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Attracting the best candidates - developing and implementing an effective strategy

Author: Alan Whitford


  • "Candidate attraction" refers to the tools and techniques that an employer uses to attract potential applicants to fill a vacancy. (See What is candidate attraction?)
  • Selecting the most appropriate candidate-attraction channels will help the employer to source the most suitable pool of potential candidates. (See The business case for effective candidate attraction)
  • Developing an effective candidate-attraction strategy involves a range of activities, for example aligning candidate attraction with workforce plans, establishing measures for success and choosing candidate-attraction channels that will reach the vacancy's target audience. (See Devising an appropriate candidate-attraction strategy)
  • The level of engagement between the hiring organisation and prospective employees has a strong bearing on how candidates view the organisation as a potential employer. (See Candidate communication and engagement)
  • Candidate attraction is a two-way process: employers should provide realistic information about the vacancy and organisation to encourage individuals to self-select. (See Incorporating self-selection into candidate attraction)
  • Employer branding is an important aspect of candidate attraction and enables the employer to market its employment value proposition to potential candidates. (See Employer branding)
  • Employers need to consider a number of elements when advertising a vacancy, including key pieces of information to include in the advertisement. (See Key considerations when advertising a vacancy)
  • Placing job advertisements in print media, for example local and national newspapers, continues to play an important role in most employers' candidate-attraction plans. (See Recruitment advertising in print media)
  • The employer's corporate website should form the primary channel to communicate with job applicants. (See Online candidate attraction: using a corporate website)
  • A job board is a website dedicated to recruitment that advertises vacancies on behalf of employers, typically for a fee. (See Online candidate attraction: using commercial job boards)
  • Social media recruitment involves the hiring organisation using platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to promote vacancies and source candidates. (See Using social media to attract candidates)
  • Recruitment advertising agencies have the potential to improve the hiring organisation's ability to attract high-quality applicants, but their use can require significant investment by the employer. (See Recruitment advertising agencies)
  • Employers can use external recruitment agencies to source candidates for permanent and temporary positions, with most agencies offering a wide range of services, for example candidate attraction and screening, initial interviewing, shortlisting and reference checking. (See Recruitment agencies and consultants)
  • Executive search or headhunting consultancies specialise in sourcing senior or specialist staff, but charge a substantial fee for a successful placement. (See Executive search consultancies)
  • Recruitment and careers fairs can help employers to reach a large number of potential applicants, which can be particularly useful for large-scale recruitment campaigns or graduate recruitment programmes. (See Attending recruitment and careers fairs)
  • A database containing information about former job applicants can provide a useful starting point for a hiring organisation to contact potential candidates who have expressed an interest in working for it in the past. (See Sourcing candidates using candidate databases)
  • An employee referral scheme encourages existing employees to recommend friends or former colleagues for vacancies within the organisation, and can be a cost-effective alternative to more formal candidate-attraction methods. (See Sourcing candidates internally: employee referral programmes)
  • Candidate attraction should be inclusive, and employers should aim to attract job applicants from as wide a talent pool as possible to build a diverse workforce. (See Equal opportunities and diversity in candidate attraction)
  • The employer should measure the effectiveness of its candidate-attraction strategy to determine the candidate attraction channels that sourced the most suitable pool of candidates, for example by using metrics such as "cost per hire" and "time to hire". (See Evaluating the effectiveness of candidate attraction)