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How to Attract more candidates for your vacancy

Updated: Jan 8

The UK is facing a talent shortage, with more jobs than candidates. This is making it difficult for employers to fill jobs. Employers are receiving fewer applications for job vacancies, and an even smaller number of skilled or compatible applicants.

We are seeing an environment of high competition between employers, with companies offering increasingly competitive employment packages to attract more applicants.

What is causing the UK talent shortage?

The UK’s immediate lack of available skilled applicants has been impacted by various issues.

Job market competition

In recent months, the job market has seen a surge of new vacancies, providing job-seekers with significant options, allowing them to be more discerning and making it more difficult for employers to hook those applicants.

Recruiting organisations are finding that they are competing for a shrinking number of available candidates which has created a highly competitive jobs market, forcing employers to spend more time, resource and thinking on how to attract talent.

Numbers of Job Seekers

There are fewer passive job seekers due to a hesitancy by people to switch jobs in the face of uncertainty about the economy.

Hybrid and Home Working

53% of employees highlight that being able to work from home for at least part of the week is important. 60% of UK employees are estimated to have worked from home during the pandemic and many have seen the work life balance and financial benefits of doing so.

Lack of learning & development opportunities

A lack of learning and development opportunities within the workplace due to a lack of face to face training and coaching in the pandemic, has left a number of employees in ‘stagnant’ job roles, reducing progression for workers, and making it more difficult for employers to promote internally.

Challenges for international recruitment

Recent changes have made it more difficult for employers to source applicants from overseas. From international visa restrictions, to changes in UK/EU regulation, organisations have become more reliant on finding applicants from within the UK.

Whilst the UK government has provided essential status to some key job roles, such as HGV drivers, many roles do not meet the minimum pay required for UK employment visas, which continues to limit the pool of talent.

Tips for attracting candidates:

Build a competitive employer brand & Employer Value Proposition

Your employer brand is what first attracts candidates to your roles and can encourage existing employees to stay with you. Create a competitive edge with values and benefits.

Identify which benefits, incentives, and cultural factors matter most to talent in your sector and enhance your organisation’s approach.

Ask your employees – why did they choose YOU as their employer? This will highlight the best qualities of your employer brand, and the aspects you need to promote in recruitment campaigns.

Create an engaging online careers page

Use your website to describe core values, employee benefits, what a new employee can expect, and why someone would want to work for you. Rather than just listing jobs on your website, use your careers page to highlight your business as a whole. The more an applicant can connect with your business, the more likely you are to find the right applicant for your vacancy.

Incorporate video or other media on your careers page:

With fewer opportunities to meet candidates during the pandemic, many keen recruiters have taken the opportunity to include some video or other media to their careers page. It can be a great way to add a more personalized feel to build a better understanding of your company culture, or an insight on job training, or an apprentice’s journey with you.


Is your recruitment strategy innovative? If not, you may be losing out on valuable candidates to your competitors.

Ensure you are using all the appropriate job boards to promote your job vacancies. Use a multi-posting offer to improve reach across multiple job boards.

Make sure your advertising and application process is mobile friendly and demonstrate the most important qualities of your employer brand. This will make it easier for candidates to spot the key benefits of working for your company and submit their application.

Ensure you include information about your organisation and why a potential applicant may want to work from you – it’s a sales pitch to attract the best applicants.

Make sure you include salary and overall remuneration details – 66% of candidates are more likely to apply for a job if the salary information is included in the advert.

Use social media to promote job opportunities:

Share, share and share some more - don’t forget to ask contacts and employees to spread the word through social media platforms for any job vacancies that might need to be filled.


LinkedIn can be a great resource for proactively finding qualified candidates. Try searching for similar organizations that might have recently laid off employees and connect with individuals that align with the experience you might be looking for.

Use in-person opportunities to recruit

This gives you a fantastic opportunity to connect with different individuals and recruit for jobs quickly, as well as discuss the benefits of the position one-on-one rather than hoping someone notices a job posting online.

Recruit from companies who have had to make recent redundancies

Think about any similar companies that may have recently closed or made employees redundant - you may have luck recruiting difficult to fill positions from these organizations.

Ask for referrals

Referrals are often free and can be a clever way to fill a vacancy in a cost effective way. You want to ensure you are using trusted sources, which may include requesting referrals from past clients, similar businesses that might have had to recently downsize or from employees at your organization.

Make it easy

Asking candidates to complete an application form takes time. If an application form is an important part of your process, consider using an applicant tracking system – many enable a C.V. to be uploaded with the information automatically populating the required application form, saving time for applicants.

Deliver a positive candidate journey

This is how potential candidates view your employer brand and draw conclusions about what it might be like to work for you. The candidate journey starts at this point and continues to influence and hopefully impress applicants through the recruitment process and within their induction period.

Manage expectations by make sure that applicants know what the next stage is and when they are likely to hear from you. Providing a fast turnaround for interviews, feedback, and progression all add to the candidate experience and showcase your organisation as valuing individuals and communicating effectively. This helps to keep potential applicants engaged with your organisation and the relevant job vacancy, ensuring you do not lose out to other potential employers.

Using an applicant tracking system can be a less time consuming way to ensure that applications are acknowledged, and updates are personalised, including receipt of application, interview booking, feedback and onboarding documents and messages.

If you are still struggling to find the right person for your job vacancy, maybe it’s time to call in the professionals. At Robinson Grace HR, we offer a small flat fee to advertise your vacancy and provide candidates for you to review. Get in touch today via Contact Robinson Grace HR for further advice and support or email

Check out other Blogs in our series:

Please contact Robinson Grace HR for further advice and support via or call us on 01793 311937 to see if we can help you.

The content of our blogs is intended for general information only and does not replace legal or other professional advice.

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