How to recruit in a candidate tight market

If you’ve advertised a vacancy recently, you may have been surprised by the lack of applications. Given recent unemployment figures, surely there are lots of job seekers around, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case!

As I write this there are more than 200 HR jobs being advertised on Seek in South Australia. It’s certainly a good sign that the local economy is in great shape, but for employers looking to hire, that means the competition for quality candidates is high.

Employers and recruitment agencies alike are finding it increasingly challenging to find quality candidates to fill their vacancies. Job seekers are hesitant to move, and this uncertainty is resulting in decreased application numbers.

In some ways the employment market is mirroring the real estate industry. For anyone in the market to buy a property you’ll know just how competitive it is, and that’s exactly how many employers are feeling.

In today’s competitive job market employers need to re-think their employee valuation proposition and talent attraction methods. Here are a few ways you can up your hiring game to attract the right candidates to your job vacancy:

  1. Encourage existing employees to help in the search

    It’s time to revive your employee referral program and enlist the help of your existing employees in the hunt for great talent. Who better to spruik the organisation than the people already in the business
  2. Seek out your candidates

    Rather than being passive and waiting for the job applications to come to you, be proactive and search for your ideal applicant. There are many ways you can do this including via industry networks and groups, online searches, reviewing applications to jobs previously advertised or by engaging a recruitment agency.
  3. Ensure the job on offer is attractive and the salary is competitive in the current market

    Review the role and make an honest assessment of whether it’s a position that’s going to be attractive to job applicants, and if not, have a think about what you might be able to do to make it more appealing. If you suspect the salary isn’t going to win anyone over, make a quick call to a recruitment agency to find out what the current rate is for that type of role.

  4. Clarity is key

    Sourcing isn’t the only challenge in the current market, we’re also seeing higher rates of counter offers and candidates withdrawing part way through the process. When going to the market with a position make sure the role responsibilities, organisational culture, benefits, work hours etc is communicated clearly from the start. The last thing you want is to have to start the process over because your preferred candidate withdraws their application!

What challenges are you having when hiring at the moment? We’d love to know!