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How to recruit effectively in a talent-short market

Posted by
25 Apr 2016
Concentrate your mind for a second. Step out of that box and think until you nearly hyperventilate. I want you to imagine that you are recruiting for a left handed astronaut who has played volleyball for the Brazil national team. If you have been out of the box thinking hard enough, then you are probably panicking at the prospect of recruiting for such a specification.   

The fact of the matter is you probably will never be recruiting for a left handed astronaut who played volleyball for the Brazil national team, and if you are then give it up. However, with a UK economy still performing strongly, there is growth within businesses. Business growth in turn creates jobs with far more talented people being employed. When there are more talented people being employed, it means that there are not as many passive, high-calibre candidates to fill roles. This is also known as the much feared ‘candidate short job market’

I work in such a market, and the best employers should have nothing to fear. Some decision makers complain that they cannot find the staff. The best recruitment savvy hiring managers know that it is simply not true! They exist but more needs to be done to attract and retain the right talent.

Improve your recruitment strategy!

If a business of any kind has been growing steadily, then it makes sense to hypothesise what the optimum level of work for your staff is, and to ensure that your staff work under it. Plan as if you are playing chess, and anticipate a growing need for staff; do not react to a need only to put your staff under so much pressure that more end up leaving anyway! If anyone does leave for pastures anew, you should already have extra capacity to keep in pace with demand.

Improve how you sell your opportunity and business!

It is not enough to tell a recruiter, or the market directly, how much you are paying and five bullet points about what they will doing. In a candidate-short market, where there are three jobs for every candidate, a candidate is very rarely going to choose a role they know nothing about, especially if they are passive and not desperate to leave the security of their job anyway. Passionately selling roles to recruiters means they will passionately sell your roles in turn. Immerse them in your culture to make them a stakeholder in your success!

Think about what you can offer a candidate with the following questions:

  • Have you got any accreditations like the Investors in People, hallmarks of dedication to staff?
  • Is your training industry leading? 
  • How many employees have been promoted in the past twelve months? What exciting projects are there to work on?
  • What qualifications or other benefits could a prospective employee gain? Who are you sending to the interview?

If you are failing to come up with the answers to those questions, therein lays the answer to your problem. Your business simply is not an attractive offering.

Improve your business offering!

The problem may not be how you are packaging your roles, but the roles themselves. It is never too late to attract a millennial workforce increasingly motivated by the package surrounding benefits, or those simply seeking a life to go with the work. Improving salaries, work culture, the amount of opportunities to progress there are, the effectiveness of training, attitude of managers, and even the décor may be ways to wow somebody at the interview stage, and critical to retention.

When you see what you want, act quickly!

You have found the perfect candidate and they have found you. Romeo and Juliet it may not be, but that need not worry you. Just because the recruiter who is representing them says they do not have an interview elsewhere does not mean the candidate does not being represented by somebody else! If everything aligns, make sure you are not burdened by processes that will mean you cannot offer for a week, because somebody else will and you will have to wait eight months more!

For further guidance on your recruitment needs contact me on 01332 542580 or view our Employers section of the website. Employers
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