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Attracting New Talent: What jobhunters are looking for


Author: New Starters Interviewed by Eden Comins

“Job vacancies are now above pre-pandemic levels and were at their highest level in September-November 2021 since comparable records began in 2001.”

Coronavirus: Impact on the labour market, By Andrew Powell, Brigid Francis-Devine, House of Commons Library

We often read articles on “How to impress a recruiter”, “What Employers are looking for in a candidate” and “Top Skills Employers are Looking for in 2022”, today we wanted to switch perspectives and better understand what companies can do to attract and retain the right candidate. In a highly saturated job market, we should be listening to those who are looking for jobs.

Potential employees have the opportunity to work for a company that align with their own principles and priorities, and if employees believe that a company no longer works for them they can have the confidence that the right job, right company in a healthy environment is out there.

“A record number of employees are quitting or thinking about doing so. Organizations that take the time to learn why—and act thoughtfully—will have an edge in attracting and retaining talent. It’s not just about attracting the correct talent, it is also about how you retain those new team members.”

‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’? The choice is yours 

We interviewed some of the newest members of our team to help get the best understanding of what job hunting looks like in the current market and how to create a positive onboarding process.

Meet Our New Talent

Emily and Emma both joined the Outsourced family in November 2021 as Event Executives, Bradley joined in January 2022 within the same role and Gemma joined as an administrator in January 2022. Emily, a recent graduate, had been working in-person at an office throughout the pandemic. Prior to joining Outsourced Events Emma was self-employed and worked from home. During the pandemic Gemma was working from home for an event venue agency company.

Keep an eye on our socials to see them appear!

The Interview

When you were looking for a job, what was important for you?

Bradley: To me, just getting back into the events industry was the most important. Obviously, there’s a lot more to consider than just getting into the events industry, but I’ve had a bit of a tough journey trying to gain some experience in the industry and really I was looking for somewhere I could gain lots of valuable experience and progress in my career.

Knowing you would be working remotely had this changed your priorities?

Gemma: In my previous role, I was working from home. I was used to that, but I was specifically looking for a team that I could join and have a lot of contact with. That’s one thing that I’ve found really, really good at Outsourced Events; is we do have regular meetings, and we are meeting face to face on a monthly basis. So that was really important just to have that communication and, and see faces as well, not just people at the end of an email or phone call.

Emily: I think I wasn’t necessarily actively looking for a new job, but then I knew I wanted a change. I think as well, the work from home, I never really thought that I would be working from home because I came from an office. So that wasn’t something that necessarily stood out. But it wasn’t something that put me off either. So I think I agree with Gemma, I think the level of contact that the team have, has made it so much easier to adapt. It’s also made it such more like such a positive experience as opposed from going from the office to work from home, because that can be quite a difficult transition.

Do you all feel that the way you’ve been communicated with since joining has enabled you to feel a part of the team and a part of the culture?

Emma: It was important for me, when I was taking the role because I had been working from home and I’d been working for myself. It was really important to have that colleague connection, and definitely I have found that since joining Outsourced Events that, as Gemma said, we do have regular contact, we do ensure that we’re all ok; even if it’s just at the end of team chat, that you can pop in and speak to anybody if you need to. That really has helped me to feel part of the team and also to just really foster that work company culture where you feel that you are really part of it, and that you’re not just out on your own alone, and that you really are working part for part of a team. And that’s been really important and has definitely helped me to feel more comfortable.

Emily: I think that level of support from the rest of the team, you do feel like you can almost turn to anyone, it’s not just necessarily your line manager or, you know, someone else in your team is it’s literally anyone within within the wider team because everyone’s got such a wide knowledge. So you kind of want to feed off that as well. You don’t feel as though you shouldn’t be speaking to them because they’re not your immediate team or you know, everyone’s just so involved in every aspect. It’s really good.

Was there anything that we did as a company to stand out from other roles you were applying to?

Emily: I applied for the job through LinkedIn. I hadn’t had an immediate response, but I actually then got a message from Farah saying, that Sue was on annual leave and that it [my application] is in process, and someone has seen my application. That was just the sort of reassurance of “just to let you know, we have acknowledged the fact you’ve applied and someone will be in touch with some feedback”, and they didn’t just get sort of thrown in the bin, if that makes sense. I didn’t feel like just another number.

Emma: I did some research into the company and looking through the website before I accepted an interview, I could just see that there was a real strong ethos of diversity and inclusion within the company. That was really important to me to be able to work for a company that aligned with my own morals and beliefs. So that was, that was quite key. You can see clearly on the team blog the travel opportunities, that was important. So that drew me in.

Emma was recently interviewed for our blog series, Taken with the Team: Onsite with Emma

Gemma: I think the enthusiasm and passion stood out for me. Just having conversations with people, whether it be via message, or I’m on the telephone, everyone is just so enthusiastic about what we do as a company, and also enthusiastic about getting to know me, and things like that, which is lovely, because it makes you feel part of the team before you’ve even started. And I was also given the opportunity to speak to Emma, who was new at the time that I was starting prior to accepting the job to sort of say, how was it working for that, would you recommend I joined, even though I already knew that I would have been at that stage, it was a really nice, added extra to make me feel more comfortable about joining the team.

How did you find the virtual induction process did you find you’re still trying to get your footing with stuff it took you a bit longer than normal?

Emily: I’m not the most confident of people when I’m, you know, joining a new team, obviously. And it was just finding the confidence to speak out, if I did need the help and knowing that, you know, they are people are there to just help you and they’re not gonna, you’re not going to get criticised for it, or it’s not like a sign of weakness or whatever, like everyone is so supportive.

Did you face any challenges during this process?

Bradley: I think just being at home and not being able to speak to someone directly all the time whenever I was stuck or had a question was probably the hardest part.

Follow-up question: Is this a difference that reflects the lack of being in the office?

Bradley: The main challenge for me is that being quite new to the industry, it’s expected that I am going to have a lot of questions especially because I am always learning and being in an office with a team means I can go over to a colleague and ask any question I have or if I’m stuck and need help I can ask someone for some guidance. However, joining a company virtually takes that aspect away and makes it a little bit tougher.

Did you find that the company was helpful, was there any standouts on how we have helped with the challenges you’ve experienced?

Gemma: Like I said, even from interview stage of the enthusiasm, just for everything for our clients, for us, as a team for making people feel welcome and special. I just think that’s been brilliant. And just just messaging somebody and regardless of how busy they are, they are always polite and friendly and helpful. So that’s stand out for me. Definitely.

Emily: Yeah, I agree. Everyone’s so passionate about the work that we do so which is reflected in the work we do. If anyone can see you’re struggling a little bit they’re always there to give you a little bit of guidance. You get the feedback that you really need and validates what you do. I really valued feedback on any work that I do, just because obviously I want it to be right. And so the level of detail that especially my line manager gives for feedback I really find useful. I have let her know that obviously. So, you know, I want to make sure that if it’s not quite right, first time that it’s going to be the next. I just think also the team, everyone wants to be involved, in a good way.

Emma: Yeah, I just love everybody’s enthusiasm and passion for for their work. And it’s just it is a really positive company to work for. And just everybody you know, even though it is a demanding and sometimes stressful job I think everybody does strive to, to lead with that positive attitude, which really does make a difference. So the ethos, I think of the of the company.

Do you think that starting at the same time as others has helped the transition of joining the company?

Emily: Yeah, I think you didn’t feel as alone, you didn’t feel like they’re the only new person and that all the spotlight was on you. I think you’re you had something in common with someone else, it made it a little bit easier to get to know them as well. Because you know, you’re not alone. And you might be having the same challenges as them. And you can speak to each other about it without feeling like you’re the only person that’s finding it difficult.

Emma: Yeah, yeah. And having some of those first induction meetings together with somebody else. Yeah. You’re not the only person going through that. And that, you know, you’ve got a partner in your induction process was, yeah, was it was a good feeling.

Gemma: Yeah, it was, it was nice for me as well, because, as I say, Emma and Emily both joined shortly before me, but I was able to have conversations with Emma, prior to me joining and then also knowing that they were there and had experienced what I was going through just previously to me then and then it was a case of I could call them up and go How do I do this? Or how are you feeling? Or like, is this normal?

In Summary

It is evident that the power lies with (potential) employees and more than ever people are looking for an environment that they genuinely enjoy to work within. The transformation of the office to a virtual or hybrid offering has highlighted how important it is to create a positive team environment with structure and strong lines of communication.

Top Tips for Attracting and Retaining New Talent

  • Being passionate about the industry you are in
  • In an environment that gives back to you and can help you develop professionally (important for younger generations as the demand for experience increases
  • Working from home or hybrid the desire for structured team communication as well as unstructured/casual socializing | increased level of contact to make up for the lack of office or in our case onsite (atm) contact
  • Either because of or post pandemic lots of people have realized or want a positive change
  • Colleague connection, team morale and uniting the team even when we are no together = inclusive environment
  • It isn’t all about new talent and those you are trying to attract, you need to retain your talent and create a positive atmosphere that will help grow the business and in turn attract new talent
  • During the application process continued communication is key to making the candidate not just feel like another number or name in the inbox
  • Now that companies are all online having an active, representative and positive social media (or online) presence
  • A clear company ethos and brand that is reflected on all brand affiliated platforms
  • Offer the opportunity to speak with recent new starters or current staff that are in a similar role to that of the interviewee

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