The nature of the recruitment race has changed.
During the sparse times of the recession, it was often the case that the catalyst for activity was when a company started recruiting for a new role. Recruiters rushed to provide candidates, applicants flooded into the ATS system, and companies were often spoilt for choice.
Now the economy seems to be turning the corner; it is the (best) candidates who are spoilt for choice, and they are making those choices with increasing speed.
Lots of companies still don’t seem to have realized this.
When the power in the market switches from companies to candidates, it always takes a while for companies to adapt. However, as this last recession was over such a long period, many mid-level HR managers have known no different. Many assessment processes are cumbersome and long-winded, and their “role” is no longer one of a few in the market. There are tonnes of great opportunities out there for great candidates – in companies big and small.
The recruitment market has been “hot” for the last 18 months and the time to hire a top candidate is now being measured in days rather than weeks or months.
Candidates will have weighed up their options before their search. They will have researched all the companies that they wish to join and be fully armed with all the information that they need to make a decision. The last piece in the jigsaw is meeting their potential employers and getting a sense of how engaged they are.
Why would you want to join a company that can’t give you a date for your next interview? Why would you wait for two weeks until the MD gets back from his holiday to finalize the deal? Would you be slightly put off by a company that was haggling over a small change to the annual salary package?
The best candidates need to be courted. They need to feel desired, and in this market, you can be certain that the best companies are doing exactly this. The efforts that they put in to retain talent are matched by those to attract talent. This attraction is not just about getting them to the interview. It is about getting them in the door as swiftly as possible.
The race is on. It is you against your competitors. It doesn’t matter how compelling your employer brand is, or how well the candidate got on with the hiring manager - until they get that offer of employment in their hands, they will always be at risk of being tempted somewhere else.
Speed, agility, flexibility, decisiveness. Not really words that one would always associate with recruitment, but these are the exact words that will set apart the winners from the losers in the war for talent.
Which side will you be on? The stopwatch is ticking….