How to recruit in a candidate short market

November 08, 2021

How to recruit in a candidate short market

As we approach 2022 recruiting is tougher than ever for businesses who are looking to hire top talent ready for the New Year. Businesses are getting next to no applications for roles and are struggling to attract the right quality of candidate for their roles. They thought there would be an influx of candidates being made redundant, but they are nowhere to be seen.

On the back of the pandemic, we are finding there is a nervousness around making a move at this current time making it tough to attract candidates. Given the pandemic who can blame people, we all want a bit of normality again and now everyone is talking about the “C” word already you can’t help but understand why people may be thinking they’ll just wait till next year.

So, what can you do to recruit in a candidate short market;

1.      Make the opportunity attractive

What is the opportunity and why would someone be attracted to it? Your job advert needs to be candidate led so you are talking about the benefits to the individual and grabbing their attention, this isn’t the time to be talking about yourself throughout the advert. It’s a bit like dating, get their attention first. Of course, you need to talk about the benefits of working for your business and we’re not talking 20 days holiday or free tea or coffee, we’re talking culture, flexibility, progression and a competitive benefits package. Make it attractive and better than your competitors so people pay attention, and it is a genuine reason to make a move.

2.      Be flexible

I get it, you want a unicorn, but they don’t exist I’m afraid and certainly not if you’re looking to hire quickly. Think outside the box with your expectations, what really is essential and what’s desirable? Do candidates really have to tick every box or are there elements that can be taught? There needs to be compromise, just because someone hasn’t worked in your industry doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t learn – and maybe they’ll bring a fresh prospective to your business. If you’re flexible and hire on the individual and how they may fit your organization long term, then surely you can teach the rest?

3.      Have a strategy

Once you’re clear on the opportunity and the essentials you then need to get the opportunity in front of your target audience. Where do these people hang out? What social media platforms will they be on? Then promote the opportunity, your business and testimonials from other employees on those sites to get potential candidates interested in the opportunity. Hand select your ideal candidates and reach out to them with the opportunity. Who do your existing employees know? Put together a strategy and make someone accountable to deliver it. You can’t sit back and wait for the applications in the current market, if you do then you’ll be waiting a long time.

4.      What’s your process?

Now is not the time for a long 3-4 stage interview process. Good candidates are securing roles in days, yes days. Make the process simple and effective ensuring you move quicker than your competitors. Who has the time for long winded interview processes anyway? Ensure your recruitment process is mapped out and consistent across your business. Ensure your hiring managers are moving quickly with good candidates and are not delaying the process otherwise you’ll lose good candidates (& we know there’s not many out there right now).

5.      Offer & On boarding

You find someone that’s amazing but just want to see who else is out there. No, no and no. Do not delay offering to someone who ticks all the boxes just incase a unicorn is going to land in your inbox at some point in the next few weeks. If you do this then you will lose the candidate, fact. Offer quickly and pay what the candidate is worth. Now is not the time to be paying less because they won’t stay, you need to make it attractive for them to make the move and more importantly stay with you long term.

Once a candidate has accepted and is working their notice, keep in touch with them at every opportunity. We have seen it several times over the last few weeks where candidates continue to be approached about opportunities during their notice period and then before you know it, they’ve accepted another role. Get them excited about joining your business and don’t give them any reason to explore other opportunities.

If you’re serious about attracting top talent in the run up to 2022 then you need to consider the above. It’s a candidate short market, candidates are reluctant to move after the last 18 months, and we have Christmas around the corner. However, we know candidates are considering their options, they just need to see the right opportunity that is attractive enough for them to make a move right now.

If you need any further support with your recruitment process either now or as part of your 2022 strategy, contact the team today on 0333 888 4048.

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