This post first appeared in Anthony Bullick’s Daily Post column.

According to various data sets and experts, January and February are the busiest months of the year for job searching – so what can brands do before the festive season to position themselves as an employer of choice?

The battle to hire and retain talent is being fought across all sectors, and with many growth plans contingent on recruiting the right personnel, how an organisation is viewed by candidates will be critical in their success.

Firstly, understand the user journey. For example, are job hunters reviewing your social media channels? What pages on your website do they visit? Do they seek information from third-party sites?

The next step is creating a PR and comms plan that ensures the potential employee has positive experiences when exposed to your brand.

Secure coverage online to encourage Google to paint your company in a positive light when people search for you. Consider niche publications and blogs as well as the more well-known media sites.

Increase the volume of reviews in addition to the average score on sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed, which focus on feedback from current and former employees.

It may also be advantageous to run staff surveys to benchmark existing morale levels and spot opportunities to improve the culture as well as identify possible risk areas such as common themes on management or salary levels.

Take time to understand what’s important to candidates, for example training and development, career pathways, or being included in the direction of the business. This intelligence will impact key messaging and content.

For example, different news story ideas include staff spotlights, new qualifications, and internal promotions. Vary the quoted people in expert commentary pieces to show you value voices from across the organisation.

Utilise all social media functions e.g. the main feed, stories, highlights, and reels, when sharing updates.

While it may be tempting to place the HR director or owner at the heart of the content, your existing workforce will carry much more weight and credibility if they are front and centre.

Explore integrating long-form and short-form video clips into your strategy and ensure your careers section is laid out to reinforce the key messages that may have been seen on the likes of Instagram and TikTok.

Finally, the above will also benefit your biggest brand ambassadors, current employees, whose opinions and views hold the largest amount of sincerity and authority.