What market dynamics are you working with?
Post April 2021 there has been a significant boom in recruitment, with many companies and agencies looking to fill multiple roles. With so much activity to find and approach candidates, across social media, job portal advertising, searching and networking, the ability to stand out can be compromised.
Niche or novel needs
With the rapid changes in consumer behaviour and markets, the world needs niche or novel skill sets to fulfil the new age we find ourselves in. Businesses and agencies have either become more specialist; to add strategic value, or they have diversified their offering and they need either specialist or multi-disciplinary skill sets. However, the skills out in the market haven’t necessarily caught up yet, in volume. Those candidates who can fill the current demand, are being approached with multiple opportunities.
Salary increases and counter-offers
High demand breeds higher salaries, and if that hasn’t been planned for, you’re on a fast road to zero candidates. On top of this, those candidates with reasonable salary demands and who are successfully engaged through to offer stage, are being counter-offered by their current employer.
In an age of flexible working, where life really isn’t too bad, the draw of an increased and higher salary, can be enough for candidates to stay put.
The ‘I’m not that unhappy’ candidates
Much to the last point, with flexibility and a better work-life balance, a lot of candidates are not that unhappy. This tends to make them more passive, and therefore harder to reach, as they’re not putting themselves out there, or actively applying for roles.
They need to be found, understood and engaged and that takes resource, money and time.
Even if some candidates really want to move, and the opportunity in front of them looks almost perfect, with all the confusion and predictions of further lockdowns and restrictions, some candidates don’t feel now is the right time. Again, these candidates aren’t active and need to be found and engaged around job security and stability.
What can you do?
In a nutshell: Be prepared and well planned!
Make sure the role is realistic in terms of salary and skill set. Get a second opinion from a specialist recruiter, such as ourselves.
Brief the role thoroughly to whoever is responsible for the recruitment process and messaging. The messaging needs to be honest and compelling and include essential pieces of information. All too often, the role is described in terms of responsibilities and candidate criteria only.
In the current climate, this is not enough, and it is very wise to include:
Location - and how flexible in terms of in and out of office minimum
Salary – generally candidates are very reticent to apply for roles without a salary, as they may be wasting their time, or they feel there is a reason for not detailing it – e.g. is it low? This of course is often not the case but can be a perception. If you can’t state the salary tackle it head on in the opening paragraph to explain that while you can’t publish salary, it is higher than average or competitive. Or dependant on experience and flexible for the right person.
Role profile – include the structure of the team and the place of this role in it. Sometimes this is overlooked.
What specific experience is needed
Future opportunity – this is often missed out. What is the career path that goes with the role?
Company culture and substantiation – when describing company culture try to substantiate what your company does to foster that culture
Postcode – when publishing any advertising, populate the location within the filters with a postcode. Google loves a postcode, and it will help to rank high on Google for jobs.
Date – try to date the job so candidates can see it is fresh or add a deadline, so they know the timescales.
Don’t rely on advertising – remember a high volume of job seekers are not behaving actively. You’ll need to invest in search tech or engage a recruiter who has access to this, as well as knowledgeable consultants who will be able to engage a passive market very well on your behalf.
Be agile – you’ll need to be candidate led with your interview process and be able to flex. Remember, candidates are likely to have more than one opportunity they are in process with and already at interview stage. Prepare for it and if you meet only one candidate, and they’re perfect, don’t dilly dally and move swiftly to offer!
Be financially prepared – this isn’t the market to try and negotiate with your perfect candidate! If anything, go a bit higher than they expected. Prepare for the counter-offer, just in case! And, even better, go out with a higher salary than you think. What was a £35k candidate is c.£5k more than pre lockdown! If budgets are tight, look at your benefits package. Candidates love to see benefits that endorse a supportive culture and one that invests in career development, in addition to the flexi working, pensions and holidays.
I could go on, but I will stop there! Try to plan and give yourself the best chance of success in finding your next perfect person!
As always, we are here to offer more tailored advice, with no obligation.