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How employers can attract the best talent

Author: ICAEW

Published: 10 Mar 2022

Learn about how you as an employer can attract and retain the best talent for your company.

Going down the university route is no longer the only option for young people starting their careers. Apprenticeships, for example, have become an increasingly popular alternative for Generation Z as they begin their working life. 

Employers need to make sure that their recruitment strategies attract quality candidates who want to work and stay within their business for years to come. We have put together a guide to help you find the best talent for your training programs.

How to attract talent to your company 

As a company, you want to make sure that you are using the right recruitment methods to find and attract talent. 

From the job description to practical tasks, it's important that your company has a transparent hiring process that job seekers can understand when applying for an apprenticeship or training vacancy.

In terms of specific things that you can do to attract talent to your company, here are some key areas to focus on.

Have an active social media presence 

While it’s great that you are advertising your vacancies on your website, having an active social media presence will widen the talent pool available to you as an employer.

Finding the right talent for your company can be time-consuming. By promoting your apprenticeships and other training programs on social media, it means that you can engage with a wider audience to generate more applicants. This makes it far more likely that you will find quality candidates.

In an increasingly connected world, neglecting your online presence harms not only public awareness of your services, but will prevent top talent from finding you.

Making your company culture visible to applicants 

Applicants will have lots of options to choose from. One way to make your company stand out among your competitors is to show your company culture off.

By telling talent about your company and why it’s a great place to work, they have a good indicator of your mission statement and the values you represent. Top talent will align themselves with companies that share the same values as they do - make sure yours are up-to-date and clear for all to see.

Other ways of attracting the best talent to your company 

Having an active digital presence, shouting about your company culture and clearly setting out your core values are all good ways of attracting talent. However, there are some other areas that also require attention.

Here are some of the other things you need to consider when trying to attract the best candidates: 

  • Creating a flexible working environment that facilitates a healthy work/life balance 
  • Offering a clear career development timeline 
  • Demonstrating the value of training with your company. For example, doing an apprenticeship over a university degree.


What employers can do to attract top talent within the recruitment process

The recruitment process can be expensive. As an employer, you want to make sure that all application processes are as smooth as possible to attract the best talent.

Not only is it important that you find the right candidates for your vacancies, but the processes in place must be inclusive for recruiting top talent. That starts with the interview process. Eliminating bias will allow you to find applicants from diverse backgrounds.

You can attract top talent through your recruitment process by doing the following things:

  • Mention the salary in the job description - rather than putting 'competitive' in a job advert, can you add an exact salary or salary range for the position you've advertised?
  • Not adding too many mandatory skill requirements as that can put off talent from applying for a role at your company.
  • Provide human interaction to prospective employees by hosting a virtual session which could be done via a Q&A skills session format.

How can apprenticeships benefit and retain talent long-term?

After going through the process of finding an apprentice, how can an apprenticeship  benefit your company, as well as attract and retain talent?

Hiring and training staff can be expensive, which is why apprenticeships are a great way of training talent. By making the most of the levy funding available to you, much of the cost of taking on an apprentice can be offset. 

Apprentices learn on-the-job while also developing their understanding of working in your industry, both of which provide value to your company. Apprentices also help plug skills gaps and guard against staff shortages - something that is particularly important in the post-COVID jobs market. 

You need to make sure that employees are engaged in the work they do for your company. Once the apprentice is equipped with the skills and knowledge to do their job, it will allow them to progress to various roles within the business.

We hope the advice that has been given will help you find and attract the best talent for your business. You can read our employer guide to apprenticeships where you can find more information about apprenticeships with ICAEW and how you can benefit from having an apprentice at your company.