Are your own job adverts ‘up to the job’ when it comes to recruiting? Are they guilty of unconscious bias, too narrow in specification, or lacking in ambition when it comes to equality and diversity? Here at Sapience HR our team of HR experts are encouraging clients to think outside the box when it comes to recruitment ads… 

Overall job vacancies in the UK reached another record high at the start of 2022, with recruitment for university leavers also bouncing back strongly after falling sharply in 2021.

However, businesses across almost all sectors are reporting difficulties filling positions. Here at Sapience HR we talk to business owners and managers everyday who describe low numbers of applications, candidates who lack the necessary experience, and fierce competition for those that do have what it takes.

Are your job ads holding you back from finding ‘the one’?

The hospitality sector – so vital to the economy here in Cornwall – is finding recruitment especially hard going. Back in 2021, we put together a two-part guide to help increase recruitment and retention in the hospitality sector. They can be found here:

Part One – Shake up your recruitment procedures

Part Two – How to stand out from the crowd

However, when it comes to Job Adverts, there are certain things that businesses across all sectors can do to improve the chances of a successful recruitment campaign.

The most fundamental criteria is to be as inclusive as possible, allowing you to attract candidates of all genders, races and ages. Only then can diversity of education, experience, beliefs, skills, and knowledge be unleashed – to the benefit of all.

Here’s some pointers on how your job ads can be more inclusive:

Audit previous adverts

Take a look at what you’ve put out before. Have you been guilty of using gendered language for example? Try to look at your ads through the eyes of a potential recruit and identify the perceived barriers they may have come up against. Use Blind Recruitment in the first sifting stage (redact information such as name, age and education.) This will help you avoid unconscious bias and discrimination in whom you decide to interview.

Rethink placement of adverts

If you’re not having any success with the current placement of recruitment ads, it’s time to think outside the box. Place your ads in different spaces, both online and offline. Reach out to digital and local community groups who might share them as a public service to their followers. Mobilize your current workforce in engaging their contacts and communities.

Have a great workplace culture? Shout about it!

In a market where you’re competing for the best recruits, having a great workplace culture can tip the balance in your favour. Job adverts which highlight the positive social, environmental and community ethos of your workplace and team will hold greater sway.

Be confident with Safer Recruitment

Safer Recruitment (SR) is a scheme designed to assist employers recruit using totally unbiased methods and then to introduce safeguarding at an early stage in the sifting process – it came into being as a direct result of recruitment oversights which contributed to the tragic circumstances of the Soham murders.

Our team are all SR trained and we now offer a SR info sheet as a quick-start guide, plus a SR policy for employers who decide to adopt this approach.

Ask yourself, is the Person Specification fit for purpose?

The UK Government specifies that you should: “Only use phrases like ‘recent graduate’ or ‘highly experienced’ when these are actual requirements of the job. Otherwise you could discriminate against younger or older people who might not have had the opportunity to get qualifications.” Here at Sapience HR we encourage our clients to focus on qualities such as communications skills, adaptability and creative thinking, as they are less likely to exclude entire demographics from the recruitment exercise.

If you’d like help recruiting and access to our Safer Recruitment service, why not get in touch with our team today? We can help take the hassle out of the whole process for you!