Recruitment is a rather unique industry, everyone in the process has something that the other parties are looking for. The candidate is seeking access to opportunities, the client is seeking qualified candidates and the recruiter, well, the recruiter wants both the candidates and the clients. With so many participants in the process, it begs the question – Who’s in Charge?
The last few years have seen some of the highest unemployment levels all over the UK, and certainly in Jersey. Qualified and experienced candidates have been out of work, redundancies were rife, salaries remained static and bonuses, what bonuses?
Of the few companies that were recruiting, they had their pick of a good talent pool of flexible candidates who were willing to negotiate, whilst bringing experience to the table with fewer demands than ever before. Life was tough for the experienced, qualified, and unemployed.
Sounds good for the employer, but in truth It wasn’t really a picnic for them either, hundreds of resumes were sent in for every position and a tough choice often had to be made between several strong candidates. Recruiters, all fighting for a slice of the much smaller cake, hammered the phones and took three steps back in their careers reverting to a sales role, whilst desperately trying to sell candidates into non-existing jobs. This damaged the recruitment industry and many agencies folded. We were in an employer driven market, everyone knew the employer was in charge.
Employer driven markets; talent is everywhere, a lot of talent is unemployed, long selection processes are common, salaries are fiercely negotiated and offers can take up to 4 weeks to be made. Companies become a bit laxer when it comes to replying to every application (after all there are hundreds) and candidates adapt to accepting little or no feedback. It’s not right but it’s the way.
But, the balance of power has shifted.
The current skills gap combined with a greatly recovering market and increased business has pushed us into a ‘Candidate Driven Market’. The truth is there are a similar number of candidates in the market now as there was a year ago, but now there are more jobs. Demand outstrips supply.
The current market is prime for job seekers and reports tell that the nation is experiencing its largest job growth since 1991. According to research, two thirds of those that reject an offer with a company do so because they have at least one other offer, candidates are pulling out of the selection process if they feel it’s not being managed effectively, and more importantly, are actively choosing not to enter the selection process if the feedback received on the company isn’t good. Perhaps, most notable is that the info doesn’t have to come from friends or acquaintances, did somebody say Glass Door?
What this means for the candidate, is choice. Already, we are seeing candidates ‘acting differently,’ the onus is now, more than before, on the company to ‘win’ the candidate, as much as the candidate to ‘impress’ the company.
This should encourage a far more balanced process, however qualified and experienced candidates (hands up if you work in Funds or Accounts!) have the freedom to ’shop around’, and take their pick. Additionally, those companies with a good employer reputation will always be attractive to top quality candidates
So, who’s in charge? Well no-one really, each of us play an important part in the process, clients have the opportunities, candidates have the skills and the recruiter is tasked with bringing these together, creating opportunity. However, one thing is clear, candidates and employers ‘wooing’ each other.