An interview conducted after attracting talent
HR HR Advice

Attracting Talent: Our Top Five Tips

7 Dec 2023

Not so fun fact: Half of SMEs in the UK are worried about attracting talent into their roles. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry, you’re not alone. So how do you get around it? Well, we’ve put together this guide to get you started.

Despite being far from its peak, the total number of job openings in the UK is higher than any time before the pandemic. The graph below summarises how the war for talent continues to rage on.

The total number of job openings showing how hard it is to attract talent

With so much competition for jobs, what should your business be doing to stand out from the crowd? To help you answer that question we’ve put together our top five tips.


Offer a competitive salary and/or perks 

Offering a competitive salary is crucial for both attracting talent and managing your staff turnover. Many employers won’t even state a salary in their job listings, a trick that job hunters are wary of nowadays.

By stating a salary, employers fear causing turmoil in the business if current employees find out that new hires are being paid more. However, a study by Reed found that around 50% of millennials won’t even apply for a job that doesn’t state a salary.

Offering a competitive salary, and/or benefits is a simple way to increase your chances when attracting talent, one of the main reasons people leave their jobs is to seek better pay, by offering a competitive salary you can cast a wider net to catch those jumping ship.


Be Flexible 

The pandemic changed the landscape of working, accelerating the number of people working from home. Since then, employees have come to expect working from home as standard. What was once a lifestyle choice for a small number of people, is now commonplace in most industries. And workplaces that don’t have the option of WFH will inevitably struggle to attract talent.

A recent study by the CIPD found that 87% of workers want remote working options. The CIPD also found that having remote working can decrease staff turnover by 87%.

Flexible working means your staff can work from anywhere while effectively managing their work-life balance.

Whether it’s looking after your children or pets, cutting down on your commute, wanting to head out right after work, or simply desiring an extra hour in bed, flexible working opens up numerous opportunities for employees who might otherwise feel confined to the traditional 9-5 routine.


Attract talent by showing off what you stand for

What do you stand for? What are your business values? People value a business’s core beliefs more than ever, and it’s often a deciding factor in where they choose to go. So, make it clear what you stand for!

Corporate social responsibility is defined as, ‘a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders.’

As a small business owner, you may feel like corporate social responsibility is only for big companies. You may consider CSR an afterthought, but 75% of millennials say they’d take a pay cut to join a socially responsible company.

CSR is important to millennials, so missing out on CSR means missing out on a heavy chunk of the UK workforce.

So get out there and get behind something, it’s only going to do good for your brand and hiring activity.


Offer career progression

Offering plenty of career progression opportunities makes you a more attractive prospect to ambitious candidates. If there’s no ladder to climb, they’re not going to bother getting on it.

As we discussed in our staff turnover blog, many employees value their personal development over anything else and will leave if they feel like they aren’t getting the progression they need.

Employees can offer career progression by first hiring top talent to promote them and secondly succession planning, which involves identifying and developing employees to train up into senior roles.


Create a workplace with equal opportunities for all

Diversity is an issue across a lot of industries, and breaking down the barriers to entry for people starts at the top. A hiring process that sees past unconscious bias and actively looks for a diverse workplace. Diverse workplaces are happier, better at decision making and are generally more positive and forward-thinking places to work.

Different experiences and ideas can culminate into new ideas that revolutionise the way the business works.

Diversity is extremely important to Gen Zers, with 83% saying they take a company’s equality and diversity into consideration when choosing an employer.

With any business, no matter what you sell, you’ll be selling to a diverse customer base. Without a diverse workforce to complement that, you’ll be throwing (you-know-what) at the wall to see what sticks.

Equality creates equal opportunities and provides a level playing field for candidates, you can be assured of getting the best person for the job.


Final thoughts on attracting talent

Attracting talent can be hard, especially in a highly competitive industry it can sometimes take up to 4 months to hire for the most in-demand roles.

Most business owners, focus on making themselves attractive to customers and completely forget candidates. However, without the latter, there will be no former. If you’re wondering how to make your business a more attractive place to work, speak to your current staff, and get their feedback.

If you want to learn more about the information potential candidates and the information they might look at before considering working for your company, check out our employee lifecycle blog. Alternatively, you can check out our human resources mega guide, if you want to learn everything you need to know about HR.

If you want specific help with all your HR needs, contact us and we’ll be in touch.