So, you need new people. You’ve shouted about the roles on your site and in your newsletter. You’ve tried the LinkedIn route. Heck, you’ve even offered your team an incentive for intros. Enter stage left: tumbleweed. 

Finally, you decide it’s time to call in the professionals. But while recruiters we are, miracle-workers we are not...

When it comes to hiring, we can only work with what we’ve got. Because we want to nurture a long and beautiful relationship, we’re here to administer some expectation management, a.k.a. be real with y’all. While there are a sh*tload of things us recruiters can do, there are some things we can’t solve… 

  1. Your mean company culture

Newsflash: company culture is about more than plying employees with free popcorn and having a foosball table in the office – especially in the post-pandemic era of WFH. When it comes to hiring, culture packs a serious punch: 77% of people would consider a company’s culture before applying, and 73% said they “would not apply to a company unless its values align with my own personal values.” A whopping 89% believe it’s important for employers to “have a clear mission and purpose.”

No amount of organised fun or kooky benefits can make up for actually caring about your employees. And make no mistake: whether by word-of-mouth or spidey sense, candidates will pick up on a mean company culture. Want to differentiate your offering from the competition? McKinsey recommends asking these questions:

  • Do we shelter toxic leaders?

  • Do we have the right people in the right places (especially managers)?

  • How strong was our culture before the pandemic?

  • Is our work environment transactional?

  • Are our benefits aligned with employee priorities?

  • Can we provide career paths and development opportunities?

  • How are we building a sense of community?

  1. Your questionable industry reputation

Ever heard of an ‘employer brand’? It’s essentially your reputation as a place to work, all tied up with your employee value proposition (your company culture plays a big part in this, too). Did you know 86% of people wouldn’t apply to or continue to work for a company with a bad reputation? On the flip side, companies with a positive employer brand can get up to twice as many applications as those with negative brands, and it costs them 43% less to recruit each candidate.

With 48% of job seekers saying they use Glassdoor (if you haven’t heard of it, now’s the time to get acquainted – pronto) at some point in their job search, there’s nowhere to hide. Here at Lightning, we actually give a sh*t about helping candidates find roles they’ll be happy in, so we check Glassdoor reviews before we work with a client, too. That’s one of the ways we make sure every role on our website is a 'blue tick' certified awesome place to work.

If you’re trying to hire, but you haven’t invested in your employer brand, you may as well run a marathon with bricks strapped to your feet. Translation: you’re making life harder than it needs to be. So stop, look, listen, and make moves to fix that questionable industry reputation before you try to figuratively lure people into a lion’s den (which, in case you missed the metaphor, is a totally non-appealing place to be lured).

  1. Your below-average pay

In case you missed the memo, right now it’s an employee’s market. The skills shortage brought about by the Great Resignation means 74% of employers are finding recruitment either very or fairly difficult, and 51% are struggling to retain staff thanks to competitors offering higher pay. It might be that the cost of living crisis is leading to a shift in work priorities – research shows people are placing more importance on salary over other benefits than a couple of years ago, while 72% of people say their main motivator for changing jobs is an increase in pay.

Whatever the reasons, one thing’s for sure: your business is nothing without good people. And if you’re going up against competitors to recruit and retain top talent (that’s everyone, then), you need to pay good people what they’re worth – no low-balling allowed.

  1. Your sh*tty hiring process

Did you know 75% of candidates never hear back from a company after sending an application and 60% have never heard back after going for an interview? Repeat after us: Ghosting. Is. Not. Okay. (Though if you’re guilty the joke’s on you, because 42% of disgruntled candidates won’t apply for a position at your company again and 22% will tell others not to apply, too.)

What we’re talking about is candidate experience: the impression your business makes on candidates throughout the application, interview and hiring process, whether they get the job or not. From boring job ads and endurance-testing application processes, to unconscious bias during interviews and sending unsympathetic (or worse, no) rejection emails… For better or worse, every touchpoint reflects on your employer brand. Not only that, candidate experience can be a deciding factor for candidates evaluating job offers (that spidey sense is most definitely tingling): more than three quarters (83%) of candidates say a negative experience may change their mind about working for a company. 

The lesson? Put as much effort into your candidate experience as you do your customer journey, because believe us when we say you need to impress them just as much.

Lightning is more than just a recruiter. Our relationship-driven approach to head-hunting and business consultancy helps businesses develop before, during, and after hiring. Need advice on anything you’ve read here? Just get in touch.

Disclaimer: We can't solve all your problems overnight, but if our values are aligned we can form a long-term partnership to help you realign your business towards putting people first. (Alternatively, if you want to carry on doing the same sh*t and expecting a different result, feel free to go to one of our competitors!)

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Thea Bardot

28th September

Company news Blog