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It's a candidate led market, how will you adapt and overcome?

It's a candidate led market, how will you adapt and overcome?

Posted on 18/04/2018 by Rachel Hough

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It's official...the numbers of people looking for work at its lowest since the first episode of Faulty Towers was first aired, Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Conservative party and perhaps the biggest landmark...since I was born!

So, what does this mean for recruiment?  Well...it means it's a great time for candidates to look for work as there is lots of choice and they can leverage their bargaining power.  Conversely employers no longer have a bottomless pool of talent to choose from and are likely to struggle to attract the best of what talent there is out there, for their business.  Not so long ago the average response rate per job role was 100 applicants - today we are seeing 60!  Thats quite a drop and although it still sounds as though you would have a decent choice to make, in reality you may only have two or three reasonably qualified people to engage with.

Candidates have choice, and so the question of why they would want to work for you is at the forefront of their thought process.  Yes, monetary rewards are important, and you certainly have to be offering the market rate, but the culture of your business is central for many people these days along with the perks, how employees are treated, development opportunities, staff attrition rates, you get the picture.  Employers sometimes forget that recruitment is a two-way process, applicants are also interviewing YOU to assess if your company and the role on offer are the best match to what they are looking for.  They probably already have a job, so why would they make a move to you?  What is your proposition?  If they have three job offers on the table what would make them choose yours above the other two?  So positioning your business as an employer of choice from the outset is essential.  This isn't just reserved for the big corporations with huge benefits - smaller businesses can achieve this sort of status too. 

The next key thing to consider is what are you actually looking for in this person?  What does the person/skills profile look like?  I have lost count of the number of times I've said to a client  "perfection rarely exists".  You need to be realistic on what are the negotiables and non-negotiables within the profile. 'What can we manage without or train into this person if they don't already have that skill or particular experience?'  So putting the time and effort into producing a well thought out role and person profile will go a long way to a successful outcome.

Part of positioning yourself as an employer of choice includes your recruitment process. If candidates are actively looking for work, they can turn that situation around pretty quickly so you need to act quickly - they won't be on the market for long.  The knock-on effects of employers delivering a poor candidate experience such as no structure to the interview, or non existent feedback, can have a very detrimental effect on your employer brand.  The ideal is that even the unsuccessful candidates walk away with a positive experience of your company. Reviews on something like Glassdoor do influence others, and if this is poor for your business, it may even stop candidates from applying in the first place and guess what - your candidate pool is now even smaller....

To summarise...if you want to position yourself for recruitment success in current market conditions, you need to...

  • Create your proposition to position yourself as an employer of choice
  • Be decisive!
  • Define your process and the timescales involved - be realistic
  • Commit to your touch points for communicating with your candidates
  • Update your interview skills and techniques - make sure they are the best they can be in response to this challenging candidate market
Don't be sat there in 6 months time wondering why your candidate pool is shrinking and why you can't find your perfect candidate - they don't exist!