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Candidate Attraction: How to be Seen Through the Noise in 2021 and Beyond


2020 was a challenging year, but as we look to a post-pandemic landscape for 2021 recruitment agencies should review their candidate attraction strategies to ensure they are equipped for the battle for talent that is expected to take place in 2021 and beyond.

Once the economic recovery is in full swing and as more companies look to hire, recruitment agencies will need to consider their candidate attraction strategies and make full use of the tools available that help them to be seen through the noise.

Let’s take a look at some of the candidate attraction strategies that can help them stand out from the competition in 2021 and beyond.


Optimise your vacancy pages

The vacancy pages on your website are likely the first place potential candidates will interact with your recruitment agency, so it is vital that they are optimised and give a great first impression.

As hiring is expected to increase in 2021, your vacancy pages must be easy to find, appealing, up-to-date, useful and easy to navigate.

These pages are also a great place to display testimonials from existing candidates to showcase the expertise and experience of your consultants. Testimonials can be a great way to help nurture a prospective candidate to apply for a vacancy with your recruitment agency.

You may also want to consider using a chatbot on your vacancy pages to provide real-time responses and information to candidates. Making use of this technology can help you keep candidates engaged with your recruitment agency and can nudge them further along the application process.


Targeted advertising

Advertise your job adverts only to people who meet the specifications of the role, this can be based upon skills, experience, qualifications or location. Reduce advertising spend by only showing your job ad to those who have the right qualifications or live within a commutable distance.

By showing your ads to the very people you want to engage with and encourage to apply can help speed up the hiring process and help you secure top talent before your competitors do.

Targeted advertising can also help you attract the highest-quality applicants and can help you build your employment brand within a specific niche. It can also improve hire for hard-to-fill positions and lower your cost-per-hire.


Use an applicant tracking system (ATS)

In addition to your recruitment agency website site, you should also consider using an ATS throughout the hiring process. An ATS not only gives you the ability to track candidates and applicants, but it can also help with the end-to-end management of candidates, job postings, applications and job offers.

But further than this, it provides your recruitment agency with a searchable database of candidates, CV’s and job descriptions. A good ATS can assist with scheduling interviews and sending automated emails and notifications to candidates, recruitment consultants and hiring managers.

Using an ATS can help agencies better manage and streamline the recruitment process and improve the candidate experience by keeping them interested and more engaged. More engaged candidates are more likely to accept a job offer and using an ATS can help you identify top talent quicker and help you fill vacancies more efficiently.


Improve your remote hiring capabilities

Throughout 2020, remote working became the new normal and so far this is continuing in 2021. While having a fully remote workforce post-pandemic is unlikely for many companies, some aspects of remote working will likely remain. Either way, it is crucial that recruitment agencies improve their remote hiring capabilities to ensure they can attract the best talent.

When it comes to remote hiring you need to ensure you have the capabilities to send, receive and sign documents digitally and that you have a reliable, high-quality video conferencing platform for conducting remote interviews.

When choosing your video conferencing platform, be sure to use one that is reputable, has excellent video and call capabilities and is reliable. Having technical issues or bad quality video calls during a remote interview can give a bad impression of your recruitment agency and may impact on the confidence candidates place in you to help them make the next step in their career journey.

Remote interviews should be treated exactly the same as in-person interviews. They should follow the same structure and professionalism – the only difference between to two is that one takes place in person and the other is via video, but the outcomes are the same.


Adopt AI and Machine Learning

AI and Machine Learning tools can automate and improve a range of recruiting processes to help streamline the process and attract the best talent before they are snapped up by another agency. These areas include:

● Screening and sorting large numbers of candidates

● Scanning CV’s

● Reviewing job descriptions, offer letters and other communications for unsuitable or biased language

● Real-time information via chatbots

● Analytics about the recruiting process

Whilst all of these tasks can be completed manually, they are time-consuming and laborious, but with AI and Machine Learning tools they are completed automatically and in a fraction of the time, helping you improve efficiency and productivity at your agency.

For example, if you receive 100 applications for a vacancy and have to sort through 100 CV’s to shortlist candidates, this could take hours if not days. But with AI-powered software, this process could take just minutes. Some ATS platforms have built-in AI capabilities, but not all do so it is worth doing your research before investing in an ATS.


Ask for candidate feedback

One of the best ways to improve your candidate attraction is to ask for feedback from existing candidates. Ask them to provide details about their experience, if they feel there are any areas for improvement and what they did and didn’t like about.

Consider providing candidates with surveys at different stages of the process that are quick and easy to complete but provide you with valuable insights about how your recruitment agency is performing.

For example, if the feedback you are receiving is saying that the recruitment process is too long or overly complicated, your agency can review and implement new ways of working that shorten or simplify it.


Click here to watch a compelling presentation on the Candidate Attraction that James produced last year!



James Whitelock is Recruitment Marketing Specialist and Managing Director of ThinkinCircles, a sales & marketing growth agency. They offer online marketing services for SME Recruitment agencies and suppliers into the recruitment space in the UK and globally.



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