It is being regularly reported that current vacancies in the UK outstrip available candidates. For specialist sectors such as the Pensions industry, opportunities continue to come onto the market, both for backfilling and for new vacancies being created. Talented individuals will frequently have several choices when it comes to where they want to work as well as more aggressive counteroffers.

What makes your job offer stand out and how can you ensure a successful appointment?

Is your candidate experience working?

This is perhaps the most important aspect of a potential new hire. Candidates typically will have had no previous relationship with your organisation. Ensure you are promoting a positive impression of the company wherever possible, from the company/careers website, social media channels and throughout the recruitment process.  Set and deliver on expectations by responding promptly to questions and providing feedback at each stage of the process (including candidates who have been unsuccessful on this occasion – they may have just been beaten by competition this time but could be your next hire –but will no doubt share their experience with peers who could be your next star).

How swiftly can you move?

Ideally you want to make a verbal offer the same day as the final interview and ensure the written offer/contract is with the candidate within 5 working days. Companies will lose prospective hires to nimbler competitors (it also gives candidates an impression of the organisation’s decision-making process).

Time to woo?

It is important to share feedback throughout the process, typically this will be more formal at early stages but as you develop a relationship with your prospective hire let them know they have impressed you and why. This should also not stop once they have signed on the dotted line and regular communication up to the day they start will remind them how valued they already are.

Telephone, not email.

Whether your recruitment partner presents the offer, or you share the good news directly, a phone call speaks volumes. You are continuing to demonstrate the effort you are prepared to put into this person, and you can gauge a candidate’s reaction much better than via an email.

What does it pay?

It is not always possible to be transparent from the start of the process in terms of salary details, if a range is advertised candidates will often expect the upper end from day one. However, it is important to share with candidate as much as possible about salary structures, grading, reviews and bonus potential. Whilst candidates in the pensions industry typically move for the career opportunity first, they expect a salary commensurate with the responsibilities and objectives they are being asked to take on.

Just about the money?

A candidate’s motivation is unique to them, often a role move may not equal more than a small pay-rise but feeling valued and appreciated typically features high on the list of reasons to move. What do you do for your employees, and does your potential next hire know about it, how will you support them to achieve their career objectives, what is your employee well-being commitment, perhaps you let your staff finish work early on Fridays during the summer months, or they get to have their birthday as an extra day’s holiday?

Ready for a counteroffer?

Your recruitment partner should probe this question at the start of, and regularly throughout the process. What are the candidate’s motivations? Good questions to ask include ‘What will your current employer say if you resign”, “Why are you looking to leave your current role and what could change that you would want to stay”. From Sammons Pensions Annual Salary Survey, 2021, in answer to the question of motivation for moving role “Salary”, closely followed by “New Challenge” and “Career Progression” reflected the past few years’ salary stagnation/lack of market movement. Culture featured a number of times in comments made.

The team at Sammons Pensions Recruitment is highly skilled in the management of the recruitment process from identifying your potential next hire to supporting the interview and resignation process and will remain in close contact until your new member of staff joins and successfully settles into their new challenge.

“Do you have any questions for us?”

This is a very important question to ask before finishing the interview. It gives the candidate a chance to ask any questions they have prepared before the interview, or that they have thought of during the interview (if not already discussed). As well as helping to manage their expectations and understanding of the role, it also shows how committed they are if they are already thinking about how they would undertake the role and the challenges they are likely to face. Good questions could be:

“Could you give me any examples of projects I will be working on?”

“What would success/great achievement look like for me if you were conducting my appraisal in 12 months time?”

“What training opportunities are available for staff?”

For further interview tips, or to discuss any current or forthcoming recruitment challenges please contact the Sammons Pensions Recruitment Team.

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