5 things that tell you it’s a candidates market

As 2018 progresses it’s becoming increasingly clear that the market remains predominantly candidate led.

Here are a few indicators to tell us this is the case;

1. The unemployment rate drops. Recent research from the Office of National statistics estimate that between October to January 2017 and January to March 2018 the number of people in work increased, the number of unemployed people decreased, and the number of people aged 16-64 years not working and not seeking or available for work (economically inactive) also decreased.

2. Employee resignations increase. Resignations have reached a five-year high at 15.5%, according to research from XpertHR. “One in seven (15.5%) employees were found to have resigned from their job, according to the researchers. Labour turnover statistics from 288 organisations show that the resignation rate has increased steadily since 2012, when it stood at 10.6%.”

3. Salaries remain stagnant. Hopes of bumper pay rises as the economy shrugs off the effects of the Brexit vote haven’t happened which is driving people to look for alternative, better paid roles elsewhere.

4. Time to hire increases. Studies indicate that in the United Kingdom time-to-hire has increased year on year since 2009. It currently takes 27 days to fill a vacant job, up from 23 days in 2006. This figure fluctuates depending on the time of year and sector concerned e.g. retail typically has a much shorter time-to-hire than the IT sector.

5. The competition for talent between Agencies increases dramatically as the demand for talent exceeds the supply. Agencies are in competition for the best candidates who now have multiple vacancies to apply to and can receive offers from multiple clients. Prospects, applicants, and candidates all recognise that they now have multiple options, so they raise their expectations.

But how can you ensure you keep ahead of the game when the pool of quality candidates is smaller. We’ve outlined below some of the strategies you’ll need to adopt;

7 strategies for a candidate led market

1. Consider recruitment to recruitment relationships, it’s better to get 50% of something than 100% of nothing so network with other agencies in your sector and double your chances.

2. If your agency specialises in a certain sector make sure your vacancies appear on sector specific job boards, the likes of Indeed and Totaljobs have a place but in a candidate led market the  “broad brush” approach will work less well.

3. Be creative. If you’ve had a vacancy posted for a couple of days and the response is like tumbleweed update the copy to emphasise the client, the security of the business, the levels of recognition for the work done, the level of responsibility in the role, the flexibility of the business, the financial rewards, these will all be attractive to the most passive candidate.

4. Build your knowledge on your chosen sector. It’s important that you can talk with knowledge and confidently with your clients but equally important that candidates feel understood and “in safe hands”. Subscribe to trade reviews, follow sector news and research popular roles and role titles in your sector.

5. Stay ahead of your competition by re-evaluating the role of marketing in talent acquisition. From employer branding to recruitment content and social media connections, the role of marketing within the talent acquisition process has never been more important, or more useful.

6. Consider the impact of counter offers and how you need to invest more time and effort into the post offer and onboarding experience to prevent your candidate from transferring allegiance to another offer. Particularly needed where you have to sit through a long notice period, stay in touch with your candidates until the contract of employment is signed!!

7. Act fast! If you’ve got the mythical “ideal candidate” don’t let the grass grow under your feet. If you don’t get them in front of as many clients as possible within days, you can be sure that your competitors will.

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