The Vector guide to hiring in a candidate short market

6th July 2021

The Vector guide to hiring in a candidate short market Image

12 months ago there was an abundance of readily available talent on the market after the mass redundancies and contractor culls that were brought about thanks to the Pandemic. As the months have passed by we have seen a complete turn around in the amount of available resource as companies have regained confidence in the future and snapped up the bulk of readily available resource meaning that it's getting tougher an tougher to find top talent. We decided to put together this guide to help prepare you for hiring when there's a shortage of candidates and increased competition from other companies. 


Step 1.

Listen to the advice your recruiter is giving you… you’re using them (and paying them) for a reason!

A seasoned recruiter will have seen it all before, they will know when you are at risk of losing a candidate that you like or if you are going to be able to find all of the skills you are looking for in a candidate.

Still feel free to challenge them from time to time, but when push comes to shove you need to trust them… and if you don’t, you’re working with the wrong agent!


Step 2.

Be prepared to move quickly… you will have competition from places you least expect.

Make yourself as available as much as possible. We get it… You’re busy, if you weren’t then you probably wouldn’t need someone to manage your hiring process, but remember… If you can’t be reached during the hiring process, YOU are holding up the process, and ultimately it may be YOU that makes your role unfillable.

Think about…

Your recruitment timeline - How quickly can you interview? Do you need that 2nd stage interview? Or 3rd stage?

Organisational bottlenecks that could slow things down – Can you pre-empt some of that red tape that you need to wade through? Or can you influence your colleagues so that they also move more quickly?


Step 3.

Be flexible…

Unless you have created a role with a specific individual in mind, there’s almost never a 100% match for a role. Prioritise what the most important aspects of the role are and think about what you can sacrifice if you need to.

How can you beat the competition? Rate? Salary? Flexible working? Benefits?

What’s your plan B?

Keep in mind that if you’ve been searching for a long time and you are continually not finding someone… there is something about the role which needs addressing.


Step 4.

Sell Sell Sell!!!

The market is different. Yes, a candidate should sell themselves at interview, but it’s CRUCIAL that you do the same! SELL your company!

You must think about why a candidate would want to work for you over a competitor?

You can brief your recruiter as thoroughly as you possibly can, but nothing beats hearing someone who isn’t getting paid a commission championing the organisation they are working for.


Step 5.

Beware the counter offer!

There’s one final pitfall in the hiring process, and it’s the one that stings the most if it happens to you… The dreaded counter offer! These always seems to become more prominent in a candidate short market (it’s almost as if they know hiring a replacement will be a nightmare).  

You can completely nail the whole process only for the candidate to get cold feet about leaving their current post, sometimes it doesn’t take much to stop them from leaving.

How can you compete with that..?

There are two scenarios here depending on where the counter offer is coming from…. a company the candidate is working for, or an offer from another company chasing their services but there are things you can remind them of to try and minimise them taking that counteroffer.

Scenario 1 : If the candidate’s in a role already, you need to remind them that there are reasons that they wanted to leave in the first place. Have those reasons suddenly disappeared with a higher salary? It’s unlikely. And why was the counter offer made anyway? It’s often due to the irritation and cost of rehiring not because they value that specific person. Those issues which made the candidate look elsewhere are likely to still be there and it’s highly unlikely a small bump in pay is going to resolve those problems. And there’s readily available data that shows 90% of candidates that accept counter offers won’t make it past another year with that company, and do they want to miss out on your opportunity just to be back in the same position a year later?

Scenario 2 : The candidate is not working, and they are tempted by a higher rate from another company. You need a slightly different approach to this one as the candidate will have no emotional tie to either company offering to them. The only thing you can do is evaluate what you can change about the overall package to appeal to them more. Can you match the salary/rate? Add in more flexible working practices? Add in some more benefits to their overall package? Make the candidate WANT to work for you irrespective of rate!

You’ve got this far… and in a candidate short market you might be better off fighting rather than starting all over again!


If you want to have a chat about the likelihood of securing the resource you need or you have a live requirement that you need candidates for in under 24 hours then email or call us on 01892 771447.