How to Make More Hires in a Tight Candidate Market
Struggling to make hires? In this blog, learn some of the key steps you can take today to speed up your hiring process.
Recruiters need to be proactively taking steps today to make more placements in the kind of tight candidate market we’re experiencing across most of the western world. The key actions are as follows:
1. Know your market
2. Be open to different types of candidates and really challenge “must-haves”
3. Be transparent about salaries and benefits packages
4. Streamline the hiring process, as speed is of the essence
5. Always be closing
6. Get fixated on improving the candidate experience
7. Don’t be afraid to say no
In this blog post, I’m going to look at each of these 7 action steps in turn so that you as recruiters understand what you need to address in the coming weeks if you want to make more hires over the coming year!
Know your market
The first area you and your team really want to invest in is understanding the market you serve. Who is hiring in your market? How much are salaries being bid up to attract the right hires? What other perks and flexible working opportunities are companies offering to try and appeal to the limited pool of candidates? How aggressively are companies making counteroffers when they learn that an employee is looking to leave? What specific skills and experience profiles are in greatest demand.
Being on top of this kind of information is essential if you are to do a good job of briefing and advising your clients. It’s also critical if you’re to do right by your candidates and truly advise them on making the right career move.
So be honest with yourself. If you think other recruiters in your market would have more of a grasp of these facts than you do, it’s time to start investing more in your own education. Have more exploratory calls, ask questions, listen to podcasts, and generally attune yourself more to your market.
Be open to different types of candidates and really challenge “must-haves”
It’s important to challenge an employer’s “must-have” hiring criteria, as this can really expand the pool of available candidates.
To challenge an employer’s “must-haves”, you need to understand the job requirements inside out. Once you have a good understanding of the role, you can start to question why certain criteria are essential. Is there another way to measure whether a candidate would be successful in the role? Are there any unconscious biases at play in the decision-making process?
If you can identify any areas where the “must-haves” could be open to interpretation – or could be challenged – then you can present a wider range of candidates to your client. This not only increases the chances of making a placement but also improves their diversity hiring since more diverse candidates will be included in the process. So don’t be afraid to push back – it could be just what your client needs to find their perfect candidate.
Be transparent about salaries and benefits packages
One way to speed up the hiring process is to be transparent about salaries and benefits packages from the get-go. This cuts down on the number of candidates who start the recruitment process only to abandon it when they learn that the remuneration isn’t what they were expecting.
But not only that – it also sends a message to potential candidates that the employer is open and transparent, which for many candidates can be appealing in its own right.
Finally, persuading your client to disclose the remuneration on offer can help to flush out any issues there may be with the competitiveness of what’s on offer. Much better to learn this early in the hiring process than to encounter the issue only at offer stage.
Streamline the hiring process, as speed is of the essence
Competitors are being really aggressive and getting to the point of making a job offer as quickly as they possibly can. So, if your client wants to succeed in hiring the best talent, they need to be aggressive too.
One way to do this is by streamlining the hiring process. This means making sure that all the necessary approvals are in place, that everyone who needs to provide input is contacted early and that there are no delays in getting candidates through the door for interviews.
Of course, it’s not always possible to have a completely streamlined process – but don’t let your client’s endemic procrastination become a reason that placement after placement ends up being lost.
Always be closing
At every step of the hiring process, you should be probing the candidates you are speaking. Not just about their interest in your role, but about broader career move issues like their long-term goals, what they’re looking for in their next role, what their key decision criteria are and whether your client’s opportunity meets those criteria.
This is where your expertise as a recruiter comes in – you need to be able to have an ongoing conversation with your candidates that helps them assess whether this role – and indeed any career move – is the right decision for them. But it also means that you always know where candidates are in their decision-making process, and you aren’t left blind-sided.
Get fixated on improving the candidate experience
Put yourself in the shoes of a candidate and think about what you would want from the recruitment process. The answer is probably a speedy, efficient, and professional experience that makes you feel valued as an individual. One where you feel well informed throughout the process and know what expectations you should have about how quickly things will progress.
So that’s what you need to strive for when you’re working with your clients. It’s not always easy – but it’s worth it, both in terms of making successful placements and in terms of building your reputation as a recruiter who puts candidates first.
Don’t be afraid to say no
Finally, don’t be afraid to say no to taking on a vacancy that you feel has a low probability of resulting in a placement being made.
There’s no point in taking on a role just for the sake of it – you’ll only end up disappointing your client (and yourself) when things don’t work out.
It’s much better to be honest with your clients about your concerns and explain why you don’t think the role is one you can help with. Educating them about why there’s a low probability of success will give them a reason to rethink things like their remuneration, key hiring requirements and the timeliness of their process. They may not always like what you have to say – but in the long run, they’ll respect you for it.
This also directly impacts the placement fees you will generate in a year. You only have a limited number of roles you can realistically work on in a given time period, so you don’t want to waste your time on opportunities that are unlikely to result in a placement.
In a market where top talent is scarce, the proactive steps a recruiter takes will dramatically impact the number of successful placements made. While the above list isn’t exhaustive, it’ll give you some good areas to focus on to drive up your results.
Which of the above action steps do you think are most important for you to take? Always happy to jump on a call if talking through this would be beneficial for you and your team – you can book in here if that’d be helpful.