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Every vacancy is different and there are a number of sourcing options available to attract the right pool of candidates.

Some roles will attract a large pool of candidates keen to work with you, whereas other roles will be more challenging due to specialist skills shortages. In this case, you may be looking at developing relationships with potential future candidates.

Recruitment is a two-way process, it is important to think about candidate care because while we seek to assess candidate suitability, they are assessing whether they would want to work with us.

Understanding your potential candidates

When you are thinking about the best approach to finding the best candidates for your vacancy, think about the following:

  • The profile of your ideal candidate
  • How many people fit this profile?
  • Where are they? (locally, nationally, internationally)
  • How attractive is the position to your ideal candidate?
  • What volume of candidates is likely, given past experience and/or current market conditions?
  • What publications/websites do they read?
  • What specialist professional associations might they belong to?

Mindsets & motivations

Understanding the mindset and motivations of your ideal candidate will help you to define your sourcing strategy and communication style. Your ideal candidate may be in a similar role with another organisation or working in a different role with transferrable skills. If they are working in a smaller role, they may be ready for their next career step.


Consider what candidates may value both within and outside the workplace. They may be interested in the opportunity to use or develop specific skills, developing their careers, a sense of fulfilment from their work, or variety at work. Outside the workplace your ideal candidate may value family life, networks (social, cultural, professional), the accessibility of recreation and cultural activities, or maybe flexibility in their working arrangements.

How attractive will your position be to ideal candidates?

Now that you have got to know your ideal candidate, think about whether they would be attracted to your vacancy. Consider which aspects of the opportunity would appeal to them most, and what may be less interesting.

The advert is only one part of what candidates will consider in their decision making. They will consider their knowledge of the University, your department, your reputation as a place to work and any feedback from previous candidates. They will look at your website and any other information they can access online.

Make sure you understand what the job involves on a day to day basis. How much of this is clear in the job description or information statement? Consider how attractive or unattractive this will be to candidates.

The recruitment team can help you write a job advertisement that will promote the appropriate aspects of the role to your ideal candidates.

If the position is likely to be hard to fill, be realistic in your expectations and think about broadening the applicant pool. What skills and experience are you looking for? Is there any flexibility?

Finding your ideal candidates

It is important to the future success of the University that we find and attract high quality candidates, therefore you are encouraged to advertise to the extent necessary and use whatever means are appropriate to attract high quality candidates.

The recruitment market

The recruitment market is evolving rapidly and there are a wide variety of sourcing options to consider.

The University's recruitment team is up to date with the latest trends and can access data about readership of different publications, websites and membership of professional networks.

We can also contact potential candidates who have previously expressed an interest in working for the University, and access other candidate data banks if appropriate for the vacancy.

Legislative requirements

As a University, we need to ensure that we publicise vacancies sufficiently to attract a suitable pool of candidates and comply with our legislative and policy framework.

View the Guidelines for the Recruitment and Selection of General Staff

Candidate behaviour

Changing candidate behaviour has an impact on how and where we present information about our vacancies. Many candidates will start their job search online with a key word search. They may sign up to websites and RSS feeds and wait for relevant opportunities to come to them automatically.

They share information about opportunities with friends and colleagues through social and professional online networks. Websites which do not traditionally list jobs may still provide opportunities to reach potential candidates through banner advertising. Print media is some of the most expensive advertising space available and may not be the most effective option.

Related Info

Get it done

Key contacts

Recruitment Team

64 3 479 8275

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