Businesses want to make sure they get the best employees, which means they need to make themselves as attractive as possible to prospective candidates.
Employment figures have been improving recently, which means companies face more competition when appealing to applicants.
One of the things that can improve their chances of attracting a high calibre of candidates is having modern forms of communication tools, from Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to messaging apps.
Read on to find out more.
Small pool of candidates to choose from
Businesses need to work harder if they want their choice of employees, as recent figures show there are fewer people in Britain who are currently applying for jobs.
According to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, the UK employment rate was 75.5 per cent between May and July 2023, which is just 1.1 per cent lower than it was at its peak before the pandemic struck.
At the same time, the unemployment rate was just 4.3 per cent, which is only 0.3 per cent higher than between December 2019 and February 2020, after which point lockdowns forced businesses to close, and the number of people without a job soared.
As it is getting harder for businesses to attract the talent they want, they are having to take steps to make themselves more appealing to potential candidates.
One of the ways they are doing this is by investing in VoIP technology, and making sure prospective employees know about it.
VoIP phone technology means those who are not in the office can still take part in meetings, including staff working from home or teams in other parts of the countries or, indeed, the world.
It also looks professional, particularly if it is rolled out across the company, allowing businesses to take advantage of features like voice greetings and call flows. Clients phoning into the firm will get a good first impression with a phone system like this.
VoIP also integrates email and other forms of communication, which enables consistent messaging throughout the business.
At the same time, it allows voice, video and messaging to follow the same brand guidelines, which creates a sleeker and more unified image.
VoIP is also going to become increasingly important in the future, as the use of landlines is coming to an end.
This is expected to occur by 2025 when BT Openreach plans to turn off the analogue public switched telephone network (PSTN) as digital technology continues to take over.
Candidates looking at a business will be interested to see whether they are prepared for this or if they are behind with the times.
It is not just VoIP that is important to jobseekers, but other IT applications too. For instance, many expect to be able to use messaging services to communicate with colleagues during the day.
Although old-fashioned email systems will always exist within businesses, it can appear very formal to send an email if there is just a small matter to discuss.
That is why many people save emails for more important messages, such as when you need signing off on something, as this written document can provide evidence in the future.
However, if you want to arrange a one-to-one meeting, have a chat about the day’s schedule, or need to find out something inconsequential, sending an email feels a little outdated.
Instead, having a messaging service is far more appropriate, as questions can be instantly answered, and it lends itself to more of a conservational dialogue.
In addition to improving the efficiency of the office, as instant messaging can speed up communication between staff, it also creates a better ambience as it encourages people to chat more to one another, albeit digitally.
This can improve the rapport between departments, helping to lighten the atmosphere and increase morale in the workplace.
Potential employees are likely to be interested to find out whether the business prioritises staff communication and bonding, and providing instant messaging is one way to show this.
Even the brightest, well-educated candidate might not feel confident being able to fix IT problems, which is why candidates will be relieved to hear the company provides IT support for them, so they do not have to.
Instead of having to waste several hours of a working day trying to undo a fault or panicking about how to retrieve a document they have lost, they know they can outsource this issue to the experts.
It is particularly valuable to prospective workers to know if this support is offered when they are working from home too.
A huge number of people wanted to continue their flexible arrangements after being forced to work from home when lockdown was called in 2020.
They had got used to finishing their hours at a time that suited them, not commuting to the office, and fitting work around their home life, and, subsequently, they have been keen to continue flexible working arrangements after offices reopened.
Despite tech giants like Meta and Amazon having recently been encouraging more traditional working practices by incentivising staff to get back into the office full time, employees want to carry on working from home when they can.
In fact, CIPD notes that as much as 87 per cent of people want to work flexibly, with this increasing to 92 per cent for young people.
“Hybrid working has inclusion and wellbeing advantages for employees and can help attract and retain people who otherwise might struggle to hold down employment,” the organisation recognised.
It also noted that in spite of the great demand for flexible working conditions, just 11 per cent of jobs are advertised as offering them.
Even though they want to be able to conduct work from their home office, they would still require the IT support that an office provides.
So, if businesses can show their employees are able to receive technical assistance if something goes wrong with their laptop or the IT cloud when they are working from home, this makes them far more attractive to candidates.