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Recruiting a new member of staff on a budget

Congratulations – business is expanding and you need to take on a new member of staff but with a tight budget, how can you attract the right person?

You will learn

  • How to write really enticing copy in your job adverts
  • Free ways to promote your vacancy online
  • Ways of creating word of mouth

Recruitment advertising can be a huge business expense if you have an advert in a national newspaper, which can often cost an eye watering sum. Further, even regional recruitment agencies charging a typical rate of 15-20% of your employees first year’s salary. However, you do not have to spend the earth to find the new recruit your business needs.

Firstly, you need to be clear about the role that you are filling and the knowledge, skills and experience your ideal candidate will have. Once you have decided this, you can consider where such a person is most likely to look for a job. This could be anything from the website of a professional body such as RICS, through to a poster in a local shop window. This will help you target your advertising which in turn will ensure your budget is used in the most effective way.

Teasers are tops in recruitment advertising. Do you remember adverts which stated “a vacancy has arisen” or which told you all about the person who is vacating the job (“Mr Brown is retiring after 18 years exceptional service”)? These are now seen as old-fashioned, and a waste of words and money! Teaser adverts attract potential applicants, but try to not cram in every possible bit of information. Rather, grab the potential applicants' attention and sign-post to where fuller details can be found - that may be a website/email address or telephone contact number. Teaser advertising can also extend to your emails; how about adding a sentence or two about your vacancy in to your email signature template?

Make every word in a written advert count; try to convey the benefits of joining your business using active, engaging language directed at the reader. Which of these following firms would you like to join?

  1. Are you a highly skilled Administrator with a commitment to excellent customer service? Have you considered joining an expanding accountancy practice with a reputation for rewarding and developing our staff? We need...
  2. A long established and respected accountancy practice seeks an administrative assistant able to answer the phones, type up correspondence, handle filing, reconcile petty cash, make travel arrangements and...

A well written advert means you recruit first time around and save on repeat advertising costs. Remember, you do not have to put an advert in a traditional newspaper – look at online only advertising and make use of local newssheets and notice boards. Do not forget that recruitment advertising promotes your business as well, so how about sponsoring a local theatre or match programme? This can be a great way of getting widespread coverage for a minimal cost.

If you already employ staff, consider a refer-a-friend bonus scheme. Your staff are best placed to promote the benefits of working for your business, so why not give them an incentive to spread the word about your vacancy?

Social media is your best friend when advertising for staff. You can promote your vacancy free of charge on many sites and are able to respond quickly to queries and build a rapport with potential recruits. If you are a Twitter user, make full use of local Tweet hours such as #hambletonhour and #ryedalehour (both 7-8pm each Wednesday).

There is no ‘one size fits all’ or magic formula with recruitment advertising. You will need to tailor your approach to fit your business and the role you are recruiting for. Do not be tempted to cut corners, however. As Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple said: “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people.”

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Written by:

Jane Coope

HR expert

Email Address:

Telephone: 01904 236 770