28 June 2017

Three things HR should know about today's talent


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

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


Talent management


The Telegraph reported in May that “Britain has a shortage of workers across scores of different jobs, from engineering and accounting to hospitality and caring…”
This shortage is great news for those looking for a job or career change. For employers however, it signals that they’ll have to put extra effort into their talent attraction strategy and candidate experience.

Here’s 3 things that employers and recruiters need to be aware of, and adapt to, when it comes to the talent that they’re trying to attract to their brand.

1. They’re not using PC’s

mobile internet accessThe majority of the talent that you’re trying to reach, and indeed of people browsing the internet in general, are not doing so on a PC. Phones and tablets are now our preferred choice of connecting and keeping up with the world.

If your recruitment strategy is based around people only being online when at home or in the office then you need to rethink how and when you are reaching out to people.
For instance, posts at the close of a work day at the end of the week performed the best on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This is probably due to the number of people browsing while commuting.

If social recruitment forms any part of your standard recruiting practices then it’s likely that your updates and interactions are being viewed from within an app and not necessarily on a PC.

Creating content accordingly is crucial. Some things to consider include:

  • Use snippets of concise information, as opposed to lengthy paragraphs
  • Keep it brief, the average attention span for social updates is low
  • Use imagery to convey a message where possible
  • Make it clear what the applicant should do next
  • Make sure your information fits on a mobile device screen without the need for the user to scroll unnecessarily

The sheer speed at which information is published and presented on social media results in little tolerance for updates that don’t immediately get to the point.
That is, of course, assuming that they have been designed in such a way as to be sufficiently attention grabbing in the first place.
Not making your intentions and offering immediately obvious will only mean one thing, any potential candidates will move on to the next bit of content.

“In 2016, 70% of adults accessed the internet ‘on the go’ using a mobile phone or smartphone, up from 66% in 2015 and nearly double the 2011 estimate of 36%.”


Designing vacancy adverts without considering all devices will restrict their performance and could mean they’re not compatible with your intended audiences viewing habits.

2. Everyone’s a critic

88% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations”


69% of job seekers would not take a job with a company that has a bad reputation (even if unemployed). 54% read company reviews from employees on their mobiles, while 52% research salary information.
candidate experienceIf your candidate experience isn’t up to par then people will find out, making it harder for you to attract the best talent, increasing your recruitment costs and lengthening the time it takes for you to employ individuals.

It’s not just how your brand represents itself online that should form part of your recruitment strategy. Offline activities are just as important.
How you treat applicants in person is also vitally important to your employer branding. According to Mattersight80% of people would take one job over another based on personal relationships formed during the interview process.

Simply being respectful, polite and friendly to applicants during the interview can be the difference between talent accepting a job offer and going to a competitor.

A well structured and intuitive onboarding process will help to ensure that new employees are introduced to the business in the best way possible. Reducing turnover and the chances of negative reviews.
How you interact with candidates will form the basis of the review of their experience and the perception others have of your brand in the future.

“When candidates have negative experiences, they tend to spread the word on and offline,” warns Kristin Kelley, chief marketing officer at Randstad North America, one of the largest HR services and staffing companies in the United States. “Negative online reviews could keep others from applying and could ultimately impact a company’s hiring goals as well as its business objectives.”


Sites such as Glassdoor often appear very high up in search engine rankings, sometimes above your corporate site, making it very likely that they’ll be read by anyone interested in you as a business or employer.

3. It’s all ‘me me me’

applicant marketThe majority of recruiters and employers believe that the talent market is candidate driven.

Most of the top talent (over 75%) are passive and will have to be tempted away from an existing employer, will have high expectations, and probably a choice of who they want to work for.

Flexible working options, full benefits and purpose are all qualities desirable and often demanded by applicants. If you don’t offer and promote these then you’re missing out.

“Top candidates are off the market within 10 days”

– thisway

Finding a job is no longer the painful task of scouring the ads in the local paper each week. Research has found that the majority of people browse vacancies in bed, followed by their current workplace and even while eating in restaurants.
Mobile devices and convenient apps that collect information for us have taken the leg work out of finding vacant positions and made it easier than ever to apply for them with a single click.

As the job search effort has been removed for the applicant it’s put the emphasis on the employer to market themselves and actively go out and find their next employee.


It’s reported that UK businesses are failing to hire the right person for two out of five roles, with a poor hire at mid-manager level (with a salary of £42,000) costing a business more than £132,000.
With this in mind can any business afford not to invest time, money and effort into their candidate and employee experience strategy?

Recruitment is now an applicants market, they have the power and the choice of employers vying for their attention.
Standing out from the competition and promoting your employer brand is more important then ever if you want to attract and employ the very best talent available.

The effort made by you, the employer, during the candidate and employee experience will reduce turnover, increase employee engagement and productivity and strengthen your brand reputation.