Banner Default Image


6 months ago by

Employing the right people in a candidate shortage – Small things that mean a lot

Business Law

If you have been trying to get new people on your team recently, you may have found it slightly more difficult than usual. The current employment landscape is not quite as easy to navigate as it was in the past. It’s no wonder then the most common questions we are being asked right now are around how to attract and hire the right people in a skills and candidate shortage.


The good news is that not only is it possible to attract the right people, but a few small changes in approach can make a big difference.


  • Keep in mind that if you have a fair offer, money isn’t the only motivator. The first instinct in a skills shortage is often to increase the salary offer, but a huge pay hike may not be necessary if the job itself is appealing. That said, there is a noticeable rise in salary levels for skilled workers and in shortage areas, so it may well be a good time to do a review of your offer. We are happy to help with this if you need our input.


  • Your employer brand really matters to candidates. One of the reasons for the first point about salary is that there are so many other motivators in the mix. Your employer brand is the shop window for your business. In a reduced candidate pool, it’s not just about attracting the right people, your brand also needs to encourage them to connect with you.


  • Look to employ to train where possible. One option to increase your potential pool is to widen your search criteria. We have seen some very successful hires where employers have accommodated the idea of training someone into the role rather than demanding full experience. Of course, this may not always be an option in very specialist jobs, but where it is possible, it can open up new possibilities.


  • Make the offer quickly, then follow up as soon as possible. If you need that great candidate, then other potential employers will also be looking. Once you see the person you want to hire, we suggest you make the offer right away. Hesitating could result in the candidate being snapped up or receiving a counteroffer from their current employer. Once the offer is made, it’s important to keep in touch before the start date to help offset any counter offers.


  • Make the most of your recruitment partner. Talk to us about what you need, and let’s look at options together. With our combined experience, we will be able to work together to make sure you are reaching the right people.


  • Building a development pipe of internal growth will help future proof your key areas. The skills shortage isn’t likely to go away quickly. One option is to build an internal development pipe and employ further down the experience chain to grow people into roles. Having a clear and appropriate development policy will also help attract new talent at all levels. It may take a while to fully develop, but this way, you have a pool of skills rich internal options for new roles.


  • Think benefits, bonuses, and perks. Candidates are often swayed by ‘fringe’ motivations as much as they are by salary. Simple things like gym memberships, a parking space, the option to work from home as well as health plans and similar can mean a great deal to employees. Most importantly, though, they can be the deciding factor when weighing similar offers.


  • If you want to future proof, then remember that Gen Z are not the same as Millennials. They are digitally native, flexible in their approach to the notions of ‘the workplace’ and invested in the ethos and brand of their employers. According to research by the Carson College of Business in the US, Gen Z workers are likely to be worried about their career and have a high level of drive to succeed. It would be wrong to mistake this as a success at all costs approach, though. 75% of Gen Z respondents said they look for an employer to prioritise work/life balance and almost as many felt it was important that the employers’ values matched their own. In terms of defining traits, though, it is the importance of inclusivity, diversity and positive impact that strikes you as high on the Gen Z agenda with the latter being important to over 80%. If employers want to attract and keep a new generation of skilled workers, then clearly, they need to encourage an inclusive workplace, display their business values and be prepared to allocate time to development.


Small changes like these will pay off in increased applications and help offset the skills shortage problem. Despite what some of the doom and gloom merchants are saying, there are available candidates. To attract them, you need to have a good recruitment partner and reach out to them in the right way.