Almost every meeting we have with clients lately includes a lament about the lack of quality candidates in-house recruiters and talent teams are seeing. In one call last week, a client told us they’d put up an entry level job, expecting to be inundated with prospects, yet didn’t get a single appropriate applicant.
“It’s not the kind of role we get outside recruiters involved in as we can handle it ourselves. But this one is proving impossible. We put a similar role out this time last year and someone had to spend a full week going through applications there were so many.”
The Issue is Commonplace
“This year – tumbleweed. I’ve put it out on all the normal channels, encouraged team referrals and the only people applying don’t even have the minimum credentials to be considered.”
While our client here was discussing an entry level role, it’s also a problem in more business critical positions. We’ve had multiple clients come to us after trying three or four recruitment agencies only to find they simply couldn’t attract the candidates they’ve come to expect.
So, What’s Going On With the Lack of Quality Candidates?
It’s not one single issue that’s causing the lack of candidates. There are a few:
1. Companies are all ramping back up at the same time.
The Covid-19 pandemic was a once-in-a-lifetime (we hope) event. Most companies were in no way prepared for it and their operations took a hit. They slowed down or even closed production, they froze their normal recruitment, and they made redundancies.
Now, businesses are adapting to a new way of working in some countries and coming back to some kind of normality in others. While economies are always in flux, this level of reopening and ramping up is unprecedented. It’s something we predicted in November 2020 and it’s just gotten increasingly urgent since then.
Everyone needs more people and everyone is going after them at once, creating a gap in the marketplace.
2. Candidates are re-evaluating their priorities
Most of the world spent a year at home. Those with children home-schooled. People worked from their homes and no longer spent hours commuting. And now, many workers don’t want to go back to the old way of working 9-5 and spending hours on a train or car to get to an office.
People have also used the time to evaluate what’s important to them. Flexibility, strong company values, and good benefits packages are continually coming up higher than salary in “what workers want” surveys.
If a business doesn’t offer these things, they will lose out to competition.
3. Workers are becoming more active (and ghosting more)
One of the main issues with a lack of quality candidates is that candidates are ghosting potential employers, often at the last minute.
With such high competition to get the best people, their current employers are counter-offering more than ever, and competitors are swooping in with better offers than the original business.
How Do You Fix a Lack of Quality Candidates?
Firstly, businesses need to improve their candidate value proposition. They must ensure they are offering top-of-the-range benefits, offering as much flexibility with location and working hours as possible, and recognising that the world of work has changed.
After that, it’s about flexibility. And speed.
How can your business:
- ensure you get enough quality candidates?
- keep them engaged throughout the process?
- stop them from being poached by other (or current) employers?
It’s not an easy task and it’s one that clients come to us all the time about.
It’s why, at Solutions Driven, we developed our own process to find the best talent in every niche, and to make sure they’re desperate to join our clients’ companies.
We call it the 6S process. And it can assist your recruitment process, even if you’re not struggling with a lack of candidates. But, it does ensure a steady stream of quality candidates, and what’s more, we’re making it available to you, for free.
This quick training course runs through each step of the process, allowing you to take the information and run with it in your own hiring process, or gain a deeper understanding into how we can solve the problem for you.