don’t want to take the chance of referring a contact that subsequently fails in their role which reflects poorly on them.
  3. Employees felt that referred candidates would not be vetted as effectively as non-referred candidates. They felt that their referral would be treated as a personal recommendation as opposed to a suggested referral.

It is interesting that employer branding was not mentioned as one of the main reasons for the lack of referrals. If your brand doesn’t invest in its relationship with its employees, then how can you expect them to promote it to their network?

It’s up to your business leaders to build a better culture and HR to promote such schemes, and their direct benefits for employees, internally in order for your company to succeed in talent attraction.

2. You’re not starting at the beginning

If you’re ignoring passive candidates and social recruiting, then you’ll be losing out to the competition. Even without current vacancies your brand should have an ongoing talent attraction strategy in place to engage with potential applicants.
Using social media your brand can reach a vast audience easily and quickly and employees advocacy can increase this audience exponentially.

attract passive candidatesGetting your messaging right is key when attempting to attract people to your business through social channels. Formalities and long winded processes will work against you, any conversation should be personable and friendly and, any proceeding application steps quick and easy.

Passive candidates may not be immediately interested in a job at your brand or even looking for a new role so you need to sell your vacancy to them.
What’s your ’employee value proposition’? What does your brand offer an employee in return for their efforts?
If it’s simply a wage each month and nothing more then it’s almost a certainty that your competitors are offering a lot more and will be attracting the best talent.

“Our research shows organisations that use their EVP (Employer Value Proposition) most effectively are five times more likely to report their employees are highly engaged and twice as likely to report achieving financial performance significantly above their peers when compared to companies that use their EVP less effectively.”

Willis Towers Watson

Don’t wait until you need someone to fill a vacancy. Make ongoing and concentrated efforts to build a relationship with those individuals that could be the perfect fit, even if it’s not right now.

3. Your employer branding (and talent branding) doesn’t cut it

Preparing for big business campaign

How likely is it that your employees would refer a friend to your business or advocate your brand to their network? What do your current and past employees say about your brand to their network?

With sites such as Glassdoor being a source of truth for many applicants, it’s important that people who know what it’s like to work for your business are saying the right things and promoting you to others.
Just as a referral to a role can result in a great hire, the opposite, such as a poor review of your brand, can and usually does put people off applying for a position.

“…today over 59% of employers say that employer branding represents one of the key components of the organisation’s overall HR strategy.”

Nigel Wright

You can’t buy genuine advocacy, it takes effort and a willingness to engage with and create a great culture for your employees.
If your brand doesn’t currently have an employer branding strategy in place then it needs to implement one and invest in it to ensure the best chances of sourcing and retaining the best talent.