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What can I do if my sector is struggling to attract candidates?

We are often asked about overcoming sector wide challenges. Problems that are being faced by more than just your company, but your whole sector. These challenges may include things like increasing diversity, candidates not having the skills you need or, one of the biggest challenges, not attracting enough candidates for your sector’s roles.

This last challenge is the one we are going to discuss in today’s blog; What can you do if your sector is struggling to attract candidates. Using the steps below, hopefully you will be able to find answers and see how you can overcome this.

Firstly, we would recommend speaking to other early careers professionals within your sector to brainstorm why you are seeing a lack of applicants. There can be varying reasons, which may differ across the country and from one organisation to another. Working out what is a sector wide trend and what is just being experienced within your business is a good place to start.

Following this, we would suggest that you review data from your own company to see if this follows the sector trends outlined. This data should be easy to pull from your previous early years opportunities applications and cohorts. If you are unsure, speak to the data team within your business for support - I’m sure they’d love to be involved in such an exciting project to help overcome sector challenges!

Based on these trends, you can then create internal focus groups to see how you can work internally to overcome these challenges. You may already have communities within your organisation who can support.

For example, if one of the trends is “lack of visibility of relatable role models for young black females”, you may decide to speak to your Diversity and Inclusion lead to see who can support this internally. Rally up the most inspiring, influential and passionate people within your organisation because you’re on a mission!

This is where those super inspiring colleagues are going to play a huge part in helping you and your business. From your focus groups, create campaigns that you can use within your early careers marketing. Using the above example of young black females, you may need to do market research into influencers within this demographic. You can then reach out to them to see how they can support your campaign.

For example, you could ask an influencer to come into your business and interview your senior female role models. The influencer may then provide a price to share these on their social media platforms, tagging your business. Before you know it, their followers (your target audience) know all about your business. By seeing role models they can relate to, endorsed by an influencer they trust, you’ll be sure to increase applications from this demographic. Voila!

Be transparent, openly share and discuss the challenges you’re facing, the trends you have found and how you are working to overcome them. You may even create another round table with the other employers you initially worked with to share your findings.

If you need support with any of the above, NGTU are more than “just” a job board. We offer full 360 early careers support and can help you with every stage of your campaign planning. Get in touch for more information.

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