Beyond the Big Three: Recruiting Gems in East Sussex’s Hidden Towns

East Sussex boasts a vibrant economy, attracting businesses seeking skilled professionals. However, recruitment can be a challenge, especially for companies solely focused on the larger towns like Hastings, Eastbourne, and Brighton. While it seems efficient to focus on these population hubs, a wealth of qualified candidates lies untapped in the county’s numerous smaller towns.

The Challenge of Efficiency vs. Opportunity:

HR departments and hiring managers face constant pressure to fill positions quickly. Focusing on larger towns with more potential applicants offers a seemingly efficient solution. However, this approach overlooks the diverse skillsets and experience offered by residents in smaller East Sussex towns. These towns often have a strong sense of community, leading to a higher retention rate for employees, a valuable asset in today’s competitive job market.

Unearthing Talent in Smaller Towns:

The key to unlocking this hidden potential lies in utilizing targeted recruitment strategies. Social media platforms, particularly Facebook groups, offer a cost-effective way to connect with specific communities. Here’s how to leverage them effectively:

· Identify Your Target Audience: Define the skills and experience you seek. Are you looking for experienced engineers in Uckfield or hospitality professionals in Bexhill? Understanding your ideal candidate helps tailor your message.

· Join Relevant Facebook Groups: Facebook groups cater to diverse interests and professions. Research groups related to your industry (e.g., “East Sussex Engineering Network”) or specific towns (e.g., “Bexhill Business Community”).

· Engage and Educate: Don’t be a pushy salesperson. Engage in conversations, offer career advice, and share relevant industry news. Promote your company culture and highlight employee benefits.

· Targeted Job Postings: Once you’ve built rapport with the community, post targeted job advertisements. Use keywords relevant to the group’s interests and emphasize the advantages of working in your specific town.

Beyond the Big Three: East Sussex’s Towns with Hidden Talent:

Moving beyond Hastings (population 91,000), Eastbourne (89,000), and Brighton (around 273,000), here are the top ten East Sussex towns by population, along with some potential Facebook groups to explore when seeking talent:

1. Lewes (17,000): “Lewes Business Network”

2. Heathfield (13,000): “Heathfield & District Chamber of Commerce”

3. Crowborough (22,000): “Crowborough Chamber of Commerce”

4. Bexhill-on-Sea (40,000): “Bexhill Business Community”

5. Seaford (25,000): “Seaford Business Association”

6. Uckfield (13,000): “Uckfield Chamber of Commerce”

7. Rye (10,000): “Rye Business Association”

8. Polegate (8,000): “Polegate Community Page”

9. Newhaven (6,000): “Newhaven Town Council”

10. Hailsham (12,000): “Hailsham Business Network”

Remember, these are just a starting point. Multiple groups may exist for each town, catering to different industries or demographic profiles. Explore and tailor your approach based on your specific needs.

Additional Strategies:

· Partner with Local Colleges and Universities: East Sussex boasts several educational institutions with talented graduates. Participate in job fairs or career workshops.

· Utilize Local Events: Sponsor industry-related events or attend networking functions in smaller towns.

· Employee Referrals: Encourage existing employees to refer qualified friends and family residing in surrounding areas.

By adopting these strategies and leveraging the power of social media, companies can unlock a wealth of highly qualified talent in East Sussex’s smaller towns. Remember, recruitment is a two-way street. Showcasing the unique benefits of working in a smaller town, alongside a positive company culture, will attract valuable new hires and contribute to a thriving East Sussex economy.

Effective Short Cuts: Recruitment companies such as ours can bring with them networks, contacts and technology that can turbo charge your next critical placement. Make sure they’re willing to come to you and get to understand you and your uniqueness. If they talk about you, before they talk about them, you stand a chance.

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