7 Reasons Your Business Needs a Facebook Careers Page

7 Reasons Your Business Needs a Facebook Careers Page

When it comes to recruiting the best talent, Facebook is a useful tool that employers often overlook. However, with 73% of Millennials finding their latest role on a social network, there’s never been a better time to perfect your social media recruitment strategy.

Recently, many larger businesses have taken to making specialist social media pages and accounts for sourcing, recruitment marketing and encouraging candidate engagement.

Having a unique place where candidates can connect with your business differentiates candidates from customers and makes the recruitment process more interactive. Facebook is the perfect place to bring this to life. Don’t believe us? Here are our top reasons why you should consider making a specialist Facebook Careers Page for your business.

Segments your audience

Your customers and your potential employees aren’t always the same people. Most of the time, someone who wants to buy your products or invest in your services won’t care about job vacancies or what you’re like as an employer; and if they did, they’d be happy to follow your careers page too.

By having a separate Facebook page for people exclusively interested in working for you, you can divide content to ensure it is seen by the relevant people who are most likely to engage and apply. This is where you can show off how incredible you are to work for to people that truly care.

Plus, the Facebook algorithm favours content that gets the most engagement. Dividing your audience into consumers and candidates is a logical way to get more likes and comments, as you know there is interest in what you’re posting. This will ensure both your recruitment and sales messages reach a wider audience so it’s a win-win!

Strengthens your employer brand

Having a place to post content about your company culture to an audience that is solely interested in your workplace, mission and values will help to boost your employer brand. You’ll be able to showcase what goes on behind the scenes of your business, post employee profiles and give an insight into your perks or benefits, all whilst speaking to a highly engaged audience that is already interested in working for you.

A designated Facebook Careers page is the ideal place to push your employer brand and all that you stand for. It’s easy for candidates to find and means they don’t have to scroll through a tonne of sales messages to find what your office and culture are like. Also, having a specific space for employees and recruitment creates the impression that you’re dedicated to your staff and keeping them in the loop which is a huge plus for candidates.

Adds the personal touch

Social media always feels personal, no matter how large the audience is that you’re speaking to. It’s a direct way of talking to people. Having a dedicated Facebook page for your recruitment efforts means that you can: engage with candidates individually, respond to messages directly, in real-time and make them feel valued. Your messages from candidates won’t be mixed with messages from customers, making them much easier to manage and giving potential employees the attention they deserve.

All of this contributes to a positive candidate experience which will boost your employer brand. Even if a candidate is unsuccessful, they’re more likely to apply again or recommend you to a friend if you’ve been responsive and helpful.

Diverse recruitment pool

Facebook is the third most-visited website in the world with 2.41 billion active users, so you’ll struggle to find a wider and more diverse recruitment pool anywhere else. As Facebook is a global platform, advertising vacancies there can provide possibilities for over-seas candidates or people who wouldn’t normally consider you as an employer to apply. This gives great potential for diversity recruiting, advertising graduate hires or even filling the most niche of roles as the range of candidates available to you is huge.

More opportunity for passive candidates

70% of the workforce are passive candidates who aren’t actively looking for new opportunities, Facebook provides an ideal opportunity to communicate with these people. 82% of companies attract passive candidates by recruiting through social media because it’s a way to capture people’s attention in their downtime when they aren’t focused on work.

A well thought out social media recruitment marketing campaign that sparks someone’s interest as they’re scrolling, may just make them seriously consider a future at your company. Then if you can direct them to your recruitment page, they’ll find even more content to showcase how brilliant you are. 84% of people currently employed say they would consider leaving their job if another company with a better reputation came calling, so having content that enforces this reputation in the right place at the right time is vital for talent acquisition.

Simple Referrals

Social media platforms, especially Facebook, make it easy to tell friends and family about current vacancies.

Current employees or other candidates following your careers page may see a vacancy that isn’t right for them but is ideal for someone they know. Whether it’s sending a link through Facebook Messenger, sharing the vacancy to their followers or simply tagging them in a post, referring a friend for a job has never been so simple.

Hiring referred candidates tends to be faster, cheaper and give lower attrition rates because most of the time, they genuinely want to work for you. Remember, if someone engages with your post it will show to their friends too (thanks Facebook Algorithm) so your potential reach becomes higher with every tag or share.

Recruit faster

One of the biggest benefits of using a Facebook Careers page to advertise your vacancies is that, like all social media, it’s instant. Within seconds of posting a job to the page, your advert will be seen by interested, engaged and hopefully relevant people which should mean you’ll start seeing applications a lot sooner.

Some vacancies need to be filled faster than others and some require very specific skillsets, so having a pool of interested candidates at your fingertips is sure to speed things up and find you the right talent quickly.

So, is it time you made a Facebook careers page for your business? If you’re looking for a place to collate talent, promote your employer brand and make the recruitment process simple, then we highly recommend it. For more information or help with your recruitment marketing on social media, contact marketing@talent-works.com and our team will be in touch!

Not measuring your employer brand? Here’s why you should be

Employer brand put simply, is how one company sets itself apart from others in the labour market. It’s communicating the values that your company is made up of so that you’re recruiting, retaining and engaging the best and most relevant candidates.

Finding your people

The era of social media has arguably lead to more transparency than ever – especially when it comes to what a business is like behind closed doors. Platforms like Glassdoor are used by almost half of all job seekers who admit that a negative company profile would deter them from applying for a role at a company.

If you can’t clearly convey the message of what your organisation is about, then chances are you may have a certain level of disengagement with existing employees, as well as not getting enough relevant candidates applying for your vacancies. In a candidate-driven market, it becomes increasingly difficult to attract and retain employees without a clear driving purpose behind you.

Critical metrics

Understanding how to measure your employer brand is key to building your company’s reputation as an employer of choice, both to external candidates and existing employees. The breadth and complexity of how this is done will depend on an organisation’s size, as well as the industry but here are just a couple of key metrics to pay attention to (if you aren’t already).

Retention rates

Calculating your retention rate is an effective method to determine who is leaving, when and under what circumstances. A simple way to work out your rate is by dividing the number of employees who stayed during a period by the total number of employees you had at the start of the period, times 100 to get the percentage.

But this calculation on its own does not tell the whole story. Are there any common reasons leavers cite during exit interviews? Are there any patterns in the people leaving? This can include people from the same business division, office or even people from similar backgrounds. Keeping track of your retention rate will help you uncover turnover patterns before it has a detrimental impact on your business.

Applications

How many applications do you see for roles? Are they coming from a particular place? By being methodical in the way you track the source of your applications, you could make better use of your recruitment advertising budget. You might not be advertising your vacancies in the most effective way – but you won’t know this until you begin to delve into your data.

Interview process & time to hire

When it comes to interviews, all hiring managers should fully understand your business’ process. How many people are you interviewing per role? How many stages in the interview process are there? Your process could be detrimental to your employer brand if it’s too long, or needlessly complicated.

Cost per hire

Cost-per-hire refers to all the associated costs with bringing a new employee on board, which is inclusive of external costs like agency fees, advertising and background checks, as well as internal costs like salaries for in-house recruiters. There are advantages and disadvantages to using CPH as a metric.

Employee referrals

If you don’t already have an employee referral scheme in place, then consider doing so. It’s an excellent measurement of how your company is perceived by existing employees. How many of your employees are advocates for your business? If there isn’t much uptake on the programme, there might be a reason.

Social media engagement metrics

Having a presence on social media is not just a box to tick; it’s an affordable, measurable way to convey your employer brand to many people. Showing off your people and what makes them great is not only morale-boosting, it’s also authentic – personal touches are far more compelling than slick campaigns.

Track mentions of your brand across a variety of social media platforms, and see what conversations are being had around it. There is a lot more value to engaged followers than a broad reach. Be quick in handling any queries or concerns and you could win points with potential candidates.

Careers page

A company’s website is often undervalued as a candidate touchpoint, but having a dedicated page for careers in your navigation bar will increase your chances of converting candidates.

Use Google Analytics to track user activity on your careers page to gain valuable (and free) insight into how candidates interact with your page. Do visitors have a clear option to send through or upload their CV? How long are visitors staying on your page? Where else on the site are they navigating to? If you’re seeing a lot of drop off at application stage it’s likely you need to shorten the process.

If you can measure it, you can mend it

The scope for how you measure your company’s employer brand is as wide as you’re willing to go, but a simple approach is a great place to start. Evaluating your current position and determining how you’d ideally like your business to be perceived, both internally and externally, is going to influence which metrics are most valuable for you to track.

However, not taking a data-driven approach to how you’re perceived could cost you great people – then you’ll be sorry you hadn’t started sooner.

How to run effective recruitment marketing campaigns

Companies competing for talent in a candidate-driven market, in an era of minimal attention span have got it harder than ever.

It seems like the expectation for everyone to be a marketer grows every day. From eye-catching, creative campaigns to seamless, technology-led candidate journeys, a marketing-centric approach to talent attraction is becoming a top priority for anyone hoping to appeal to the best candidates.

Where do most people fall short?

A simple oversight made by many organisations, both large and small, is the failure to recognise the interdependence of the marketing and the recruitment process. Companies might have the most cutting-edge creative campaigns in the highest traffic areas but may not be able to get back to candidates applying within a reasonable time.

Businesses may have a conscientious team of people recruiting but they might not be reaching the right candidates.  There can be many reasons for this, including advertising roles on job boards to people who have little resemblance to their ideal candidate persona.

Understanding your audience

There will never be a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to recruiting, and nor should there be. Job fairs might not be right for your business, because they aren’t relevant to the type of candidate you’re hiring. For example, display stands at a job fair recruiting for experienced senior executives within financial services.

Having something in the way of a candidate persona can help guide marketing efforts and spend. If this is an area you’re unfamiliar with, you may consider outsourcing to a specialised agency, or teaming up your recruitment and marketing functions to consider how best to target your audience.

Delivering your message

Getting candidates’ attention is only the beginning. There are important stages in between getting the right message to the right person and making a hire.

Are the people you’re looking to hire more likely to listen to someone reaching out to them on LinkedIn? Are they busy, experienced contract executives who want a quick telephone conversation, or are they new graduates with a need for more guidance, and support?

A simple message is sometimes best, and while companies should look at a diverse range of media platforms, they should also not spread their message too thinly. Communicate your values and what you’re looking for clearly – a focused effort on the right medium for your organisation will have the most impact.

After all, why spend time posting your roles on Facebook when your company has a great employer brand presence on LinkedIn? Why post on a job board to recruit photographers when they’re more likely to use a platform like Instagram to showcase their work?

A little research goes a long way. Consider industry-specific job boards and forums, as well as industry events. Ahead of your next campaign, if you’re on the front line speaking to candidates, ask about where they’ve seen your advert or how they look for new opportunities. There’s always room for experimentation.

The candidate journey

An application process with a low-time commitment is likely to mean more applications, but also may require more manual checking of applicants than one with a lengthy form. If assessing a candidate’s telephone communication skills are more important than the amount of experience they have, that may not matter to your recruitment team.

If you have an applicant tracking system built into your website or careers page, you may find that a few highly engaged candidates are applying to your roles. However, you’re potentially missing out on those who are put off by a long application process, such as those in candidate-driven job markets. An example of this is people in roles highly in-demand such as software engineers and developers.

Beyond applications

Also, consider what happens once a candidate has applied – how long are they waiting before being contacted by the team? The impression you make on a candidate stretches far beyond an advertisement on a job board, or on social media. How they’re treated could mean the difference between them telling their peers about their negative candidate experience, versus them referring the ideal person.

Forgetting about things like this could ultimately increase your cost per hire as you’ll be wasting the money you’re spending whilst also diminishing the value of your employer brand, making it even more costly to reach potential candidates in the future.

Effective recruitment marketing campaigns are clear, concise and have been thought out from start to finish. Ultimately the success of a campaign will be just as dependent on how those qualified applicants are managed. Think holistically, and you’ll have the right people on board in no time.

What matters most to candidates? Pay, culture, purpose?

Research by LinkedIn has found that the most crucial part of a job advert is the salary range. This may not seem all that surprising. However, research by Glassdoor also shows that candidates are looking for more than just money from their new role.

What do candidates want?

The answer to this question isn’t simple. As the research into this topic has been relatively extensive, it rightly covers different salary bandings. The answers to these questions will largely depend on the role being applied for and the person applying for it. So, it is right to break down the results as much as possible to avoid generalisations.

How should we break down results?

For example, a Millennial executive will likely have different considerations and expectations than a Gen Xer looking to head up a department. For the Millennial, who is looking to get their foot in the door, salary is possibly more important than culture.

Not only do they want to get ahead ASAP, but they may have a hefty student loan on their shoulders and financial goals ahead of them. For example, a millennial looking to get onto the property ladder will likely be more concerned about salary than culture. A small increase to their pay packet could make all the difference.  

As well as this, they may not consider the roles they are applying for to be long term career roles. Rather, they may consider them to be stepping stone roles with the view to gaining the experience they need to attain those higher salaried roles.

According to research, 37% of job seekers say that a company with a track record for promoting from within shows long-term potential. So, to attract and retain millennial talent, clear structures for progression, with training and development opportunities, are inevitably vital.

What about higher earners?  

A Princeton University study shows that “having a higher income increases happiness, but only up to about $75,000 per year.” So, as salaries get higher, the focus on monetary rewards decreases and is replaced with other factors. These factors include culture, leadership opportunities and the desire for “their employers to share their values”.

This sense of shared values comes down to the need for a greater purpose. “When employees have a sense of purpose at work, they feel passionate, innovative, and committed.” As such, research shows that “short-term goals are not enough to motivate employees.”

However, the desire for purpose could also be attributed to the fact that candidates going after higher-paid roles are aware, in this candidate-driven market, that they are in a position to negotiate. So, if the salary presented doesn’t meet their expectations, but the culture does, they may apply with a view to negotiating.

However, this need for purpose does not exclude millennials. So, while there may be more significant driving factors for candidates in the multi-generational workplace, a purpose-driven organisation will always be a top-choice employer.

How do you identify purpose?

Purpose is not the same as business goals or expectations. A recent study from LinkedIn shows that “49% of employees would trade a portion of their salary to continue in their current role with an added sense of purpose.”

So, there’s a difference between what initially drives candidates to apply, and what employees want once they are embedded in an organisation.

This sense of purpose is a possibility for any organisation. It can be seen as the need to have “a positive impact on the lives of others.”

One way it can be achieved is by implementing initiatives that ensure that your business minimises any negative impact of their processes. For example, by reducing any negative impact on the climate. 

However, purpose-driven organisations need to go further than merely reducing harm. To attract and retain the talent they need to thrive, purpose-driven organisations need to actively contribute to making their local community a better place to live. For example, by creating initiatives which provide opportunities and support the local community.

So, which one matters more?

Ultimately, pay, culture and purpose all matter when you culminate all the variables. However, research shows that pay and benefits are the most important aspects of a job advert specifically. So, when it comes to talent attraction, it’s vital to make it clear how much compensation you’re offering straight away.

This goes against many employers’ preference to keep the salary banding hidden. However, research also shows that making the salary banding clear can save recruiters time by filtering out applications from candidates whose expectations are outside of the specified range. This can result in a more refined talent pool and less wasted time.

However, if your culture and organisational purpose are not refined, you may lose out on talent and find that retention rates do not increase. To summarise, the salary banding is most likely the first aspect of a job advert a candidate will pay attention to. However, they may pay more attention to the culture and purpose of an organisation at a later stage in the application process.

So, for initial attraction purposes, salary matters. To guarantee your offers are accepted, refine your culture and organisational purpose to ensure your workplace is somewhere candidate want to invest their time.

How to make a new hire feel welcomed?

We’ve all been there. It’s your first day in a new job at a brand new company.

It can be an extremely stressful experience, no matter how excited you are to be there or to have got the job. So why, when we’ve all experienced this, do we so often forget what it’s like? All too frequently, companies fail to welcome their new hires properly.

Those first few days in a job can shape an employees’ first impressions of your company and their expectations for the future. Changing jobs is a huge switch and can cause a lot of mental turbulence. Research shows that it can take 3-9 months for a new hire to feel settled and behave “authentically”. Of course, if a new hire isn’t appropriately welcomed, it can likely take longer than this. 

If a new hire fails to settle and consider themselves to be part of the team, it seems inevitable that they will eventually look to settle somewhere else. According to the Work Institute Retention Report, “more than 3 in 4 employees who quit could have been retained by employers.”

So, when quality candidates are difficult to source, and the hiring process can be so costly, it makes sense to make sure you help your new employees to settle in.

So, here are some tips for welcoming a new hire.

1. Prepare for them arriving.

Nothing makes someone feel less welcome than feeling as though they’d been forgotten about. Make sure a desk is prepared for them. Maybe add a welcoming gift or a card. Add some personal touches that show you’ve prepared for their arrival.

2. For their first day, give them a later start time.

Chances are, you still have last minute things to organise. Maybe you need to set up their laptop or get some work out of the way, so you can spend the time with them that you need to. It’s much better that when they arrive, everything’s ready to go, rather than waiting around for tasks to be completed. Also, nobody sleeps well the night before a new job. Giving them an extra hour provides an added touch of thoughtfulness.

3. Introduce them to everyone.

Of course, this is more difficult in very large companies, so it’s not always entirely attainable. However, a newly hired employee should be introduced to all the members of their own team, at the very least. If you want to go one step further, you could try team bonding exercises to really break the ice.

4. Take them out for lunch.

Keep this a relatively small affair, depending on who they’ll be working most closely with. Then, use this time to get to know them a little better. The interview process can be gruelling, and it can result in you only getting to know a particular side of each other. So, take away the pressure and just spend some time with them.

5. Introduce them to their new role slowly.

Don’t throw them in at the deep end to see if they sink or swim. Not everyone deals with tests all that well. When you’ve been with a company for a long time, it can be easy to forget that ingrained processes and systems are only familiar to you because you’ve been doing them over and over. For a new hire, those processes will take time to learn. So, spend the first few days giving them that time, while completing small tasks so that they slip seamlessly into their new role over the next couple of weeks. 

6. Get the paperwork done. However, maybe don’t do it first thing.

Many companies recommend getting the paperwork out of the way, which is entirely understandable. However, consider leaving it until the second day, especially if there’s a lot of paperwork. This approach means that the employees first day can be dedicated solely to familiarising themselves with the place and the people. Spending your first day locked in an office filling out several different types of form can be an underwhelming start to a new job.

7. Give them a chance to speak.

At the end of the day, this is a massive step for them. They’re now dedicating their time to pursuing a career with your company. They might need to talk to be able to process the change. So, instead of always telling them new things that they need to take on board and learn, ask them questions. Give them a chance to feedback on the hiring process. Make them feel safe to acknowledge if they’re not quite sure about something. 

Ultimately, the most important part of welcoming a new hire is making them feel comfortable. Everyone’s different, and some hires will require more attention than others.

However, it is crucial for a longstanding relationship that the first impression is positive. Otherwise, you will spend twice the time trying to make up for a negative first impression, wasting both your time and theirs.

So, remember your own experiences as a new hire. There’s no rulebook, and these are just some ideas. Rather, treat people the way you would like to be treated, and you’ll be on the right track.

Interviews: Which questions should you be asking?

What information do you need to hear?

So, you’ve invested heavily in your employer brand. Your marketing and social media strategies are attracting the candidates you want. Now, it’s interview time. However, they are also interviewing you. This is a two-way street.

While you need to find out if they are the right candidate for you, they want to know if this is the right role for them. Due to high employment levels, the jobs market is currently candidate driven. This means that candidates are more in demand than jobs are. Therefore, candidates can be highly selective when choosing their next role. The interview is probably the most important part of their selection process.

What sort of questions are good questions?

Many job interview questions are now so common that candidates can google “interview questions” and find a list that they can prepare themselves for. While some of these might be valid, if your interview technique utilises only these frequently asked questions, you will struggle to make an impression on your candidate.

Some questions might have the right intention behind them, but the response they illicit won’t tell you anything unique or specifically interesting about the candidate.

For example, questions that ask about a candidate’s “strengths” and “weaknesses”. While these are common, they tend to produce very similar answers as candidates try to find the best way to answer while painting themselves in the best light. Instead, try asking questions that engage the candidate, provoke conversation and encourage them to be honest.

What sort of questions should be avoided?

Steer away from closed questions. For example, questions that only illicit either a yes or no response. Rephrase to engage with the candidate’s thought processes.

On this note, avoid questions that ask far too much. “When are you planning to have a family?” is asked more often than you’d think and is both entirely inappropriate and illegal. These days, with social media, disgruntled candidates can share information and experiences extremely quickly. Any question which probes too far into a candidate’s personal life will land your company in hot water and ensure you turn the candidate, and other potential candidates, right off.

Instead of focusing on the question itself, think about what you want the question to reveal. Then, craft the question based on what you’re trying to understand. Essentially, a bad question is shallow. It is easy to answer and doesn’t require the candidate to think.

For example, “what makes good customer service?” This is an overused question which is likely to produce a similar answer from each candidate.

What can be asked instead?

Surprise the candidate and provoke a much more honest response by saying, “tell me about a time when you were disappointed by the service you gave.”

This defies expectations because typically, interviews are supposed to be used by the candidate to portray themselves as well as they possibly can. However, by asking them directly about a time they’ve failed, you can gain an idea of how comfortable they are being honest. As well as this, questions they are not expecting actively test their initiative, tenacity and ability to think quickly.

The fact of the matter is, nobody is perfect.

When candidates try to portray themselves as such, it is a façade, and everyone knows it. So, instead of looking for how well a candidate can present themselves, seek to understand how they might address their own shortcomings. Ultimately, a culture of honesty promotes growth. A culture of denial stunts progression for everyone.

The questions you ask should aim to provoke authenticity to get the most accurate picture of the person. A question recommended in The EQ Interview by Adele B. Lynn asks the candidate to describe a time when they were “lost in their work in a good way.” If the candidate describes key elements of the role being interviewed for you know they could be a great fit.

Similarly, questions such as “how do you find meaning in your career?” will shine a light on what motivates them. Knowing what motivates an employee can enable a business to tailor their rewards and benefits schemes.

The answer might be as simple as “it enables me to provide a wonderful life for my family.” Or, it might be more role-specific if the candidate is particularly passionate about the work itself. Either way, a motivated employee is an excellent addition to a team.

So, what makes a good interview then?

Essentially, a good interview avoids the pitfalls hiring managers have been falling into for years. To make the best quality hire, an interview should be used as a tool to get to know the real person, rather than testing who can present themselves best.

Ultimately, if they’ve made it to the interview stage, they should have the relevant skills and experience. So, the questions you ask should go deeper than their work history and ability to perform the role if you want good answers. If the candidate shies away from questions that probe at their authenticity, that’s a red flag for hiring managers.

After all, plenty of candidates can say the right things in an interview to make them seem perfect. What makes a truly great candidate and employee is the ability to self-assess and continuously improve.

So, move away from common interview questions and answers and engage the candidate in conversation that gives you an accurate picture of who they are and how they work. Utilise a semi-structured interview to make sure that you get the information you need with questions that dig beneath the surface. However, a relatively informal set-up leaves time and space for the candidate to articulate their intention in a comfortable environment.

This is the third blog in our interview series. You can check out the previous two instalments on our blog page to get more interview tips and techniques.

Interviews: Structured, unstructured or semi-structured?

No matter your method, the candidate should always come first

In our previous blog in this interview series, we discussed the difference between competency-based and emotional intelligence interviews. In this blog, we’ll be discussing the difference between structured and unstructured job interviews, and how you can utilise both.

Interviews are not just a process during which a company gains an understanding of the relevant candidates. Rather, interviews are also an opportunity for candidates to gain insight into your company. Too often companies take their position for granted. They fail to understand that a candidate can reject your company just as easily as you can decline them. So, treat candidates the way you want to be treated.

An interview should strike a balance for both the company and the candidate. While an interview needs to assess the candidates’ capacity to fulfil the role, it should also give them a good depiction of your corporate culture. The candidate wants to be reassured that they will be accepted as part of the team and be supported.

Why does your interview style matter?

These days, businesses cannot afford to lose out on talent. The jobs market is currently 90% candidate driven. So, candidates can have their pick of employers. Therefore, the interview process is an opportunity for your company to promote itself.

This means that an entirely structured interview could come across as unwelcoming and may not be the best approach for the current climate. However, the value of a structured interview doesn’t have to be lost. Similarly, while an unstructured interview is commonly known to be free-flowing, it doesn’t have to be entirely void of purpose.

The value of a structured interview is in its capacity to provide quantitative data. This makes scoring and comparing your candidates relatively easy. The value of an unstructured interview is in its ability to provide you with an accurate assessment of the candidates’ personality and cultural fit.

While both these assessments are equally valid, a combination of the two is perhaps the safest bet.

Enter: the semi-structured interview

The semi-structured interview places both the candidate and the company at the heart of the process. To prepare, the hiring manager creates a list of interview questions they wish to ask. However, unlike structured interviews, there is no scale on which a candidate’s answer needs to fall. While this means the data gathered will be qualitative rather than quantitative, it also means there is no right or wrong answer.

This takes the pressure off the candidate and allows the hiring manager to respond spontaneously. When a structured interview relies on the candidate ticking boxes with their answer, it can sometimes result in a wrong hire. This is because the hiring manager is swayed by the data. So, they hire the candidate who said the right things, rather than following their instinctive, initial feelings.

When there is no right answer, it is not possible for a candidate to fail. This provides a safe space for the candidate to be truly honest. It also makes room for conversation to occur in the moment.

So, to semi-structure, or not?

Well, the biggest flaw with both unstructured and semi-structured interviews is that they are less objective. This is a problem if your company would like to keep strict records of interview processes. However, if this is not the case, the semi-structured interview may be the best way forward.

While some companies do utilise the entirely unstructured interview, you can’t assume that a lack of structure will enable your candidate to be comfortable. Some candidates are much more comfortable with a sense of boundaries in place.

Of course, your final decision of which interview style you land on depends on your objectives. However, Amanda, our Lead Resourcing Partner, recommends the semi-structured interview for companies who can see the benefit of both interview styles. She says the format allows for the most efficient, yet friendliest candidate experience while gaining the company the information they need.

Effectively, the moral of the story is not to stick all your eggs in one basket. Spread them out, take a little of what works from one approach, and a little of what works from another. Pay your candidate as much attention as your objectives, and you should find the happy medium you need.

This is the second blog in our interview series. Keep an eye out for the next blog in the series. We’ll be going into more detail about the type of questions you should be asking.

Interviews: Techniques to get the best from a candidate

How the right approach to interviews can help your business attract and retain talent

There is no single best way to interview a candidate. Ultimately, all the factors that come together depend on who is conducting the interview, who is being interviewed, and what the job role is. Preferences are entirely subjective. However, there are techniques which can be applied to the process to make it more effective for everyone involved.

So, which are the most effective interview techniques?

Recruiters conduct interviews with prospective candidates every day and, therefore, have invaluable experience in getting the best from candidates. So, we spoke to Talent Works’ own Lead Resourcing Partner, Amanda Harrison. She told us about the interview techniques she uses and how best to implement them into the process.

There are two main interview techniques Amanda discussed. These are competency-based interviews and emotional intelligence (EQ) interviews.

Competency-based Interviews

Competency-based questions are designed to test the candidates’ skills and, of course, their competency. These questions should give hiring managers an idea of the candidates’ ability to complete the role in the future and predict how they might react in certain situations. Competency-based questions ask candidates to reflect on how they’ve approached previous situations they’ve encountered in the workplace. They aim to assess their ability to work in a team, communicate and organise, amongst other things.

As a result, competency-based questions do tend to be generalised towards skills that are required for all jobs. However, they can be honed and made more specific depending on the job role.

Emotional intelligence interviews

Emotional intelligence (EQ) interview questions are designed to assess a candidates’ ability to understand themselves and the people around them. This gives the interviewer insight into whether the candidate is a cultural fit.

People with high emotional intelligence are more likely to be better team players, thus enhancing work relationships and performance. To assess this, an interviewer might ask who the candidate is inspired by. Or, what they have achieved that they are proud of and how they deal with stressful situations. For questions such as these, there is no right answer, but answers should give an insight into who the candidate really is. The candidates’ ability to self-assess should be a reliable indicator of emotional intelligence.

So, which method is best?

Both methods of interviewing have their downfalls. For example, competency-based questions can sometimes put the candidate on the spot or result in pre-thought out responses. Questions designed to assess emotional intelligence don’t gain the interviewer insight into the candidates’ skills and abilities. So, Amanda recommends a mixture of both techniques to obtain the best understanding of the candidate.

Alongside both types of interview technique, Amanda recommends an informal interview set up. Too much formality tends to put the candidate on edge. Uncomfortable candidates never perform their best or show their real personality. Unless, of course, the role is highly pressured and requires the successful candidate to be able to perform in stressful situations.

Should you be asking candidates to complete a task?

Alongside the interview process, many businesses ask the candidate to complete a task. However, Amanda recommends that tasks are only required when vital for a role. Even then, she suggests that what you ask the candidate to do is kept to a minimum.

When asking candidates to complete skilled work on behalf of your company, you are, effectively, asking them to complete work for free. It is entirely possible to ask candidates to complete a skill-based task which does not take up a significant amount of their time. By not respecting their time and capabilities, you risk putting them off the role and losing out on qualified talent.

Ultimately, the purpose of an interview is to get to know your candidate better and establish that they can undertake the job role effectively. So, utilising interview techniques that allow them to be themselves, while also gaining insight on their skill set, is the most effective way to find the best talent for your business. An interview which combines these techniques to produce the desired result is the best outcome for both your business and the applicant.

Candidates want to feel supported throughout the process. These days, businesses need to implement talent attraction techniques to secure the best people for their roles. A good or bad interview can be the deciding factor for a candidate when choosing whether to work with your company.

So, ensure your approach is both welcoming and comfortable, while also getting to the heart of who the candidate is. After all, you’re not just interviewing them. They are interviewing you.

This is the first blog in our interview series. Keep an eye out for the next blog in the series. We’ll be going into more detail about the benefits of structured, unstructured, formal and informal interviews.

Entry-level positions: how to ensure longevity

Retention strategies for early-career employees

Expectations that entry-level employees are only looking to join a company for the short-term can ultimately cause a self-fulfilling prophecy. If employers see no need to invest in people because they expect them to leave, those employees will inevitably leave. Often, this expectation is false, making the outcome avoidable. When workers are happy in their workplace, with plenty of scope for career development, they are more likely to stay with a company longer.

Adversely, some employers may not incentivise early-career employees because they underestimate their options when moving on in their career. However, employers need to consider the current candidate driven market. As it stands, candidates are choosing employers and not the other way around. So, employers don’t just need to attract the best talent to their workforce. They need to have a plan in place as to how to best work with and retain each employee.

Evidence shows that “the most difficult employees to retain are those in entry-level positions.” However, recruitment is costly. According to research, the US retail industry lost “approximately 9 billion dollars to entry-level turnover.”

As such, employers should be implementing retention strategies targeted towards their entry-level employees. After all, a happier, more committed workforce provide a better service to clients, are “more productive and stay longer.”

Making the most of your early-career employees is clearly a win-win situation. So, we’ve put together some ideas of strategies you can implement to incentivise and, ultimately, retain your entry-level employees.

Set out a development plan

Implementing a development plan sets clear goals for employee growth. This gives the employee a set time frame to work within and gives their manager a method for supporting them in this development. It might be that the employee needs to upskill in certain areas to meet these goals. In this case, the company may be able to provide training.

Supporting employees in this way gives them the capacity to step up to greater responsibility when the time comes. It will also mean that you haven’t left it too late to train and upskill them to the correct standard. In turn, investing in your employees gives them a sense of being valued. It also increases productivity as “people are generally motivated by self-development“.

Implement a mentorship scheme

Mentorship provides a safe space for employees to go to for advice, development and encouragement. Knowing who they can go to when they have questions means they don’t have to risk feeling awkward and remaining silent instead of speaking up. Research shows that “employees who experience mentoring are retained.”

These 1-2-1’s, in turn, create a culture of honesty and openness. As a result, individual employees feel able to thrive and have their voices heard. Mentorship also provides a positive framework for giving constructive feedback, enabling workers to improve in their job roles.

Create a positive work environment

A negative work environment permeates the entire workplace. Cultivating a company culture defined by openness can help to create a positive environment. However, there are other benefits you can implement to make sure that your work environment is somewhere employees want to return to every day.

Many companies are now implementing flexible working schemes. For example, flexible start and finish times, time off in lieu and the capacity to work from home. These benefits encourage job autonomy, trust and better work-life balance. When employees aren’t micromanaged, and their personal life is respected, they feel they have the freedom to take ownership of and do well at their job.

Provide opportunities for career growth

If the entry-level jobs in your company are stagnant, employees will be forced to move on so that they can grow and expand in their career. Providing them with opportunities to take on more responsibilities gives them the space to grow within your company.

Creating a plan for the growth of a role can occur before a vacancy even goes live. This approach allows the hiring manager to encourage candidates during the interview stage that this is a long-term position. When candidates know from the start that you plan to develop them you are likely to have a much better pick of candidates. As well as this, the successful candidate will know on starting the position that the company has a long-term strategy in place.

Compensate employees effectively

Compensating employees who are doing particularly well will let them know that they are valued. If you do not compensate them, they will gain their experience in your company. Then, they will take what they’ve learned somewhere else.

Small companies may not have the budgets of larger ones, but there are still benefits that can be implemented. For example, competitive rates for overtime ensures that employees feel their contribution is valued, especially when they work late.

Not all benefits have to be financial and providing your employees with a generous healthcare package can give them a sense of security. Or, a sponsored holiday can help build camaraderie and teamwork.

To encourage longevity from your early-career employees, you must provide them with a workplace which enables them to envision the rest of their career. If they are assured that their next steps will be taken care of within your company, they will have no need to look elsewhere.

As the saying goes, you only get out what you put in. Employees you invest in will invest back into your company. So, avoid the presumption that entry-level workers are looking to gain experience and move on. Value their contribution and make them want to stay.