With the Coronavirus pandemic causing an economic downturn affecting both businesses and individuals, many are deeming 2020 to be the ‘Age of the Employer’. With high levels of redundancies, many believe that businesses have the pick of the crop when it comes to attracting talent.
However, if this is truly the case, then we wouldn’t see employers regularly advertising for the same positions, struggling to find the right talent for their teams. So, is this really an employer’s market, or do employees still have the upper hand and is there anything we can do to make it the best of both worlds?
Are employers struggling to recruit talent?
In recent research, 75 percent of business owners say that they have a problem finding the right talent. This is despite the fact that the average job vacancy receives 118 applications. Consequently, many businesses are having to advertise positions time and time again in order to find the right person for their team.
Why businesses are struggling to find talent
There are many reasons why employers are struggling to find the right people to their roles; even though the supply/demand curve has supposedly flipped in favour of the employer. So, what could be causing this talent deficiency?
Unfortunately, redundancies are increasing this year. The Office for National Statistics has the latest redundancy rate at 8.2 per 1,000 employees from June to August 2020. During the same period in 2019, the redundancy rate was half of this at 4.1 per 1,000.
While this means that there may be more job seekers, it also means that much of the top talent that is still in work are now working harder than ever to keep their positions. Consequently, fewer of these individuals are seeking new posts and are instead focusing on maintaining job stability with their current employer.
A switch to a new employer carries a great deal of risk for an employee. They will not know the business’ financial position and how well the business has weathered the storm that the pandemic has brought. Furthermore, employees who have a history with their employee at least have the hope for a redundancy package should the worst happen. However, jumping ship to a six-month probation contract can feel too daunting without a safety net in place should it not work out.
With the uptake in working from home, candidates have more freedom to have a curiosity about other options that are out there. Being able to work from home allows candidates to browse job opportunities with relative ease, they can also make recruitment calls and take part in video interviews without worrying about hiding this from their employer or booking time off work.
As a result, the candidates may be using video interview opportunities as a way to test the water, rather than being seriously committed to getting the job. This can mean that employers often have to go back to the drawing board and re-advertise the role when the candidates through to the interview stage are not interested in taking the process further.
With the impression of being an employer’s market, it can be easy for employers to try striving for more. With the idea that there is a wider talent pool that is desperate for work, many employers may reduce their benefits or pay package, to get more for their money, so to speak. It is understandable for this approach, especially when many businesses are reducing their payroll expenses with redundancies or pay cuts. Many employers believe they can advertise roles for lower pay as the demand is there.
However, low offers are not conducive to creating positive, long-term employer-employee relationships. Not providing employees with a fair pay and benefits package will reduce employee retention rates. This is not cost-effective for employers, especially as it typically costs 33 percent of an employer’s annual salary to hire a replacement.
Finding the right talent
With such a turbulent marketplace at the moment, it is hard for businesses and candidates to understand their position and set their expectations. This is where a consultant can really help. A consultant not only understands the business and the candidates but is also fully up to date with a frequently changing marketplace.
As an employer, having a recruitment consultant through the hiring process allows you to gain insider market access, so you know how to be in the best position to attract the talent you want at a realistic budget. With market insight, you can receive practical advice on setting salary expectations and shaping your benefits package to make sure you receive interest from the right candidates.
Another key benefit a consultant can bring is their knowledge of candidates. By understanding candidates, their current position, their goals and long-term vision, a consultant will only put forward the best people for the role. This reduces the risk of time-wasters, helping to minimise recruitment costs and saving time in the recruitment process too.
Ultimately, a consultant can provide trust for both parties and help to bridge the gap between the candidate and the employer. With detailed knowledge of both sides, a consultant has a clearer picture of the opportunity and the candidate fit. Knowing both aspects streamlines the process to provide peace of mind for the candidate and a stress-free recruitment process for the employer.
Of course, when people deal with people, there is always a degree of risk. However, by having an expert to understand both sides helps to minimise this risk. The consultant’s primary concern is to forge a successful relationship between the candidate and the employer. The focus is all about creating a balance that works for both parties.
Ignoring the supply/demand curve
So, instead of re-advertising roles and stretching out the recruitment process, it can save time, money, and hassle by ignoring the notion of the ‘employer’s market’ and focusing on what your business needs and mapping out the quickest, most efficient and effective way to achieve this.
Dan Barfoot is operations manager at CMD Recruitment www.cmdrecruitment.com