We find ourselves currently in a labour market that favours the candidates. Although it has declined slightly in the last two quarters, the number of job vacancies in May to July was 1,274,400. This is 478,800 (60.2%) above the January to March 2020 pre-coronavirus level and 309,500 (32.1%) above the level a year ago (Office of National Statistics). As such workers are using this power to secure new jobs, increase benefits packages and negotiate wage increases. In the UK, there are now more available job openings than unemployed people for the first time since records began.
With this increased worker confidence, companies are seeing a significant rise in staff turnover. Subsequently they’re facing the problem of acquiring new talent to fill the vacancy. As such, employers must adapt to this outlook and adjust to the new (higher) expectations and preferences of today’s job applicants. Without adjustment, they could find themselves struggling to attract the talent they require to push their organisation forward. So, what are candidates looking for exactly? We speak to lots of candidates on a daily basis, so we’ve put together a list of the most popular requests/requirements.
Money, money, money!
I think everyone could have guessed this one, right? Today’s job seekers are more informed, they know exactly what they can achieve and what they want from their potential employer. Compensation lands right at the top of this priority list. They believe they can get more compensation simply by changing roles.
Candidates are requesting complete transparency; they want employers to be open during the hiring process. Most candidates state they want companies to divulge salary (hourly rate) within the job description. If you’re a company that cannot compete on how much you can pay, don’t be deterred, you can be competitive in other areas to attract your staff.
Freedom and flexibility in the role
The pandemic has reshaped how people work, and how they want to work going forward. This isn’t something that can be ignored, according to a recent survey 57% of British workers want to be able to work from home (YouGov). Therefore, flexibility within a role will directly impact a candidate accepting or rejecting a role. For companies that cannot compete on salary, many candidates are willing to accept a lower pay rate for more freedom.
Many organisations will make the error of doing everything they can to get the candidate in to the role – promising the world – for this not to be the 100% truth. This is a huge mistake, as this will simply be a waste of money, time, and resources if the candidate then leaves. It is essential to manage the expectations during the interview process. Companies need to help individuals make the right decision for both parties.
Culture is key
Money and flexibility are amazing (obviously), but deep down it is always the company itself and their people that matter – this is critical to retaining your staff. Most workers who leave a role within the first two months, do so because of bad company culture.
When an individual accepts a role, they are aware of the money they are to receive and the flexibility of the role. Whether they are overly happy with this or not a bad culture can drive them away.
A tip top candidate experience
It is easy to assume if the job ad is good and job itself is a good one – that’s everything! However, this isn’t the case, the recruiting process is vital, a bad candidate experience can see you lose applicants.
That’s where recruitment agencies come in! Candidates want an intuitive and fast application process; they want to be matched with their ideal job and have any queries they may have answered throughout the process. Non-responsive or rude employers/hiring managers can see candidates u-turning on applications and looking elsewhere.
Transparency during this time is what every candidate needs. They want to know the ins-and-outs of the job and be given a true view of company culture. This is the time to manage expectations of the candidate and increase the retention rates.
Mental health support is paramount
The pandemic gave prominence to the importance of individual’s mental health. People were inspired to focus on themselves, and this is something that is not (and should not) go away. Organisations that prioritise mental health resources, can use this as a talent acquisition tool. This is a fantastic staff benefit that can differentiate organisations from their competitors.
A change is gonna come
You could read this blog and make everything perfect, but in an ever-changing market companies need to be able to adapt quickly to needs of candidates. Staying up to date with what their workers and potential workers are looking for. This will increase the potential of attracting the best talent and reduce the risk of losing staff – which in turn will boost company performance.
Major Recruitment are here to help with all of this! You can definitely tick ‘tip top candidate experience’ off your list straight away! Our part aside, we are here to help you make the right decisions, making your company the strongest it can be. If you want to work with us, that’s fantastic. However, if you just want some advice, we are here to provide that too – just give us a call when you need it.