23 Mar 2021

The race is on!

Yes, there is a talent shortage. Yes, there are new jobs coming out every day. Yes, the job market appears to be heating up after Covid. Yes, there are lots of people looking for work right now. So why is it so hard to match opportunity with people now?

It appears the overall employment market is just a wee bit fickle at the beginning of 2021. This is driven by several factors in my opinion. Firstly, great talent is typically staying put. People are still hunkering down after Covid and there is a real sense of loyalty to their current employer. The motivation to move into a new role is lower than it’s been in a long time. On the other hand, employers are creating new jobs or trying to fill vacancies, expecting talent to come flocking without a strong value proposition. “I’ve got a job to fill – find me a superstar.” Yes, of course we can do that – but what used to take 4-6 weeks is taking more like 8-12 weeks. Candidate feedback that has been prevalent throughout this year and at the end of last year is “why would I want to change jobs, why would I want to work for Employer X?”. And herein lies the dichotomy of recruitment.

So, if you’re an employer or business owner who is really struggling to find great talent, perhaps the first thing to do is to take a long hard look at why your employees work for you. What do you offer that others don’t? How do you value your awesome team? What opportunities do they get to develop in your business? How much flexibility is there in how people do their work? If you’ve identified a long list of cool things that people get or can do while they work for you – then sing that from the rooftops! Now is not the time to be shy or modest about how you look after your employees. You must stand out from others and catch the attention of candidates.

Also, believe me, candidates are very good at research these days. Recruitment works both ways – candidates do a lot of due diligence about who they are potentially going to work for. There is so much available in the public domain about you and your business. If you have a reputation in the marketplace (good or bad), candidates will find that out. The Waikato is a mighty small place when it comes to who knows who! How does your website represent you? Do your employees act as your best testimonials? If I googled your business, what would it say?

Lastly, as the competition for talent heats up, we also know that we are entering the period of “multiple job offers”. Yes, great candidates are receiving not one, not two, but often multiple job offers. You might liken the candidate pool to the housing market right now. It is a competition, and the best employer will win. Now is the time to take stock of your employer brand and what you and your business can offer your existing team (retention is still a very important thing!) and the new ones that you’d like to hire!