Five ways to improve your quality of hire
20 June 2017

Five ways to improve your quality of hire


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

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


Recruitment and retention


Recruiting the best people for a role brings many advantages to your business. Improved productivity, increased knowledge and expertise and reduced turnover costs are but a few of the benefits that a well planned and constructed talent acquisition strategy will provide.

With Brexit uncertainties looming and weighing heavily on employers and employees minds there will be numerous challenges for recruiters in the not-too-distant future.
CIPD report that 72% of HR professionals believe there will be an increase in competition for well-qualified talent with 41% believing that the length of their recruitment process has led to the loss of potential recruits in the last year.

“Raising the talent level at your company starts by shifting to a performance qualified mindset. This opens the pool to anyone who is competent and motivated to do the work required and who fits within the company’s culture and hiring manager’s leadership style.”


Below are some steps your organisation can take to up its recruitment game and attract an improved quality of hire.

1. Get job ads right

Monster report that 57% of survey respondents say that unnecessary jargon on a job advert would put them off applying for a role, while 3 in 5 find it annoying and a third find it confusing.
Avoid the nonsensical terms and corporate speak in a job ad, just get to the point, promote the role and your brand in plain English.

Total Jobs say that you’ll receive, on average, 16.8 applications for every role you publish with a salary, compared to 4.7 for adverts without”

As well as the obvious checks for grammar and spelling, your job ads should include some key information, both for the potential applicant’s benefit but also to optimise the adverts performance and ROI.

people-train-public-transportation-hurryKeep your ad as brief and easy to read as possible, but include any keywords and terms that your targeted talent will be searching for. Be careful not to ‘stuff’ too many into your ad though as this will affect readability.

There’s nothing wrong with being a little creative with Job titles (as long as they remain clear) and descriptions as long as the job ad doesn’t turn into fiction.
Peek the interest of candidates with an interesting advert and you’ve won half the battle.

“Many job ads are written with the assumption that the employer is doing potential candidates a favour by inviting them to apply for their job. This attitude instantly discourages your audience – if you’re not welcoming in your job adverts then you can’t expect people to think you’ll provide a welcoming place to work.”


Remember that the advert will be read by people that won’t have had any insight into your company culture so avoid internal references and terms. Internal and external job ads should be created.

Make it clear and unmistakable as to what the candidate should do to proceed with their application process by linking to your recruitment portal, email address etc.

2. Know when and where the talent is reading your content

Facebook and Twitter are no longer the preferred social platforms for talent, especially millennials.
Networks such as Snapchat, Instagram and even Pinterest should be included in your recruitment strategy, even if it’s only in the research stages.
Analysing your social audience to establish how best to reach them should be a priority within your recruiting strategy.

Tapping into these platforms will mean differing approaches to your recruitment as each has its strengths and weaknesses.

social media on phone“If we are going to properly leverage tools such as social media, it is imperative to understand who is using these tools and how they use them in order to target the right candidate segment.”


Using periods of the day when people are likely to be browsing social media can also improve engagement rates. Lunch breaks and commuting will be popular as people turn to their phone for amusement and to catch up on the day’s goings-on.

A few stats taken from a great article on SproutSocial regarding popular times to post on social media include:

  • Thursday to be the most recommended day to post on Facebook
  • On Twitter early mornings and late nights are the least optimal posting times
  • 3 p.m. each day is least optimal time to post on Instagram
  • The least optimal posting time on LinkedIn is any day from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m
  • 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday are optimal posting times on Pinterest

It’s important to remember that the majority of us now browse on our mobile devices and not on a PC.
Your job ads should be optimised to cater for this both aesthetically and in its content. Potential talent will, at best, give your ad seconds before moving onto the next snippet of information appearing above yours.
Get to the point quickly to grab their attention, give them a reason to keep reading!

3. What’s your proposition?

75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job however only 57% of employers say that they have an employer brand strategy (CareerArc).
A strong employer brand affords you a greater choice of talent, better employee retention and reduced recruitment costs.

What sets your employer brand apart from the hundreds of other brands out there? What do you offer your employees that would make talent pick you over a competitor?

company cultureShow that your care about your employees, offer a friendly and secure environment and value the contribution made by everyone.
Telling employee stories, showcasing the purpose behind what you do and that you can have fun while remaining productive and successful are all attractive qualities in an employer and are effective in attracting the very best candidates.

“The best employer brands accentuate the positive aspects of the organisation but are realistic and create a picture people can relate to.”


Find creative and compelling ways to tell your brand story to the people you’re trying to attract.
Ensure you’re already conveying it through hiring channels such as company websites before your ad goes live.
This allows potential applicants to make an informed decision as to whether they believe they’d be a good fit (rather than discovering it after an interview).

Consistently communicating your employer branding through PR, social media and marketing will also attract passive talent.

4. Invest in advocacy

Employee advocacy increases your potential audience exponentially and speaks volumes about your brand, for FREE!
People trust the advice and recommendations from a friend or family member. If your employees are referring their network to your vacancies then this can only increase success rates.

“33% of buyers trust brands, whilst 90% of customers trust recommendations from people they know”

– Nielsen Group

Current employees are your most powerful source of marketing and have a key role in attracting talent.
To cultivate brand ambassadors, you must maintain a consistent brand message and culture. Individuals must have a clear understanding of your business goals and purpose in order to confidently relay this to their friends and family.

“It’s estimated that: • The average Facebook user has 338 friends • Average Twitter user has 208 followers • Average LinkedIn user has 393 connections”

Maximise Social Business

thank youTo encourage advocacy you can offer incentives to employees however, there should be a balance so as not to dilute the honesty and true nature of naturally sharing your employer branding stories and updates.

Simply recognising your employees for their contributions to advocacy can be all that’s needed to get them talking online about your brand.
Thank them on the company social portal, tweet a ‘thank you’ using the brand Twitter account or just say “thanks” in person.

Trying to force advocacy or telling employees to share company content on their personal social accounts will only cause issues and damage any engagement you have with them.
Don’t force advocacy, give individuals a reason to demonstrate it naturally.

5. Is your onboarding process something to shout about?

onboardingEmployees are 69% more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience great onboarding however 60% of companies fail to set milestones or goals for new hires.
A welcoming, well constructed and efficient onboarding process will benefit both the new employee and the employer in not just the short term, but well into the employee life-cycle.

“You know that Greg from accounting takes his coffee black and the bathroom is the third door on the left. But a new employee doesn’t. Multiply these unknowns by a thousand, and that’s what it’s like to walk into an established workplace for the first time.”

Software Advice

study of 264 employees published in the ‘Academy of Management Journal’ found that the first 90 days of employment is crucial to building rapport with a brand, business leaders and colleagues.
When support levels were high from the business, new employees often had a more positive attitude towards their job and were more productive.

A good onboarding process should be seamless, easy to navigate and provide all the information required for both the applicant and employer.

Company branding, values and culture should be interwoven into any onboarding portal in order to introduce and reinforce this messaging.