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What does a "candidate short" market mean for employers?

  • Publish Date: Posted 18 days ago

Most businesses don't enjoy recruiting; it's often viewed as time-consuming, stressful, and overwhelming. In most cases, if a company is hiring, it's because someone has left, leaving a position vacant. There is now the challenge of finding the perfect candidate for the job and filling the predecessor’s shoes- an impossible task at times!

It's hard enough to recruit at any time, but in a candidate-short market with a high number of job openings, recruiting becomes a whole new ballgame that most businesses are not prepared for. As a result, companies often find it challenging to find candidates that meet even half of the requirements, let alone all of them with a personality to match!

The recruitment process in a candidate-short market requires you to take a different approach, so here are some tips to help you:

Have a strong (and clear) employee value proposition. Employees are increasingly looking for purpose-led organisations!

Just like a foundation is to a house, a conductor is to an orchestra, and a canvas is to an artist's masterpiece, a clearly defined purpose is crucial to a successful organisation. This is an organisation's soul, serving as a platform for building upon and a mirror for reflecting its existence in the world.

Suppose a company has a purpose that takes into account its role and contribution to society, and provides employees with meaningful ways to reflect on the company’s efforts and their impact. In that case, the company is more likely to attract employees as they expect their job to bring a significant sense of purpose to their lives. As an employer, you must help meet this need or be ready to lose talent to competitors who do.

Have your interview and decision-making schedule mapped out and stick to it avoiding lengthy delays.

It's no secret that the market for good talent is highly competitive right now, so if an employer finds someone they like, they rush to bring them on board as quickly as possible. Because of this, some employers are missing out because candidates are being snapped up before they even get a chance to meet them!

In a candidate short market, there's a lot of truth to the old age saying, "you snooze, you lose". You may not be the only job opening those qualified candidates will consider, so you need to act fast if you find a candidate that fits well into your company.

If you're losing potential candidates, you may also want to examine the length of your hiring process, since candidates may be leaving due to a lengthy recruitment process. Because candidates are now such a hot commodity, if they are left lingering during the hiring process, your competitors will snap them up before you secure them. Consider making the time between the first and second interviews as short as possible or securing candidates with conditional offers (pending satisfactory reference checks).It’s also helpful to be transparent with candidates on your planned schedule, let them know when they should expect to hear from you. 

Work with an agency who can have the right conversations with candidates to understand their motivations.

Recruitment agencies can help manage your hiring process from start to finish. Our first step in a candidate short market, once we have clearly defined your ideal candidate, is to understand the motivations of candidates that will fit this role. Be it flexible working, bonus schemes or progression paths, in order to cinch that perfect candidate, you need to know what’s important to them. By having these conversations with candidates, and fully understanding the factors that impact their decisions when job seeking, we can help you not only to attract top talent but also retain them. 

Retention is more important than ever. Make sure you are looking after your current employees.

Employee retention is fast becoming a key competitive differentiator. When companies are able to keep their talent - especially in tight hiring markets - they can operate at a high level without the headaches that come with a high employee turnover.

Top tips to retaining your current workforce include rewards and recognition, implementing a strong DE&I culture and helping to empower your employees. Read more about retaining talent on our blog. 

To refine your talent attraction strategies in this market, you will need more than basic research and pre-COVID-19 salary reports. You should consider how external factors shape what candidates are looking for and what makes them consider changing jobs. The top talent is very aware of their market value, which means employers must understand the real selling points of a role to arouse the interest of potential candidates.

Our expert teams can help. In our role as a specialist recruitment agency, we constantly advise clients on hiring strategies and help search for the best talent on the market, day in and day out. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next best hire or require consultation regarding your recruitment strategy, don't hesitate to contact us.