7 Steps to Stand Out from the Competition when Hiring in 2023

Throughout 2022, we experienced a very ‘candidate-driven’ market: a higher number of jobs and a lower number of candidates. It was often the case that candidates were receiving multiple job offers, as well as their current employers counteroffering (offering more for them to stay on when resigning), making it increasingly difficult for employers to compete for the best talent.

This trend was expected to flip as we entered 2023 with the lowest unemployment rates since 1974. It was also predicted that businesses would apply recruitment freezes due to the fear of the impact of a recession. However, so far this year, the market has shown no signs of slowing down in terms of the number of businesses continuing to hire; and it still appears to be a very candidate-driven market. With candidates continuing to have the choice between numerous job opportunities, it remains difficult for employers to attract top talent and stand out from other employers. It is no longer just about the highest salary offering; potential employees are now weighing up various other factors such as flexible working, company culture and development and progression opportunities.

So if you are looking to hire this year, what is the best way to stand out from the competition in a candidate-driven market? Consultant Gillian O’Neil discusses 7 key steps to take when hiring.


1. Sell the Brand

The best employers know how to manage the perceptions they build of their company by carefully monitoring their reputation on everything from social media to satisfaction surveys. Most candidates will look at a company’s website and social media pages to gauge the personality and culture of the business, and get an idea of what they would experience if they were to accept a position there. Therefore, it is important to make sure your website and social sites are complete and portray accurate information in order to attract the right talent.


2. Sell the Job

Make sure that potential candidates are provided with a comprehensive job specification that fully informs them about how attractive the vacancy could be. Use this to paint a picture of the business, the role and the team. Highlighting employee-wide benefits, perks and incentives is also a very useful tool and should also be contained within the job advert.


3. Optimise the Hiring Process

It is important for employers to have a recruitment process that makes it straightforward for candidates. The number of interview stages, speed of the process and information provided to the candidate prior to the interview are all very important factors in the hiring process and can help candidates paint a picture about the efficiency of an employer. Recently, we have seen a lot of employers lose out on candidates due to their hiring process simply taking too long, and candidates being offered something elsewhere first. Therefore, it is crucial that employers make decisions quickly and hire with a sense of urgency – if you find a candidate you like and want to hire, snap them up before the competition does.


4. Be Transparent

Candidates appreciate employers who are transparent about job duties, team culture, benefits, perks and other job essentials. These are all important aspects to cover in order to ensure you identify a candidate who is the right fit for the job, as well as ensuring the job is the right fit for that candidate. Therefore, making sure you are clear about your offerings and expectations throughout the hiring process is vital to both parties.


5. Clarify Values

Now more than ever, candidates are looking for companies whose values and cultures align with their own, so make sure your company values are clear. It can be a good idea to introduce a few value-led questions at the interview to get a deeper understanding of your candidate and what is important to them.


6. Be Flexible

Get clear on what skills, experience and personality traits are essential in order for an individual to effectively carry out the role; and identify which ones are only desirable. It is unlikely you will find your ‘perfect’ candidate who ticks all of the essential and desirable boxes when recruiting during a talent shortage. Therefore, adopting an open mindset and allowing for a bit of flexibility on what makes the ‘perfect’ candidate is the best approach to take


7. Seek Expert Help

Specialised recruitment agencies will be able to provide local and current market advice, and will assist in making all stages of the hiring process as smooth as possible. It is worthwhile speaking to a consultant who understands your sector or industry, as they will have a more informed and objective perspective on where your company fits within the recruitment market, and how your job offers are likely to be perceived by potential candidates



To sum up, standing out from the competition in a candidate-driven market can be challenging; but by following the above steps, using the right recruiting tools and maintaining an adaptable mindset, you will set yourself up for a successful hire.

If you would like to receive any further market advice or discuss how Rutherford Cross can assist you in finding the best talent for your business, please get in touch with our team.