How to find rail talent in a candidate-led market

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Much of the UK jobs market is currently candidate-led, which means that there are a great many opportunities for a relatively low number of candidates.

Significant sections of the rail industry are no exception, so finding the talent your business needs to grow is not easy. Thankfully, Rail Recruiter is available to help.

Rail Recruiter launched at a tricky time for employers,” said Rail Recruiter’s MD, Dean Bruce. “In order to succeed, we need to make sure that we provide a valuable service to our clients, and this means providing suitable candidates for their jobs. Thankfully, we are up for that challenge, and we are employing a range of strategies that are proving successful, and which differentiate us from other job boards.

“However, before looking at innovative ways to boost candidate engagement, it is important that the basics are also right, and a key element is engaging with recruiters to advise them how to make sure their adverts stand out from the crowd. The right job advert can have a significant impact on the potential for a candidate to apply.”

The pay-off of stating a salary

Research undertaken by Reed indicates that adverts that include a salary produce 27% more applications; in a candidate-led market, this is significant. “We are certainly finding that jobs with a stated salary attract more applications,” Dean said. “And they are also a lot easier for us to market to potential candidates via the jobs board and the other channels that we are using to maximise reach.

“Yet many recruiters remain nervous about stating a salary on a job advert. This could be to avoid internal comparisons or to keep that information hidden from competitors. If this is the case, perhaps a salary range is the best option. But remember, if you do state a salary, firstly, it must be competitive, and secondly, you must be prepared to pay it should the right candidate apply.”

Adding a feel-good factor for candidates

Dean said that a strong job title is crucial, yet it is not always top of the list when employers are creating their advert. “This is most often the first thing that potential candidates will see, and this will also affect which searches the job appears in,” Dean said. “Recruiters should not feel the need to create a job title that is new or different – something that says what the job is and is easily recognisable might be best.

“It is also important to recognise that the advert needs to focus upon benefits to the candidate – they are, after all, in short supply. Include any benefits that come with the role prominently, not as an afterthought at the end of the advert. Fortunately, Rail Recruiter enables specific benefits to be picked out and highlighted to candidates in our job view summary. You should also look to include information about your culture and vision: in a candidate-led market, the right fit could be a decisive factor. Again, Rail Recruiter can help; all of our recruiters can create a directory entry where they can provide information about why they are a great organisation to work for, we can even include your organisation’s videos and other visual content.”

Location, location, location

“Historically, location has been a big consideration, and it remains so,” Dean said. “There are limits to how far candidates might be prepared to commute, but increasingly candidates are looking for opportunities for hybrid or remote working. You should consider carefully if different approaches to work are possible and then ensure any flexibility is clearly stated in your job benefits. Don’t make the big decision to offer hybrid working without shouting about it.

“Finally, try to be concise and make it as easy as possible for potential candidates to find the information they need. Exhaustive paragraphs full of requirements can be off-putting; equally, being too brief might encourage applications from candidates that are not suited to the role or it could give the wrong impression about the job and organisational culture. Carefully considered bullet point lists are often effective. Splitting skills and experience into essential and desirable can be an efficient approach. Remember, candidates are leading the market, so ensure your advert makes it easy for them to find out what they need to know”

Here to help

“If this seems too daunting or if you are struggling for the time to create the perfect job advert, we are more than happy to help,” Dean said. “Our team has the skills to present your jobs in a way that will give you the best chance of success. Rail Recruiter also provides a great deal of information about interactions with adverts, so we can quickly see what is working best. Whether you need us to check your advert or write it from scratch, get in touch, and we will make sure you can create an advert that puts you at the top of a candidate’s list.”

You can visit Rail Recruiter at

Contact Dean here, or call 01924 665960

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