How to Attract Applicants in a Tough Market

blog Apr 06, 2022

Are you hiring right now, or have you tried to hire in the last few months? If you have, it’s likely that you’ve found it pretty tough! Perhaps usually you are inundated with applicants and right now it’s crickets… not even bad applications are coming through.


We are certainly seeing this trend across the board, from every corner of the Country and in every industry.


Business owners and managers alike are frustrated, desperate for help and uncertain how they can continue without more staff. Many are turning away work, re considering their business viability and increasingly working insane hours which will undoubtedly lead to burnout.


So, what’s the answer? Is there a way to actually find anyone right now?


Here’s the thing – what worked before simply won’t work now. Writing an average ad, throwing it on Seek and sharing it on your socials just won’t cut it. You not only won’t get quality applicants, you may very well get absolutely no applicants.


Right now, applicants are in the drivers seat, they get to cherry pick and search for their perfect role. They don’t have to compromise, they can state what they want and get it, they can be fussy.


In order to attract quality applicants right now you need to cut through the noise, you need to stand out from the crowd and you need to give applicants a compelling reason to read your ad, and the actually apply.


What that means is that your recruitment campaign needs to be treated just like a marketing exercise. When you’re working on a marketing activity for your business, think about how much time, effort, energy and thought you put into that. You painstakingly review all the details, think about what you’re saying and how your perfect customer will receive the message. You want your customer to take action and buy from you – recruitment ads are no different. You need to create compelling ads that attract your ideal applicant and get them to take action, to enrol them in wanting to work for you.


This involves really thinking about what matters to your ideal applicant, where they are spending time and consuming information so you can get your ad in front of them, and what will compel them to take action – what’s in it for them!


One of the best strategies businesses can use right now to cut through the noise is what I call ‘show don’t tell’. Everyone can say that they have a fun team, a great culture and awesome leaders, but applicants no longer believe everything that they read. They have likely applied for jobs in the past that promised all of this and delivered none of it. So don’t tell them that, but show them.


Use video where you can demonstrate what it’s actually like to work with you, or if video really isn’t an options great visuals go a long way to do the heavy lifting for you here. Not the corporate head shots you had done three years ago, images that actually demonstrate what your business is all about. This might be images of your clients, products, team, worksite or anything else that gives applicants a sense of ‘this is what it’s like when you join our team’.


Business that can cut through the noise effectively, and engage great applicants in their culture in this very early stage of the recruitment process have the best chance of not only attracting quality applicants, but securing them as employees. Best of all, once you have that ball rolling, it becomes easier to attract more of your ideal tribe, because these people will actively promote your business as a great place to work and introduce previous colleagues and others they are connected with as potential future employees to your business.


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