Attracting candidates (in talent short markets)

Back in September we ran the BespokeHR Community survey, and I asked your number #1 HR challenge…

Many of you responded with:

“I need help attracting candidates”… 

“I’m in an industry that’s devoid of talent”….

“Our industry has serious skills shortages”…

If you’re facing a similar predicament and struggling to get quality candidates to sign the dotted line, this article is written for you.

In this edition I’m going to give you 2 simple ideas to help you build your talent pool:

Idea 1. The 1-2 Punch For Building Your Talent Pipeline (hint: it’s not just about recruitment)

Idea 2. Get Creative To Attract More Candidates (strategies beyond offering more cash) 

Idea 1: The 1-2 Punch For Building Your Talent Pipeline

You already know the importance of having a strong talent pool:

  • You’re able to meet objectives and deliver quality outcomes for clients
  • Hitting growth and revenue goals by confidently taking on new engagements
  • And avoiding talent shortages that leave your team under pressure picking up additional work (which can lead to dissatisfaction and retention issues)

So if you’re facing a situation now where you’re short of staff, you may be thinking that the problem lies either in recruitment strategies or shortages in the market.

While both areas can play their part, there’s another piece to the puzzle…

Your internal development processes

Before reviewing recruitment strategies, consider how you develop existing staff:

  • What are you doing to keep staff motivated?
  • How are you incentivising their development?
  • Do you have a structured plan for developing your talent pipeline internally?
  • What about succession plans post employee exits?

The answers to these questions hold the key to keeping staff longer (and in some cases avoiding staffing issues altogether).

So the 1-2 ‘talent pipeline’ punch is this:

1) Retain existing staff by valuing them and taking a long-term skills and experience development approach


2) Attract candidates by getting creative about how you recruit

Which is what we’re going to talk about next…

Idea 2. Get Creative To Attract More Candidates

You may think that you’re missing out on great candidates because the competition (in your industry or others) have deeper pockets.

But as an experienced recruiter, I can confidently tell you that money isn’t the be all and end all of attracting candidates.

Here are three creative ways for attracting candidates that don’t rely on shelling out more money:

1. Tap new pools of talent

Sometimes the best new hires come from candidates who are not actively looking for a role. We call these ‘passive candidates’. And you won’t find them by posting on job boards. Write to me to learn more!

2. Know what candidates want

This is where you have to get thinking. What does your ideal candidate want? Put yourself in their shoes. Is it work-life balance, flexible working hours, interesting assignments or maybe fast-tracked career progression? Brainstorm how you can set yourself apart from your competitors and offer the job market something different!

3. Change your expectations around the hiring process

The ‘way it’s done’ may need to change by getting flexible to see results. Have you considered any of the following:

  • Reducing the red tape and time involved in the interviewing process (speeding up the hiring process and locking in candidates as quickly as possible)?
  • Appointing interim or contract staff initially (with the view of training new skills and developing candidates who are close to, but not the exact ideal hire)?
  • Seeking staff internationally (sometimes broadening your net can help you get the skills you need). This is particularly relevant for IT and technical roles.

Now that you’ve got these recruitment strategies to help attract candidates, you have to nail the interview!

A poor interview experience is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make to miss out signing superstar staff.

Make sure you follow a structured and proved interview process by downloading my Interview Sheets below:



Any questions?

If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.

Thanks for sharing!