Attracting the right people during a labour shortage

We invited Karen Brown, our Head of Operations and resident recruitment expert to share her expertise around finding and attracting the right people to join your team.

A bit about Karen, our resident recruitment expert! 


Prior to working at Smartly for the last 13 years, Karen spent 10 years working in the recruitment industry. She started off as a General Recruiter at a Recruitment Agency, and from there, progressed into managing a team of recruiters. She never completely moved away from interviewing people, and it's something she still enjoys and does loads of today. 

Karen currently recruits all our Customer Support staff, and several other roles within her Operations team. She also works closely with other hiring managers at Smartly, by interviewing with them and supporting them through the hiring process.

Why getting the recruitment process right is more important than ever. 


By now you'll know that there are some pretty big discussions happening in the world of recruitment. Things like salary transparency, The Great Resignation, labour shortages and company culture have all been topical stories doing the rounds. 

Recent studies have shown that 48% of workers are planning to change their jobs in the next year, 40% of workers are planning to search for a new job within the next six months, and 15% are already actively searching. The pandemic has made people reassess what’s important to them – if they’ve been feeling burnt out, or fantasizing about their dream job – now is the time that they can get it. There’s never been a better time to think about how you take better care of your team to ensure they stay, as well as making improvements to attract the right candidate for your role. 

In New Zealand, the job market is experiencing a huge shortage of candidates across all industry sectors. Now more than ever, it’s an employee’s market, and it’s the small details that can make all the difference when your ideal candidate is considering where they’d like to work. 

Karen Brown - Quote

Here’s Karen’s 6 tips to successful recruitment


1. Writing your job description

  • Make sure it’s a true reflection of the role! You want to avoid any confusion down the track, and make sure your candidate is confident in the role they’re applying for.
  • If you’ve been advertising the same role for a while, be sure to keep the job description up-to-date, and remember to be realistic about what you’re asking for in terms of the competencies and skills required for the role!

psst - keep reading, we've got a free job description template you can use to get you started at the end of this blog. 

2. Putting your job advert together

  • If you’re going to use a recruitment agency, be sure to spend the time to make sure they understand what you’re looking for, your business and the skill set you’re after.
  • Use the job title to your advantage, for example if the role allows working remotely, make it “Customer Support Consultant – remote working”. This could attract people who are considering a change!
  • Include all your benefits and perks! Things like free healthcare, insurance, bonus schemes, Friday drinks – it could be one of the smaller details that sets you apart from the rest. 

3. CV's and cover letters

  • One of the most important parts of the process – and there’s a few things you should be looking for. Big gaps in employment, and stability in their past roles!
  • Sometimes candidates who have been in the workforce for a while may leave off their education and qualifications – be sure to check as they might have just chosen to include more of their employment history instead.
  • Good candidates are hard to come by, don’t pass one up because you made an assumption.

4. Coffee catch up

  • Remember that this is your chance to sell the role, the business, and the culture! Talk about the kind of social events you have, team bonding and other employee perks! This will speak volumes about the culture of your business, which is important in today’s job market.
  • Concentrate on getting some key information during this time. Things like salary expectations – there’s no point going through the entire recruitment process only to find that you’re on different pages when it comes to money.

5. Formal interview

  • Preparation is key! Try and ask a mix of general and role specific questions. You’ll also want to include some competency-based questions, and also some questions around how they’ve dealt with situations in previous roles.
  • If you’re not sure what questions you should be asking, you can’t go past good old google! 

6. Offering the role!

  • Pick up the phone to tell them the good news, it’s competitive out there, so time is precious!
  • You might find that your candidate would like to negotiate their renumeration, or other parts of their contract. Be prepared! Do your research for what the role is worth – your candidate would have done theirs too and have their own expectations.

Download your FREE job description template


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