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How to get ahead in the competitive marketplace

We have been in a period of falling unemployment and increasing company growth for a couple of years now. Even with economic uncertainty on the horizon the job market has held relatively well at the back end of 2016, with employment falling from 8.9% last January to 7.3% in January 2017.

However, that is not to say that a stronger economy doesn’t create a new set of challenges for companies. As more people are employed and more companies look to recruit filling those specialist roles becomes increasingly more challenging, especially in those critical areas where skill gaps already exist.

More recently, instability caused by unpredicted political events, such as Brexit, Trump’s election in the USA, and a hung parliament in the UK, have cast their shadow over the future of the UK economy. While the economy has held relatively strong over recent months, candidates in a stable role are less likely to be tempted away to new roles until the period of uncertainty passes.

In recruitment circles the above has become known, rather hyperbolically as ‘The War for Talent’! While far from needing to arm yourself to the teeth and rush off in to battle against your competitors, there are some simple steps to ensure you are maximising your competitiveness in the marketplace.

In a series of blogs, The People Network’s Head of Resourcing, Jonathan Evans will be casting his eye in detail over the 5 steps to ensure you are adequately equipped to compete in these uncertain times, whether it be in a continued strong economy, or finding the best talent in a slowing economy:

  • Ensure your hiring process is as easy as possible – make sure your processes are lean, map your resourcing processes, create customer journey maps. Can you streamline the process without sacrificing quality to make it a better experience for candidates? How easy is it for candidates to apply directly? Nearly 50% of job seekers now use their mobiles to search and apply for jobs, ensure that your careers site is optimised for mobile recruitment. Completing multi-page application forms just to send a CV through to a company will drive people away.
  • Ensure that your job specs are fit for purpose – most candidates do not want to make lateral moves. Make sure your specs are selling the opportunity and your company. Avoid making your job specs a laundry list of requirements and focus more on outcomes.
  • Making sure your Brand is front and centre - 84 percent of candidates would consider leaving their current company, for a company with a strong brand. You don’t need to be a Google or Facebook in order to have a recruitment brand presence. Be evangelists for your company culture, make sure information on what it’s like to work at your company is easy to find, talk about your values and what makes you different. Use your hiring success stories to show others what a great place it can be to work. This applies as much for larger brands, where often there will be a lot of disinformation in the public domain about your company; you aren’t going to dispel the myths if you aren’t actively out there pushing your culture. Don’t rely on name alone to attract talent! Glassdoor research indicates that 11% of job seekers said they would decline a job offer from an employer with a bad reputation–even if they were unemployed.
  • Find trusted partners – If you work with recruitment agencies, and most in-house teams will on some level, make sure that they operate to the same standards you would expect your own team. Particularly if agencies are your main link to the marketplace ensure that they are able to effectively represent your brand to potential candidates. It’s great when an agency sends through someone quickly that seems a great skills match but they haven’t done a similar vetting process on their cultural and aspiration fit and that candidates laves within the first 6 months.
  • Know your Marketplace – the most effective way to recruit top talent is to understand what the talent landscape looks like in that area, what is driving that marketplace. The more information you know the more you can ensure you are competitive and ensure that you are selling opportunities to candidates in the right way.

Using these 5 points as a guide will ensure the best chances of success in those hard to fill hires. Good luck and happy recruiting!