Staying Competitive in the Candidate Shortage

It’s a strange time in the labour market. Although many aspects of the economy continue to recover from the lows of 2020, there are complex knock-on effects from the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic that will continue to shape the nation for a long time to come in unexpected ways.

One of those effects, which is of direct concern to us and our clients, is the current candidate shortage. The most recent REC numbers show that in the UK right now there are the fewest active jobseekers since records began 24 years ago. There’s no one easy answer as to why – most commentators agree that a key factor is people sticking with their current jobs for security during a generally uncertain time.

What’s important to consider for recruiters is how to attract and hold on to the good candidates who are available, and how to make your opportunities stand out to the people who do see them. In this market, skilled specialist candidates especially can pick and choose between the many open roles. So what drives their choices? From talking to candidates, I’ve identified the following key factors that shape their decisions right now:

  • Salary. We’re seeing pay rates rise to try to attract talent, with starting salaries for permanent staff currently increasing at the fastest rate on record.  Multiple candidates mentioned they were significantly more likely to apply for jobs that set out a clear salary in the job advert. There are a lot of reasons it isn’t always possible for a client to disclose this information publicly, but where it is possible, I would always encourage clients to do it.
  • Working from Home. We understand that not every role can function effectively remotely and not every company wants staff to be home-based. But for some candidates, who have now experienced entirely or partially remote work and found that it suits them, it’s now become a make-or-break factor in which jobs they will and will not consider.
  • Timeframes. The shortage of candidates means active jobseekers can take their pick of roles. Simplistic though it may seem, the length of the recruitment process is an absolutely vital factor right now, especially for contractors. If you want to put candidates through three rounds of interviews with weeks of waiting for feedback in between while your competitor is getting staff on-site within a fortnight of the first contact, candidates will almost always go with the job that starts them sooner. If ever there was a time to think about streamlining your recruitment approach, it’s now.

At Kind Consultancy we utilise a close collaborative approach with our clients, enabling us to help navigate these difficulties much more efficiently than would be possible with a traditional recruitment firm. For a confidential conversation about how Kind Consultancy can help to connect you to exceptional Financial Services talent, get in touch on or 01216432100.

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