You might think a candidate-rich market is a dream. However, more choice does not necessarily mean the candidates have the right skills.
When the world changed last year, so did the market to recruit. It swiftly changed from a candidate-driven market to a candidate-rich market, and we suspect this change might last for the next year.
Let’s talk about the effects of a candidate-rich market for employers.
Effects of a candidate-rich market for employers
Quantity does not mean quality
You might think a candidate-rich market is a dream for employers. However, more choice does not necessarily mean these candidates have the right skills or experience for the positions advertised.
Job listings are also inundated with applications in a candidate-rich market. The process to then identify skills-rich candidates becomes more difficult and time-intensive.
Senior candidates will apply for junior positions
Due to competition in the market, it’s likely some senior candidates will accept a role with a lower salary or fewer responsibilities. This could be advantageous: they will be up and running quicker, require less training, you will have a more experienced candidate and will be a repertoire of knowledge.
There are also downsides to this switch. As they are already specialists in their field, will they be as willing to diversify and learn new skills? Can they be easily managed? Will the candidate find joy and challenge in their position? They also may be less flexible with their other non-negotiables, such as work-life balance, location or the option to work remotely.
Communication expectations double
As a standard, every single candidate should be contacted and communication then sustained throughout the entirety of the recruit. In a candidate-rich market, however, the pressure to retain clear channels of communication intensifies. The expectation on how often and by what means you communicate becomes more complex and without this level of attentiveness, your dream candidate could be counter-offered and the recruit lost.
Be clear on deadlines for each stage of the recruit. Your job ad should include a closing date and every application should receive an email notifying the candidate that it has been received. Also, in this email include when they will next be contacted. As a candidate moves through to the interview, be clear on what the next step is and when it will be finalised. Management of this process will likely be a big factor in candidate retention.
Candidates are after stability
Many candidates looking for work have been in the job market for a year or more. Because of this, job security has become far more attractive than salary. As part of the recruitment process, you will need to demonstrate there is a stable pipeline of work and that the job is secure. See, ‘What candidates look for in a new employer‘.
Why use a recruiter in a candidate-rich market?
With so many candidates looking for work, it may seem wise to go to the market directly. But this isn’t always the best choice.
With some skills-rich candidates lacking confidence after being out of work for a period of time, you will need to assure them of the merit of the position. Consultants know how to articulate an opportunity to a candidate; they speak candidly and often, which boosts this needed confidence.
In our experience, some companies are receiving nearly 1000 applications per single job ad. It is a time-intensive task to meet a candidate’s communication expectations (from the application through to the final stage) for every single applicant.
While it could be tempting to only communicate with the candidates who stand out to you, this is a brand-damaging exercise. Candidates remember companies to who they have applied and not heard back, and there’s every chance you could miss a skills-rich candidate in your initial scan. Consultants invest time into following up on every single application, protecting the reputation of your brand.