How the employment market and candidate expectations have changed during the pandemic
Over the past 10 years, we have seen quite a drastic shift in candidate expectations when selecting an employer to work for; gone are the days where candidates only expect the benefits of a salary and 4 weeks holiday. It’s now so much about company culture, purpose and how the employment fits around everyday life.
Since COVID-19 we have seen the shift in the employment market (and many others) accelerate, and it seems to be incredibly turbulent. Having said this, it’s worth remembering that candidates still need jobs and employers still need a workforce; the world can’t and won’t just stop, but it is almost certain to change.
For these reasons, we have done extensive research and met with (mainly virtually!) a huge number of recruiters, business owners (large and small) and hiring managers to really get a comprehensive understanding of what is actually happening in the employment market on the ground.
Harder to recruit
I think the biggest and for many the most surprising finding for everybody we spoke to was the view that it’s harder to recruit skilled and/or experienced staff than ever before.
But why? In a completely non-derogatory way, a huge proportion of the candidates who have been made redundant come from impacted sectors where there are very few jobs, many from junior positions or at the start of their career. Of course, this isn’t always the case, and we have been privileged to help a huge number of amazing candidates.
The other factor to remember is the press have such a huge influence on public feeling, therefore recruiters have seen that almost every ‘securely employed’ candidate is reluctant to move. This is completely understandable; security in a pandemic is probably one of the biggest things we are all looking for.
For these reasons combined, we can completely understand it is harder than ever to successfully recruit, especially for most of the more skilled or experienced vacancies.
Easy to recruit
Our second finding is the complete opposite in terms of entry-level recruitment. As already eluded to there is such a volume of entry-level or ‘mass skilled’ candidates in the market, which has almost made it ‘easy’ to hire. At this level the challenge is no longer the skill of attracting applications, it is very much the time required.
One hiring manager we spoke to received over 700 applications for a junior role within 2 days, plus received c.100 separate approaches from candidates. She predicts the time associated in her own words “to do the recruitment badly” was around 12 hours for 1 minimum wage hire.
Below is an example of the workload associated with a relatively junior search that we recently completed.
Agreed Process: We understood the role, advertised the position (with premium adverts on all major job boards), actively ‘head-hunted’ candidates, screened every application, conducted face to face or video interviews with the ‘long-list’ and supported with the client’s interviews
The Stats: We reviewed 211 CV’s, video interviewed 19 candidates and submitted the strongest 2 with detailed notes and the recording of our video interview
The Results: The feedback was that both were outstanding (much higher quality than they’ve ever been able to source themselves) and hired the successful candidate
In summary, it’s definitely possible to hire and in some sectors it could actually been seen as a good time to hire but it’s more vital than ever to really plan the recruitment process, with a strong mind on the candidate experience. It’s a turbulent employment market, with so many unemployed candidates but a bad hire can be so expensive to a business so definitely take the extra time to follow a thorough process and provide a great candidate experience and remember to reassure your candidates about the security of the move.
If you would like to know more or have specific questions please do get in touch. We are also offering all businesses a complimentary consultancy call with our MD, Ben Thompson should you need personalised advice.