Recruiting the staff and skill-sets that your business needs can be challenging; however, if you live in a small town or a rural location, attracting talent can be even more difficult.
Roles based in larger cities tend to attract more candidates – this is simply because these locations have a larger population and salaries tend to be higher, especially in and around London.
You might also find that some locations have built themselves a reputation within a certain industry. For example, some cities are known as ‘tech hubs’ which act as magnets for professionals seeking employment within the technology sector.
But what steps can you take to improve your recruitment in a less populated area?
Follow our five top tips to boost your regional recruitment and increase your chance of attracting the candidates you need:
1. Take advantage of regional networks and local job boards
It’s important to make sure that you’re using the right mix of online job boards when advertising your vacancies. This doesn’t just mean using a combination of generalist and specialist job boards; try using local and regional job boards, particularly if your role is based in a less populous location.
Additionally, when sharing your role on social media, try promoting it within local groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also use Twitter hashtags to make it more searchable and ask key contacts in your area to retweet your vacancies to raise awareness.
2. Develop your referrals scheme
Although referrals programmes are a great idea for any business, they are vital for companies based in smaller towns who are struggling to attract talent with their recruitment advertising campaigns.
In fact, 48% of HR and talent leaders stated that employee referral programmes were their top source of quality hire, according to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report.
An attractive referrals scheme will incentivise your employees to recommend contacts in their local network in exchange for a reward. Be generous with your reward; after all, making a hire via referral can save you thousands of pounds.
3. Sell your area to people looking to relocate
If you’re still failing to attract candidates locally, it’s worth looking further afield and pitching your role as a relocation opportunity.
There will always be people who want to escape the rat race and move somewhere a bit more remote and away from the fast-paced life of the city.
If you’re working in a smaller, more remote location, think what you can offer your employees over city living. For example, is your office five minutes away from the beach? Does your staff room have beautiful countryside views? Are the transport links good? Is property really cheap? Think about the lifestyle that candidates could have and sell that, as well as the opportunity.
If you’re in a position to help with relocation costs, even better!
4. Remote working
If you’re struggling to source the required skill-set for your role within your local area, it’s worth considering remote working.
There are plenty of roles, particularly in the IT sector, where employees are easily able to work remotely. Carefully consider whether you’d be able to successfully manage a remote worker; if so, it will allow you to widen your search range.
5. Focus on improving your brand
Improving both your corporate brand and your employer brand can seriously help you to attract talent from afar.
For example, Dyson is a major technology and engineering brand that many people would love to work for – they’re based in Malmesbury in Wiltshire, a small town with a population of 5,000 and they are the main employer within the area.
If you develop a strong brand and a reputation as a good employer, it doesn’t matter where you’re based; you can attract talent from anywhere.