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Being desirable without being a big name

It’s easy to forget that the recruitment process runs two ways. It’s not just about a jobseeker convincing an employer that they’re the best person for the job – it’s also about the employer convincing the jobseeker that they’re the best place to work.

‘Best place’, of course, is subjective.

But being a big name is always a great foundation.

Whether you’re a major brand with a national or international reputation, or are simply a well-known employer in a particular area, being a big name means that potential new employees have a base of knowledge to start from. They know that working for you will give them a great point of reference on their CV. Maybe they even know people who already work for you.

The reality for many employees, however, is not quite like this. Sure, you might have a great reputation within the confines of a specialist sector, but once you start reaching out to jobseekers from different backgrounds or areas, the first time they’ve come across your name is when they’re going through your job advert.

So in these instances, how do you convince that jobseeker that you’re the best place for them to work? How do you give yourself the pick of the best jobseekers our there?

Here are three key issues we think you need to consider:


There’s simply no excuse anymore for offering a stuffy, horribly lit room full of uncomfortable cubicles. We get that not every business is going to offer Google-style slides and beanbags – and nor should they – but the most desirable employers are those that give a nod to employee comfort, expression and individuality in the ways they lay out and furnish their offices. A great working environment makes employees feel valued, improves their mood – and, as a side benefit, their productivity.


Few employers are going to be able to offer banker-style bonuses in conjunction with early Friday finishes, a car allowance and in-house yoga. But that doesn’t matter. What the vast majority of candidates we speak to want, above all, is flexibility. The autonomy to work from home now and again. The option of coming in and leaving earlier every so often. The ability to choose between benefit A and benefit B. This kind of flexible approach gives power back to your employees, and reminds them that you’re interested in what they want.


Think about it. Before their interview, any jobseeker is going to be poring over your website, learning as much as they can. If it’s in any way sloppy, poorly designed or dysfunctional, they’re going to carry that impression through to your organisation, and arrive at their interview with negative preconceptions. And don’t underestimate the pride that your (future) employees want to take in their place of work – the kind of website they want to be able to share with family and friends. Your online presence isn’t just aimed at customers.