With Brexit’s March 29 deadline quickly approaching, and no sign of a clear solution from the government, the recruitment market continues to be incredibly volatile. As employment experts, recruiters have unique insight into the market and are therefore well placed to inform their clients of movements and any hiring trends that arise during this period.
Remaining educated and taking the time to understand the developments arising from Brexit will not only be good for your clients’ business but good for yours. One key message is the continual lack of eligible candidates. It continues to have a huge influence on recruitment processes and is having a flow-on effect for clients. How are you countering this to help your clients?
1. Think outside the box
If a client is struggling to fill a role based on the supplied brief, consider advising them to expand their search, or alter their requirements. Often, there are candidates who don’t fit the brief to a T, but you know they will have the transferable skills, or personality fit, to thrive within a role. Make it clear as to why you’ve chosen your candidates, focusing on why you think they’d be a good match. What may appear like a left-of-center CV could end up being the perfect fit!
Should there be some room for movement on necessary skills or salary, suggest splitting requirements into ‘essential’ and ‘desired’ to open up the candidate pool.
2. Embrace inclusivity
2019 is set to be the year of diversity, with more and more employers realizing the importance of hiring people from a variety of backgrounds – after all, the McGregor-Smith Review found that increasing workplace diversity could contribute £24 billion to the UK economy. At the briefing stage, raise the subject with your contact to understand their diversity targets, if any. By presenting a candidate shortlist of varying sexes, races and gender, abilities and ages, you may well demonstrate a deeper understanding of your client compared to your competitors.
It’s important to remember that the most successful companies look for employees that add to their culture, instead of those that fit into the existing model, so introducing people who can add something new is never a bad thing.
3. Invest in employer branding
One of the first things any savvy candidate will do when applying for a role is to research the company. Therefore, it’s worth advising your clients on the importance of employer branding, investing in enticing career pages and ensuring consistency across brand messaging and visuals. It’s also worth advising on the connection between marketing and HR – if the hiring manager is communicating the same messages as the career website, then the candidate is likely to feel confident in the offering. However, if the website says ‘family-friendly office’ but the hiring manager says ‘overtime is common, we’re a work-hard-play-hard environment’, they may question the integrity of the business.
4. Free up the calendar
Outstanding candidates are proving increasingly difficult to secure, and the longer this Brexit dilemma goes on, the harder it’s going to be. Therefore, when a great candidate comes back onto the market, or you find someone you haven’t worked with before, you don’t want to lose them because of scheduling issues! That’s why it’s so important to set expectations early, establishing how available the hiring manager is going to be for the interview, how many rounds there are, the scope of the interview process, the required compliance and how quickly they want to recruit. This allows you to manage expectations on both sides of the recruitment process, ensuring candidates don’t drop out thanks to another offer and clients realize the urgency.
5. Advocate for the jumpy CV
There was a time that any stint less than two years in a business was viewed as a slight, a negative to be explained. This is no longer the case for many candidates, especially in the millennial and Gen Z brackets, who are treating each working opportunity like a stepping stone that will get them to their next role. In fact, our 2019 Salary Review found that 62% of those surveyed were in their roles for less than two years, and 50% were planning on leaving within the next 12 months.
This means, when coming onto the market, these candidates may have worked for a large range of companies, or not possess that longevity of old. It’s up to recruiters to educate their clients on the positives of this, communicating the candidate’s motivations and what successes they’ve had in each role.