Attracting quality applicants to your business

14th July 2023

Before we get ahead of ourselves, and you read this blog thinking what the heck is this guy talking about. Let me ask you a quick question. Has your business seen an increase or decrease in the quality or overall volume of candidates applying to job adverts over the last 12 months?

Most recruiters are speaking to clients and potential customers on a daily basis (ours certainly are). Therefore, whether you are a recruiter, internal recruiter or hiring manager, then I believe you will be part of the majority who say that the volume and quality of suitable applicants are now few and far between.

Now, before you say it, I am sure there are plenty of great candidates applying for jobs. But in aviation for example (My home for the last 15+ years), there does seem to be a clear decline in relevantly skilled and experienced applications, compared to dare I utter it: post-COVID.

So, let’s take a look at a few potential reasons why this is the case:

- A Competitive Job Market

In a candidate lead market where opportunity is everywhere, do suitably qualified and experienced candidates even need to apply for roles. Or are they approached regularly enough to keep them off the grid? Let me give you an example. I was recently conducting a project for three seasoned sales managers for an established client. All three of the candidates we secured were happily employed, not on the job market and hadn’t applied to a role for yonks. These we call semi/passive candidates btw!

- Skills Gap

The key question is, does the required volume of industry talent actually exist? Without question, in aviation there are record levels of demand. Whether we look at maintenance, flight crew or design folk, the need is REAL!!!

- Ineffective Job Adverts

According to studies, job seekers spend approx. 49.7 seconds deciding whether to apply for your job or not. Make your adverts stand-out, keep them short and keep them relevant.

- Low Salaries and/or Poor Benefits

The cost of living crisis has been stuffed down our throats for months now. But for many in society, the pinch is painful! Although I am a strong believer that money shouldn’t be a key motivator for job seekers, appreciate that for a growing number of people it is. Make sure you are competitive, or at the very least paying market rate. The same goes for your benefits package, you would be surprised the number of candidates we speak to that expect medical cover these days (regardless of job role).

- A Lack of Flexibility

Don't get me started on this. Call me a dinosaur, but personally I just don't like it. Either way, apparently the world we now live in commands 'flexibility' and in order to attract and retain talent you should/are expected to be flexible. (Sorry to all my hands on Engineers who will never be able to benefit from this now ‘standard’ working model)

- Poor Employer Branding

Reputation is key, but for some brand and identity even more so. People care about culture, company values and integrity. If you genuinely care about things you consider important, make sure your next hire knows it and make sure they are aligned to your mission and vision. It will help with your longer-term growth and purpose.

To help improve the quality of your applications, doing some, or all, of the above could be the catalyst to upping the standard of response. So why not try enhancing your job ads and streamlining your application processes. Try investing in employer branding, offer competitive compensation packages, and ensure clear communication about the job requirements and expectations.

Lastly, if your business isn't engaging with an industry specific recruitment specialist right now, perhaps it should be! If your business is actively hiring, I urge you to find a specialist who is dedicated to your industry, has a nurtured network and offers unrivalled experience. After all, the right search partner should be your organisations gatekeeper when it comes to hiring and the filtering of relevant and suitable talent. They will save you time and in the long-run money!

by William Finden

About the Author: William Finden is the Founder and MD of Oaklands Global. He is a seasoned executive search and recruitment specialist with over 16 years of experience, dedicated to the international aviation & aerospace markets. William leads Oaklands Global’s C-Suite practice and has had a successful career delivering at the executive level for a diverse portfolio of clientele including Business Jet Operators, OEM’s, MRO’s, FBO’s Airlines and Rotary businesses. To learn more about how William can assist with your next career move or to discuss your next director level hire please contact him by email: