I am a huge Greg Savage fan.

When it comes to agency-side recruitment, nobody tells it better than Greg.

He is a fountain of recruitment knowledge and is excellent at telling you the things you don’t necessarily want to hear but know that you have to do.

Recently he posted an article entitled 12 Crucial Recruiter Tactics For 2023, which I loved (see article at the foot of newsletter).

If I was still running a recruitment agency, this is what I would be going through with my people to set them up for 2023.

Though I now sit on the other side of the fence in the Talent Acquisition World, there is plenty we can take from Greg and implement in TA.

So, I sneakily took his advice, took his 12 points and changed the angle slightly, so we now have 12 Crucial Talent Acquisition Tactics!

Let’s get to them.

  1. Make yourself indispensable to your company. Never has this been so true in Talent Acquisition. We all know great people who have been laid off in the last 12 months. TA is one of the first parts of the business to be hit when the tough times come. And as we know, those tough times always come! So, make sure that your business sees you as something other than somebody who finds CVs when there is a hire on. Be VISIBLE. Work on the process. Work on branding. Team up with marketing. Suggest internal mobility schemes. Help your leaders strategise their talent planning for the future. Help them partner up with institutions that will increase their diversity. What does your candidate experience look like? How is your onboarding? There is SO much TA can offer a business. But, you’ll need to be proactive, and again, you must be VISIBLE.
  2. Now is the time to take a ‘people are primary‘ approach. TA should be involved in retention; there, I said it! Are the people you hired for the business in the last 12 months happy? Are they unsure about their role in the industry? Are they scared about the economy or the world? Check-in with everybody. Get helpful info which business leaders can use to help make sure that their people are happy, motivated and invested in the business mission. You have a unique position in TA where you should have special relationships with the people you have brought into the business and those around them.
  3. Time to brick wall all your existing clients. What clients? I work in TA; I hear you say! Well, your clients are your stakeholders, the hiring managers. And your life gets a hell of a lot easier if you have good relationships with them. So check in, maintain that visibility in the business and see if there’s anything they need from you. Market intelligence? Salary benchmarking? How are the people you placed in their teams doing? Are there any people in their groups they are worried might leave, so you might need to replace them? Relationships with stakeholders are essential; you need to build trust with them so you can gently influence them with your data and expertise.
  4. Reignite those dormant client relationships. Ok, so I will cheat here and reframe what the client means in this context…CANDIDATES! Could you look back through your list of candidates you spoke to in the past 12 months who were interested but maybe didn’t enter the process for whatever reason? Things change. You have built the building blocks of the relationship already, so check back with them to see if they might be more ready to discuss a career move. Like business clients, the most significant opportunities often lie in the people you know rather than those you don’t.
  5. Hone and refresh your sales approach. What do candidates want? Would you happen to know? It may be different to what they wanted in 2022. What matters now may not have counted then. So, make sure you are developing yourself. Make sure you consume content like Talent And Growth podcasts or Recruiting Brainfood newsletters! Get better at your job, consume the data and the reports and use the information to hone your approach to outreach so it is in line with the modern day. Do candidates want to work in a tech start-up in 2023 when the economy is so fragile? Maybe not. You shouldn’t position your business like that. Does your company offer a unique benefit that makes you stand out? Could you push that in your messaging? Again, could you check the data and make sure your approach is appropriate for the times?
  6. Extract every candidate you rated as ‘good’ from your ATS but did not place in 2022 and 2021. Sounds similar to number four, right? Well yeah, it does, and I already talked about this. So let’s mix it up. Do you have candidate feedback on their experience in your process for the past two years? If not, then you should. Put together a Typeform survey to send to everybody involved in your strategy in the last two years. Get qualitative and quantitative data which conveys how good your hiring process is. Then use that data to give you and your TA team a big pat on the back (and the hiring managers, of course) OR use that data to influence change in the business, which leads to better candidate experience and better branding for your company.
  7. Get off the ludicrous recruitment seesaw. By this, Greg is talking about not jumping from business development, and no candidate cares about scrambling around looking for candidates and forgetting to flex that BD muscle. In the context of TA, I would suggest that even when you aren’t hiring BUT you know that you regularly hire React Developers or whomever it is you periodically hire and find it tough to do so – then from your perspective, don’t ever stop that outreach. Keep building that candidate pipeline. Keep starting those conversations. Keep producing that compelling content that entices those good people. Keep running candidate-focused events that introduce potential superstars to your business. Think ahead.
  8. Qualify and prioritise your job orders. This is JUST as important in TA as it is in an agency. Could you picture the scene? You have 20 roles just landed on your desk. How do you work out where to start? Well, you work out where the need is most vital or where the market is weakest. The most important question I ask hiring managers is, “what is the impact of not having this person on you”. If they say it doesn’t matter, it would be nice to have somebody then. MAYBE this role is less significant than a priority who answers saying that they haven’t left the office for two weeks because they are understaffed. Prioritise the people who are ready to hire and have a genuine need.
  9. Engage whenever you can. Got a hot candidate? Call over email, Video over call, face to face over video…the more robust the engagement, the stronger the relationship you will build, and the stronger the influence you can have on the process.
  10. Do not discount your fees. Were you looking for a new role? Don’t downplay your value because you are worried about the market. Instead, you can go to every interview with the impact you had at your previous companies and the data to back it up. What was your time to hire? What was your quality of hire? What was your hiring velocity? How many people did you employ? How much money did you save the companies compared to using Rec agencies? Be bold. Be proud.
  11. Get out and mingle. You can meet candidates but build out your TA network as well. That network can be critical if you find yourself in a challenging position in your career and need to find a new role.
  12. Build your online brand. Your online brand is the shop window that candidates will browse when deciding whether to talk to you. Make it as attractive as possible. Make clear who you are and what you stand for. Deliver compelling content and videos that help candidates. STAND OUT. That’s the name of the game.

See Greg’s original article here – https://www.gregsavage.com.au/2023/01/09/12-crucial-recruiter-tactics-for-2023/

Wondering how healthy your talent acquisition process is and how you compare to your competitors? Take the Animo Test here – https://animogroup.scoreapp.com

The Job ADVERT. Not Job Description. ADVERT.

This to me, means we need to create something that sells to our target audience (candidates) and has the potential to create a feeling of missing out if they don’t apply.

Whilst, of course, remaining honest, authentic and in line with the job itself.

So on a special 99th episode of Talent & Growth, I shared my philosophy in transforming job specifications into talent-attracting ads.

Your job advert is the first step in converting talent into customers, so it’s essential to get it right if you want to attract the best (or any!) people.


But before we get to my 9 steps, does your business need a hiring health check? As we head into 2023, are you looking to understand the health of your hiring and talent acquisition function?

The Animo Group have put together a Talent Acquisition Health Check which is FREE to use.

Developed by experts, this tool will benchmark your ability to find, engage and hire the best talent and compare this to your peers and competitors.

Get the report right here:



Now, the 9 steps to job advert success!

1) Get candidates hooked with a purpose

People want to know that what they’re working on matters. Put the purpose of the business in your advert’s headline and share how the company is changing things for their customers, sector or industry to align candidates with their mission. You’re inviting candidates to be part of something bigger. It’s all about tapping into the motivation that gets your candidates up in the morning.

2) Advertise potential achievements

Once you’ve aligned candidates with the company’s purpose, it’s time to tell them what the role will allow them to achieve. When they look back on their time with your client, what could they be proud of? Ask the hiring managers, ‘What would people be able to say they did here?’ That is a selling point. Promote development when you talk about the role, and tell candidates what new skills they’ll gain, who they’ll be learning from and how it will advance their career.

3) Prioritise progression

Talk about the progression path for the role. Be transparent about the process, such as ‘If you do well for this amount of time, and we set the clear deliverables, then you’re going to end up here.’ You’re not just selling candidates the next six months; you’re offering them a future with the company.

4) Clarify your requirements

Once the candidate is interested in the role, it’s time to talk about what the company needs from them. Data shows that the more requirements there are on an ad, the fewer people are going to apply, so keep it concise. Ask the hiring manager, ‘What must this person have done in their past or be able to do for you to be interested in them?’ Usually, they give me no more than three things. There’s a skill shortage; you can’t afford to give capable candidates reasons not to apply. The trick is to make your positions accessible and then hire people who show an aptitude for learning, collaboration and adaptation.

5) Outline the responsibilities

Putting a list of the day-to-day responsibilities of the role helps candidates establish if this is something they’re interested in doing straight away. Make it sound exciting! Talk about the opportunities they’ll get by working in particular areas and what level of accountability they’re going to have. You’re selling the experience of working for the company here.

6) Shout about your values

A big part of companies’ branding is their values. Whether it’s your collaborative work style or inclusive culture, put them in your ad because you want to see if candidates’ values align with yours. Remember that you’re selling to candidates in your ads, so you need to tell them why they should apply to your jobs and engage with you specifically. Mention your commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Your goal should be to make sure that everybody is as comfortable as possible to apply to your jobs. Make sure that the companies you’re advertising live by their ED&I policies as well because it needs to be completely authentic if you’re going to have a positive talent retention rate.

7) Offer Transparency

Salary transparency is really important. You’ve got to be pragmatic here because if you haven’t got salary transparency in your business (which is something you need to look at, but that’s for another day), then it could be tough to advertise it. Where you can, put salaries on your ads. That shows that you’re valuing the skills this position needs rather than chasing years of experience or low-balling people for other reasons. Even if it’s a range like £80-90k, give people a ballpark. It helps stamp out inequality and gender pay gaps, so including it is the right thing to do.

8) Lay out your process

You should also include an outline of the interview process. This goes back to ensuring that this is an inclusive process and that everybody will be treated the same. People also want to know what to expect. Having 25 rounds and 17 technical tests along the way will make your candidate experience suffer, so hone that process and put details on the advert. Be proud of it.

9) Promise feedback

Finally, could you give feedback to your candidates? Whatever they’ve done, however, they’ve engaged with you, whether it’s good news or bad news, you should be giving them some sort of feedback. Committing to feedback in your advert is another good selling point because people think they’ll get ghosted by TAs or companies, or recruiters. Following through will help you maintain an inclusive and transparent process that people will trust.

Finishing touches

When it comes to writing a job ad, my best advice is to throw out the specifications and start again. You need to be making sure the requirements are coming from the hiring manager and sticking to two to three (maybe four things for really high-level or technical positions) things that that person has to have to get this job or to be considered for this job. Transparency in all areas of your hiring process will also help you attract people, so be clear about the way you work. Write it all up in an informative and engaging way, and you’ll have the perfect job ad. 

Check the podcast here –

And what are you doing at midday today GMT? Joining me for a big talk about DATA! Sign up right here – https://www.linkedin.com/video/event/urn:li:ugcPost:7017777792075366400/

A topic that often pops up in the recruitment world is candidate experience. In Episode 97 of the Talent & Growth podcast we spoke to Mary Strebinger, who is the Global Talent Acquisition lead at Who Gives A Crap?, about how they ensure that their candidate experience is amazing. Read on to find out how Mary’s team is pushing for a great candidate experience. 

How do you deliver on your company’s mission to provide a positive candidate experience? 

Candidate experience is just as delightful for us as it is for the candidates. We make sure each and every touchpoint is absolutely delightful, inclusive and equitable. Everything from our application process to our talent communications is peppered with everything from toilet humour to information on what to expect from us when you start working here. We welcome you to push back. The candidate experience is really about a two way street, so we want to hear what you’re thinking about, what you’re curious about, what you need from us or if you have any concerns. There’s a lot baked in there about expectation setting and transparency. 

We’re all about uplifting the gold standard of what it is to be a good business. We put purpose, the planet and people next to a profit, if not a little higher. We want to do the same thing in our candidate experience, because that’s really what it’s like to work with us. Even the interview itself is really a series of conversations for candidates to get to know us. Most of our team grows with us for years because we have a lot of internal mobility. Our hiring process is a little bit longer, but it’s a really intentional process. Every moment that you have with us is a two-way street where you can get curious with us, meet all our people and peek under the hood to see if it’s a good opportunity for you.

How do you make sure that the candidate is getting the right experience with you?

We have really intentional hiring processes. The standard process is about five touch points. It’s all a series of conversations, not interviews, for you to get to know us as much as we’re getting to know you. We assess everybody at the start, and then the first step is a phone screen with a talent rep who talks about our people and culture. After that we do a hiring manager screen, and they’re going to be diving a little deeper into the function of the role. After that is the middle stage where you meet some peers, whether it’s within a function that you’re going to be working elbow to elbow with, or some hyper cross functional collaboration partners. After that, we have something called homework, which is a paid project. We give candidates anywhere between a week to two weeks to work on it with us. Finally we pull together an offer and give you an executive interview. 

We also have something on our job board called ‘dream job’. It’s an opportunity for you to put in your general application or tell us what your dream job is. Instead of just putting in your resume and a little cover letter saying how much you love Who Gives A Crap?, you’re telling us ‘Here’s what I love to do, and here’s how I think we can partner up’. We look at those and do an exploratory call. We’ll decide what working together could look like, whether it’s a full time or it’s an ongoing role. Sometimes it starts as more of a consultancy, but we’ll design a process together with those dream job candidates. 

What we look for with every application is the intentionality of it and the level of care and curiosity that someone is bringing to the table. That’s something we always reciprocate. 

What does candidate feedback look like in terms of the feedback which you’re delivering to candidates and the feedback you’re gathering from candidates on the experience they’re getting?

I’m at the intersection of feedback from both sides. When you interview with us, we’re training your hiring managers and teammates to be delivering real time feedback. When you’re with me I’ll tell you about what the next steps look like and prepare you for your next interview. I’ll be directly or indirectly providing you with feedback to set you up for success with the manager. I cover some of the questions that we tried to dig into, but we just couldn’t quite understand and help you get more clear and concise with your answers. We’re also offering emails or texts or phone calls in between meetings so that candidates have the opportunity to reach out if they’ve got questions or feedback for us. 

We definitely want to know how your experience was at each touchpoint. We ask ‘how are you feeling? Do you have any further questions? How is that interaction? Was it prompt? Did they show up on time?’ We’re asking it more in an open ended form, but I’d like us to get a little bit more standardised. We do reviews internally with our hiring managers and our teams, but we haven’t been doing that with candidates. I always want to hear from candidates, and I don’t know if I’ve gained a reputation or if what I’m doing is working, but candidates are providing feedback to me unprompted, which I really love. 

We also get a lot of feedback from our rejections. I make sure that anytime we reject someone that we provide really constructive, valuable feedback and let them know what the decision really weighed on. What that does is help someone upskill, puts them back on the job market and gives them a sense of direction. I have definitely provided feedback that’s either changed someone’s job search or helped redirect the career path that they were looking for. It’s helped provide them with interview prep and allowed them to move on in their journeys, even if it wasn’t with us. Our feedback is always based on core skills and behaviours. We get great feedback from candidates who say ‘Hey, you’re right. I could have answered that more clearly. I did feel like it was a bit too senior for me.’ That way it benefits both of us. 

To hear more of Mary’s insights on creating a great candidate experience, tune into Episode 97 of the Talent & Growth podcast here.

On Talent & Growth we speak to talent leaders about the challenges they face and their solutions for attraction and retention. If you’re interested in hearing about how companies are building a more diverse talent pool, how you can attract top people from the big players, ways to create a more inclusive interview process or learn about the latest and greatest automation software to make your life easier, then this is the podcast for you.