People First Personnel

A guide to attracting the best talent


Knowing how to attract the best candidates has become more challenging thanks to the UK currently experiencing something of a skills shortage. Traditional tried and trusted methods of advertising jobs may not be as effective anymore, so a fresh approach is needed to attract the top talent.

Here is a quick guide to how you can attract the best talent to your company.

Craft enticing job adverts

A custom-written ad will always work better when trying to attract the best talent, so don’t simply cut and paste generic text or job descriptions when writing yours. You also don’t need to be a best-selling author to craft an enticing job advert as there are some simple steps to follow which will do the trick.

First of all, ditch the long list of requirements that frequent so many job adverts seeking out highly skilled talent. Instead, identify the absolute essentials skills, qualifications and experience and only include those. For jobs that genuinely do have a long list of skills needed, think about which ones can be learned on the job with some training. An otherwise perfect candidate will be put off by the ad if they do not already possess this skill that can be learned once in situ, so don’t include it.

Secondly, make sure to use inclusive language, and keep the text fairly short. Some research into job description length has identified 250 to 300 words as the ideal range.

Advertise on both general and niche job boards

General job boards draw a lot of eyes and are often the first stop in a candidate’s search for a new role, but don’t neglect the niche job boards either. This is especially true for highly skilled roles or roles with very specific skills.

Some niche boards also appeal to certain untapped or underrepresented talent which might otherwise be overlooked. This includes the likes of older workers and working mothers, and even the likes of freelancers seeking a more stable role within a company.

You can still target your ads at the right level of skill and experience, but such niche job boards will help diversify your reach.

Practice inclusivity and reduce bias

Following on from broadening the scope of the job boards you advertise on, inclusivity and bias reduction will also open up extra opportunities to attract the best talent out there. But while it is easy to give it lip service, actually working on reducing our biases can take a significant effort.

We tend to be more sympathetic towards people who look like us or come from the same area as us, and this can lead to unconscious bias influencing decisions. We all have natural biases that we might not even be consciously aware of, and it is these biases that need to be recognised and removed from the equation.

Another big way biases manifest is in a company’s work culture, or at least in its own self-styled perception of its work culture. For example, global non-profit organisation Generation conducted a survey that discovered employers in the UK and certain other countries preferred to employ staff under the age of 45. The reason for this bias was that younger candidates were considered to be a better cultural fit, even though the employers themselves admitted that there was no difference between the performances of older and younger employees.

A lively and energetic work culture shouldn’t preclude older workers, just as a calm and composed working environment shouldn’t preclude a younger worker. The best candidate for a role may not align with a particular unconscious bias, so make sure you are not missing out on such talent.

Help candidates build skills

With the current skills shortage in the UK, it is a good idea to identify what in-house training and skills-building you can provide to candidates. The best candidates will also want to know they can make progress at your company and advance their career ambitions, so this is a win-win.

By providing training and the opportunity to build new skills, you can navigate your way through the skills shortage while still attracting the best available talent. This also relates to the first point in this article about crafting enticing job adverts; only expect the absolutely essential skills and experience and see how you can further develop a candidate once they are on board.


If you are looking to hire in 2023, get in touch with our recruitment team here at People First Personnel – call 01635 283336 or email

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