How to Recruit Top Talent in the UK - Glassdoor for Employers

4 Easy Steps for Recruiting Quality Candidates

How to Recruit Top Talent in the UK

How to Recruit Top Talent in the UK

With the UK’s lowest unemployment rate in more than 40 years,1 the job market is now largely candidate-driven. For recruiters, that means it’s getting harder than ever to find the right candidates to join their companies. To better understand the widespread recruiting issues, we asked 750 hiring decision-makers about their key challenges and found out that ‘attracting quality candidates’ is their biggest headache.2


Who is a quality candidate?

If finding quality candidates is your biggest challenge, it’s worth defining who they are and investigating the best ways to reach them. Nine in ten (88%) hiring managers agree that an informed candidate is a quality candidate, so let’s take a closer look at their characteristics.3

Key Attributes of Informed Candidates:

  • Prepared for interviews and ask relevant questions
  • Demonstrate the right experience for the role
  • Familiar and comfortable with the organisation’s culture
  • Have the right expectations about compensation benefits

To put it in a nutshell, informed candidates have done their homework on the company and the role and therefore know what to expect. It makes the hiring process easier, faster and less expensive. In addition, it is proven that by hiring informed candidates, companies ensure longer retention, increased productivity, and higher employee engagement.4



Now that we know who informed candidates are and the benefits of hiring them, let’s look at top strategies of how to engage, target, interview, and close them.

1. Write a Better Job Description

Once job seekers click on your job listing, they look for information that will help them decide if the opportunity merits further investigation. That’s why, when writing a description, put yourself in the candidate’s shoes for each role, and speak directly to the job seeker. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • CLEAR JOB TITLE. To find the most relevant openings, candidates search for real-life job titles, while descriptions, such as ‘Genius’ or ‘Ninja’, get passed over. It’s also important to note that search tools don’t like shortenings or abbreviations, especially in titles, so write out ‘Senior Vice President’ instead of ‘Sr. VP’ for the best search results.
  • SPECIFIC ROLE DESCRIPTION. Too many companies fall into the trap of putting the ‘about us’ paragraph first. Instead, your opener should include three to five things that applicants will find exciting about the role. Hook them in and make them want to read the whole ad, and then apply!
  • LUCRATIVE OFFER. Over 40% of Millennials say they select an employer based on their health and wellness benefits.6 While ‘Location and commute’ is the second most important consideration job seekers take into account.7 So be upfront about the pay, working remotely policy, training opportunities and other perks that help you cut through the competition.
  • EASY-TO-FOLLOW FORMATTING. Dense and lengthy paragraphs are off-putting to read. Break up the text and make it scannable using subheads and bullet points. Less is more, so make every word count. Keep language plain and simple and avoid internal jargon and acronyms.
  • SIMPLE APPLICATION PROCESS. Great candidates don’t have time for complicated processes. Make applying easy and convenient via mobile, including a clear call-to-action button to your careers page, an applicant tracking system (ATS) or email.

2. Choose the Right Targeting Channels

Now that you have a well-prepared job description, it’s time to think of the right targeting channels to reach informed candidates. Today, job seekers visit seven different job sites during their search8 and use a variety of sources to find information on your company’s culture, salaries, and business prospects.

Research shows that after reading a job posting, 64% of candidates spend time researching the company before applying and if they can’t find the information they need, 37% move on to the next job posting.9 Consider what information candidates might find about your organisation on your careers page, social media, press releases, news media, and review sites such as Glassdoor.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get in front of candidates who have already done their research and are more likely to be hired and stay. Claim your Free Employer Account and follow the steps below to give informed candidates a more complete picture of what it’s like to work at your company:

  • Refresh your Company Overview section
  • Respond to reviews
  • Post photos, videos and company updates
  • Keep benefits information up to date
  • Ensure consistency between messaging on Glassdoor and corporate careers page

In addition, Glassdoor allows you to target job seekers based on their occupation, location, behaviour, and interests. You can also track the candidate demographics, see top companies you compete with for talent, learn which openings generate the most interest, and where the candidates are coming from. This data will help you focus resources on what drives the most ideal candidates.

3. Interview Informed Candidates

Once you’ve defined your short list of applicants, the work of interviewing begins. When interviewing informed candidates, it’s critical to be well prepared and aligned with hiring managers so the process can move quickly. Competent high performers will expect efficiency and want to be treated with the same regard that they have given your company.

Before starting an interview, make sure every interviewer is prepared with the essentials:

  • Re-read the job description and the candidate’s CV
  • Determine questions specific to the role of each interviewer
  • Differentiate between need-to-have versus nice-to-have skills
  • Check room availability and test any technology you’ll need
  • Read recent Glassdoor reviews of your company

The interview is often a candidate’s first in-person experience of your brand and can make or break the recruitment process. It also helps you determine if a candidate is indeed well-researched and ready to not only fill the role but thrive at your company. Here are key areas of questioning with a few sample questions.


  • What are two things about our company that stand out to you?
  • What prompted you to apply for this job? ROLES &


  • What skills or prior experience would you draw on for this role?
  • Name two things you would need to learn to perform at full capacity in this role.


  • What excites you about working for (insert your company’s name)?
  • How do you feel that your skills would contribute to our company’s goals and values?


  • Why would you want to work at our company over one of our competitors?
  • What thrills you about the future of our company?

According to Glassdoor research, more difficult interviews are statistically linked to higher employee satisfaction. Overall, a 10% more difficult job interview process leads to 2.6% more satisfied employees.16 Here are a few ways you can make your interviews more difficult without turning candidates off:

  • Ask behavioural questions
  • Give skill-based assessment
  • Assign a project or a presentation similar to one that would be performed on the job
  • Include members of cross-functional teams in the interview loop

Informed candidates know ‘the right fit’ is a two-way street and they ask pertinent questions. As you speak to each candidate, look for clues on how engaged and informed they are. Here are a few signs:

  • Mention of a recent project your company released to the public
  • Knowledge of your product and the way it works
  • Mention of specific internal events or employee engagement activities
  • Questions about your Glassdoor reviews
  • Mention of news articles, blog posts, company updates about your company
  • Asking to clarify anything they came across in their research
  • Talking about industry trends and how they would make improvements to your company

4. Close the Right Candidate

You’ve finally found the rockstar candidate for your open role only to have them turn around and tell you that they have second thoughts about joining your team. Here are a few reasons why an informed candidate may decline or counter an offer and how you can address them constructively.

  1. They had doubts during the process. From the very first interaction, the candidate is seeing you as an extension of the company. How you communicate with them is a reflection of what it will be like to work at your organisation. Informed candidates are curious, so the best way to close them is to make yourself available to answer all questions they have. From communicating next steps to providing email addresses for thank-you notes, these interactions contribute to the candidate experience. Regular emails and calls help keep them focussed during the process, while a lunch organised before the contract is signed further reinforces your investment in them and leaves a lasting impression.
  2. Your interview process took too long. Screening job applications, interviewing candidates, and making offers is a lengthy process that requires diligence and patience. Although informed candidates typically move through your process faster, it may not be fast enough. As each day goes by, the best candidates engaging in more job openings. Identify and remove any unnecessary bottlenecks to speed up your hiring process. After receiving CVs, arrange interview dates fast and give feedback to candidates quickly.
  3. They were counter offered. The best way to manage the surprise of a counter-offer is to arm yourself with an understanding of your candidate’s motivations and frustrations during your very first conversation. If a candidate is offered more money or a higher title at another organisation and you can’t compete, try to address candidates’ pain points and leverage all the unique aspects of your company. Culture, career growth, and benefits programmes all have the power to draw candidates to work for you. You don’t necessarily need to match the counter offer but could instead provide the candidate with a clear path to reach their goals.


  1. BBC, UK Unemployment Falls to 1.44 Million, January 2018;
  2. Aptitude Research Partners, 2017;
  3. Aptitude Research Partners, 2017;
  4. Aptitude Research Partners, 2017;
  5. Data based on 11.8 million applications in 2016 compiled by leading third party recruitment agency; measured by application-to-hire ratio compared to other job sites based on a study of 2015 hiring data for 30 million applications; and 2017 Glassdoor Employer Retention Study;
  6. Bersin by Deloitte, HR Technology in 2017: A Disruptive Year Ahead, October 2016;
  7. Glassdoor Site Survey, August 2017;
  8. U.S. Site Survey, August 2017;
  9. Inavero/Careerbuilder, 2016;
  10. comScore Media Metrix, February 2017;
  11. UK Site Survey, August 2017;
  12. Glassdoor quarterly average from Apr-Jun 2018;
  13. Demographic information by Facebook and Google for those users who registered with Glassdoor using their Facebook or Google account;
  14. Demographic information by Facebook and Google for those users who registered with Glassdoor using their Facebook or Google account;
  15. Glassdoor data based on the activity/searches, Apr-Jun 2018;
  16. Glassdoor Economic Research, Do Difficult Job Interviews Lead to More Satisfied Workers? Evidence from Glassdoor Reviews, October 2015