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Candidates Rule.. But how can you level the playing field?

Trying to recruit in a candidate driven market

Any recruiter you speak to will tell you about how the market is very candidate led at the moment and has been for some time.  Employment is at a record low and there is more choice than ever for job seekers. You’re likely to be competing with your competitors to attract the best talent more so now than ever.

There are many factors that will be affecting your ability to recruit the best talent including but not limited to;

Brexit – It’s a word I hope one day to never have to hear ever again and as much as we try to ignore it, Brexit must be having an impact.  It’s the uncertainty.  What if someone moves jobs and then we fall into the much hyped possibility of recession and then they lose their new job? What if the new employer goes into administration as many firms did back in 2007? What if their previous employer make redundancies and they miss out on a big pay off?

Skills shortage – Your competitors are looking for the exact same people as you! How can you get to them first? Are you working with a reputable specialist agency who have access to the people you don’t? Are you paying more than your competitors? How does your benefit package compare? Are you moving quickly enough?

Your reputation – One thing I have learnt as a Recruiter is people talk! Plus, it’s so frustratingly easy to post an anonymous online review. To be fair most negative reviews are probably unwarranted. It’s not always easy to respond to every single unsuitable application. BUT do you provide prompt & full interview feedback? Time and time again, I hear about candidates who have been interviewed directly with companies to never receive so much as a “no”. I work with a client who seem to have a vacancy consistently in the same team – valid reasons why people have left the team, but if not conveyed in the market properly it can be seen as a negative. Especially when the skillset they require is so niche. The people they want will have been contacted multiple times throughout the year about what sounds like the same role – often by multiple agencies each time.  If this is the case for a role with your company – keep a track of who you already know in the market. Whose CVs you have had previously.  Ensure you only work with reputable recruiters – someone you’ve met with, trust, offers you a genuine consultative service and who understands your business and vacancy as much as possible. Don’t just work with a recruiter who offers you the cheapest fee, especially straight away. Tip – there is a reason they offer their service below industry rate and it’s not to give you a good deal. Good recruiters who value their service + higher fee = quality candidates.

Recruiting the right employee is crucial to the future success of a company.  Most companies underestimate the costs of recruiting which can then lead to poor decision making because at the end of the day, the job needs to be filled.  3 months later, they may be recruiting again.

According to a recent 2018 report, the average cost of replacing an employee is £11,000!

The average recruitment agency fee tends to be in the region of £3,000. It’s a lot of money….when you can do it yourself for free…..or so it may seem?

The value on your own time quickly stacks up – producing the job spec, screening CVs, initial calls, interviewing, feedback, offer management etc. And then weeks later after the successful candidate has accepted and worked their notice period, you get a cop out email to say they are joining one of your competitors, and the process has to start all over again.

So how can you minimise the possibility of this happening? Even if you work with a good recruiter, we can only do so much. People are an uncontrollable commodity.

  1. What is your company branding? Ensuring your website is updated consistently. News features are current. Content includes success stories. Sell your company features & benefits – why should someone want to join you? What can you do for them and their career?
  2. Job spec and person spec. There is a fine line between doing a quick snap shot of what and who you are looking for and then producing a war and peace essay few will read. Provide full details of what is expected from the person in the role.  Yes, mention what the ideal candidate looks like, but in a candidate short market – what skills and experience could you consider? What would be transferable?
  3. Is it easy to apply for? Applicants can be put off from applying for an ideal role if the process is too complicated. The best candidates are the passive ones, they see a job they like the sound of, click a button and off goes their CV.  Having long winded application forms, pre-recorded video interviews, application deadlines may mean you’ll be missing out on the people you’re trying to attract. BUT at a minimum ensure you acknowledge the most relevant applications ASAP – don’t wait until the advert runs its course or until you have a decent number shortlisted – they will get snapped up!
  4. Modernise your interview process. Be flexible with when you can interview. If someone has booked a day’s annual leave why not complete the full process? Could you do a Facetime instead? Ensure the interview is a two-way process and remember, they are interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them.
  5. Don’t stop looking.  You fill that difficult role and move on to the next. That’s fine, but experience dictates when you least expect it someone great will apply.  It is still well worth your time talking to them for the future!
  6. Don’t forget them, once they have started – just because they have made it through the door doesn’t mean they will feel happy and settled.  Have they had a thorough induction and do they have a structured training plan? Have they been introduced to everyone not just their own team? How has their first day/week/month gone? Employees like to feel valued and once they don’t that is when they tend to look elsewhere.