Tips to smash recruitment in a candidate-led market

The recruitment-led market we inhabit is rather daunting. Anybody who has spent any time navigating a job board recently can see that most candidates are simply awash with opportunities. So how do you ensure you capture the best candidate in this uber competitive market?  

Before you write a single word of your job advert, you need to take a long, hard think about your proposition.

If you’re a business owner, you potentially believe that the sun shines out of your company’s arse.

Why wouldn’t anyone want to work for your amazing business? Candidates should be thanking you for the opportunity, they should be jumping up and down to get your attention. 

Not quite. 

Candidates have options. Lots of options, in fact. They’re ‘picky’. You have to paint a beautifully transparent picture of your workplace. You have to sell your business. You have to showcase your culture, and demonstrate the opportunities you can provide. 

It’s not just about specifying what the job is. You need to think about the ‘why’. Why would someone want to work for you?

As Adam points out in our latest episode of Nobody Likes Recruiters, you should approach your recruitment in the spirit of marketing. 


You need to craft a message and sell on benefits, not features.

What do I mean by this?

Ask yourself what an employee will get from joining your business? What can you say that is going to make a candidate consider leaving their current position? What is your employee value proposition?

Let’s break this down further and use a tangible example… 

  • Do your employees stick around?
  • Do you like to look after them in unique ways?
  • Do you help fund their education?


What does your business do differently to others? Do you like to bring pizza into the office on a Friday? 

These are all things to consider.

It’s not just the transactional stuff like salary or holidays. People want more from their workplace. If you consider this and craft your job advert around it, you’ll stand out – in a good way.

Now, once you know why your company is a good place to work, you need to dive deeper into the process of creating a job advert that will attract the people you want.

Many businesses fall at this hurdle. They don’t know how to write job adverts. It sounds hyperbolic, but it’s true. 

90% of job adverts are not written well. 

It’s a craft. Please stop writing things like “we have an exciting opportunity”, or “you must have good interpersonal skills”.

All of that brings little value to your advert.


Engage, attract, inspire.

The first part of your job advert should be about creating a hook. You need to demonstrate your uniqueness. From there you can build. How will your job benefit the life of a candidate? 

Once you’ve done this sufficiently, then you can ramble on about the various roles and responsibilities of your position. But only once you have done the emotive stuff. 

Recruitment is not a transaction, you have to invest in every step of the process.

The advert is the first step. Once you have candidates, how are you treating them? What does their journey to interview, and then potentially employment with your company, look like?

Sending out your standard “please come in for an interview on x date” might not cut it. When you have the candidates that you want to interview, this is your opportunity to build rapport and keep them invested!

Pick up the phone. Call a candidate. Offer them the interview and then elaborate on what makes your company tick: your values, your culture, why the opportunity is for them!

Remember, as much as the candidate will need to sell themselves to you, you’ll also need to sell yourself to them.

Time is of the essence in this market and there is a good chance your preferred candidate has other options. So you have to communicate. You don’t have time to drop off. Recruitment is one of the most important elements of your business. If that golden candidate comes through the door you’ve got to keep the excitement maintained.


More speed, less haste. Be nimble, don’t let your process drag.  

I have no doubt that you, the hiring manager, the line manager, or the business owner have your idea of the perfect candidate, but in reality he or she may not exist.

Yes, have your boxes that you need to tick but remember that people are malleable. They can be taught. 

If, for example, you’ve got a person who would be the right fit for your business but he or she doesn’t have all of the tangible experience or skills that you wanted, you may need to bend things slightly. 

Ask yourself what transferable skills do they have? Are they enthusiastic? Will they slot nicely into your team? Don’t get transfixed on specific skill sets. 

If you’ve found the right person, get your offer out as soon as you can. This is not a market to leave a candidate ‘hanging’.

Found value in this post? Good! Want more? Ensure you catch the latest episode of Nobody Likes Recruiters, a podcast dedicated to helping people like you do recruitment really well.

Watch the video below or search Nobody Likes Recruiters on your podcast app.

And if you have any questions, we’re all ears. Just drop us an email on