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Candidate Attraction

How to Build an Effective Candidate Attraction Strategy in Recruitment

How To Build An Effective Candidate Attraction Strategy In Recruitment


As a recruiter, you’re probably tired of hearing about the ‘The Great Resignation’ or the ‘War for Talent’ as it echoes throughout the industry, into our news articles and on our phone screens. It instills fear in some, hope in others and a lot of confusion for many, but a commonality among all is that it ignited a fire for recruiters to refresh, refocus and revamp their candidate acquisition strategies.

Competition is fierce and open vacancies are on the rise, with many recruitment agencies working to recover, refresh and improve after a turbulent couple of years. That’s why, in an industry as competitive as recruitment, the subject of candidate attraction is particularly important right now.

As the number of job applications dip in contrast to the number of vacancies, there’s never been a better time to rethink your attraction strategy. It could include things like reevaluating your approach to building candidate relationships, your application process, where and how you advertise roles and the technology you use.

1. Why do recruitment agencies need a candidate attraction strategy?

Candidate attraction is the very first step of every recruitment process. After listing down the specific job requirements and desired qualifications for a position, next comes the sourcing phase - in which a recruiter aims to build up a pool of qualified candidates through various channels, including online advertising and career fairs.

A solid talent acquisition plan is necessary for recruiters to ensure that they are targeting the right people - and reaching out to them in the right way. This will help you find the best candidates for the positions open and increase the chances of hiring success.

2. Why is your candidate attraction strategy not working?

It’s no secret that sourcing the top candidates has become more challenging over the years. If your sourcing activities are not yielding the expected results, maybe it’s time to take a closer look and find out what’s wrong.

Here, we will go over some common mistakes that often hinder the effectiveness of one’s talent acquisition plan.

Lengthy process

A long and complicated application process may be the exact reason why your candidate attraction strategy fails. In today’s fast-paced world, people want things to be quick and convenient. In fact, studies have shown that over 60% of job seekers will abandon an online application if it takes more than 15 minutes to complete.

Therefore, keep your application process short and simple. Only ask for the most essential information from candidates, and make sure that whatever form you are using to collect data is easy to understand and fill in.

Lack of communication

Research has shown that one of the main reasons why job seekers lose interest in a role is poor communication from the recruiter. It’s important to keep candidates in the loop throughout every stage of the recruitment process.

A simple text to let them know you’ll follow up can go a long way, but you’ve got to stick to your promise – remember, it reflects your reputation as a recruiter. It shows that you are sincere, reliable, and professional.

Unclear expectations

Another common mistake that can jeopardize your candidate attraction strategy is sugar-coating job positions. Failing to honestly inform potential candidates about a company or a role they are interviewing for can make job seekers left feeling disappointed and as a result, drop out of the recruiting funnel.

To avoid this, make sure to set clear expectations from the very beginning; remember candidates put a lot of trust in you. Always be honest when providing an overview of the responsibilities and duties associated with the position. This will help them know what to expect and decide whether they are a good fit for the role.

Unoptimized job portals

Your candidate attraction strategy will not work as intended if your career website or job portal is not up to par. In other words, it needs to be visually appealing, informative, and easy to navigate.

To improve your online presence and make sure potential candidates may find you easily, consider optimizing your website for search engines. Use relevant keywords in your job descriptions, and make sure your contact information is readily available.

Wrong channel

If your sourcing activities fail to yield the desired results, maybe it’s time to take a look at your outreach channels. There is a very high chance that you didn't advertise on the right ones. There are many platforms out there, but you need to identify the most relevant and efficient channels to improve your recruiting results and avoid a huge waste of time and money.

When it comes to candidate attraction, using only one or two channels is simply not enough. You need to have a multi-channel approach to reach out to as many qualified candidates as possible. This means advertising positions on various job boards, social media platforms, and career websites.

Bad reviews that slip through the cracks

Bad reviews can quickly turn off potential candidates. In today’s digital age, people are increasingly relying on online reviews to make purchasing decisions - and the same goes for choosing a place to work.

For this reason, recruiters need to be proactive about managing their online reputation. This means regularly monitoring review sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed, and responding to negative feedback in a professional and timely manner.

3. How to come up with a solid candidate attraction strategy

Understand your audience

To create an effective talent acquisition plan, recruiters must understand who their target audience is - and what works best to attract them. One way to do this is by building up a candidate persona - to identify the skills, experience, and qualities that your ideal candidates should possess.

Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can start thinking about the most effective ways to reach them.

Create attractive job posts

Job descriptions play a key role in attracting top talent - hence, make sure they are well-written and informative. In addition, include relevant keywords, so that they have the chance to appear in search engines when people search for them.

To write an attractive job post, start by clearly defining the position and its responsibilities. Then, highlight the benefits of working for this position - e.g.: competitive salary, flexible working hours, learning & development opportunities.

Study your competitors’ strategy

If you want to stay ahead of the competition, don’t forget to keep an eye on what your rivals are doing. A good way to do this is by studying their social media channels and job postings. This will give you a good idea of the type of content they are sharing, as well as their overall candidate attraction strategy. From there, you can start thinking about ways to improve your plan - to attract even more top talent. And even without competitor research, you can take some actionable recruitment strategies now.

4. Quick wins for improving candidate attraction - The importance of marginal gains

While the list of areas to work on to improve your candidate attraction may seem like a long one, did you know that the fixes don’t need to be overly time-consuming or expensive?

Often, the key to improving the efficiency of your candidate attraction is identifying areas that can make an impact within your existing strategy and methods. It’s basically about making the most of what you’ve got and adapting it slightly. And we know from experience that tools already at a recruiter’s fingertips are often underutilized or overlooked.

While large-scale projects that overhaul your systems and processes are sometimes the answer to better candidate attraction, they shouldn’t be the first thing you implement. Instead, try looking at what’s already at your disposal.

Even the smallest of adjustments, when combined across multiple channels, can amount to more significant changes over a week or a month. The results can quickly boost efficiency and see you edging out the competition when it comes to engaging top talent.

Far from ground-breaking innovations (which still have their place, of course), there are often uncomplicated solutions right under your nose. Here are just three suggestions of areas to consider.


If you’re using tech in your recruitment process (and let’s face it, 99% of us are), then are you certain you’re using it to its full potential? As a recruiter, you’ll know how busy the day-to-day routine is. As the saying goes, “time is money” and gaining back valuable minutes per day can equate to hours in a week. If you’re spending long periods on admin and repetitive tasks, then learning how to automate them is a quick win.

Technophobia’s no longer an excuse. If you’re using a platform with automation tools available but are not sure how to maximize it, don’t delay in getting your head around how it works.

Going mobile

Using mobile apps is another fast and simple solution for increasing efficiency. Keen to be the first to reach that great candidate? Connecting with them or pulling up their details from anywhere and at any time is a huge advantage. Yet many recruiters still only access their recruitment activity while sitting at a desk.

Don’t let your competitors beat you to the finish line. Take some time out to discover how mobile recruitment could support your candidate attraction efforts.

Working smarter

There are a whole host of improvements that can potentially be made in the way you work. But for starters, are you using your database effectively? Or, are you wasting time on fruitless activities just because they’ve always been part of your process?

Many of us have lots of information available at the click of a button, but start to look for new solutions externally before fully exploring what’s right in front of us.

5. Final thoughts

There’s no denying that candidate attraction is a vital part of every recruitment process. To be successful, recruiters need to have a solid strategy in place. By taking a multi-pronged approach, you will be well on your way to attracting top talent for your clients’ open positions.


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