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  • Sarah Learney

Roadmap to Recovery; Recruitment in a Post-Pandemic Economy


As we begin to take tentative steps towards some semblance of normality, employment continues to be a prevalent theme within this volatile economy. The roadmap out of lockdown continues to fuel optimism from a personal and professional perspective. Businesses are concentrating on their growth strategy and employer hiring confidence is rising. Despite the challenges of the last year, the recruitment industry is more buoyant than anticipated.


We have had a surprising start to 2021. Despite the uncertainty of the most recent lockdown, the number of new jobs available within the market, has shown persistent growth. The REC has released figures pertaining to 140,000 new job postings in the first two weeks of April. This is on top of a further 181,000 in the previous week, the highest weekly figure since the Pandemic began. Furthermore, a recent article in The Guardian predicts that the UK economy will grow at the fastest rate since the Second World War and is expected to attain its pre-pandemic peak by the middle of next year.

However, despite the impact of COVID-19, we do not have the ‘candidate rich’ market which so many anticipate. Though hiring confidence is rising, there are heightened concerns about lack of qualified and experienced employees within certain sectors. As such, candidate attraction, engagement and retention, is more important than ever.


In today’s economy, the challenge of sourcing quality candidates is what essentially keeps the Recruitment sector in business. Our passion to innovate the recruitment process is entirely necessary in a market which is not saturated with the level of available talent we would expect.


So how exactly do we plan to move forward?


How can we honour and support business growth when the market is more candidate-led than it perhaps ever has been?

Attraction


In this competitive market, it has never been more important to stand out! Establishing your EMPLOYER BRAND, your employee value proposition, is absolutely fundamental in attracting the best talent. How you market yourself to prospective, as well as existing employees, will direct your own roadmap to business recovery and growth.

  • Establish, define and implement an Employer Brand which reflects the ethos of your business.

  • Utilise Social Media and digital platforms to promote and market your Employer Brand.

  • Consider reviewing and revising your benefits package. Flexible, agile and remote working, as well as structured training and development opportunities, are enticing factors which enhance the overall package.

  • Create Job Adverts which are insightful and engaging, intended to excite and attract prospective candidates, setting yourselves apart from other employers in the market.

  • Advertise for ‘soft skills’ as well as technical ability and demonstrable experience. Where defined talent is more scarce, be open to potential! ‘Hard skills’ can be taught and developed, whereas finding that true ‘culture fit, or more importantly, that ‘culture add,’ is priceless.

Engagement


How your business interacts with prospective candidates, from initial contact through to on-boarding and rejection, will directly impact how you are viewed and received within the market. A recent survey by CareerBuilder revealed that 22% of Job Seekers would actively seek to deter their contacts from applying for a job where they had received a negative recruitment experience!

  • Utilise technology, automation tools and candidate management systems to communicate with your candidates.

  • Implement and define a clear hiring strategy and recruitment timeline.

  • Create a positive, engaging and time-limited recruitment process.

  • Provide constructive feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

  • Maintain communication with successful candidates throughout the notice period, continuously demonstrating enthusiasm for their forthcoming employment.

  • Ensure a structured and organised on-boarding process.

By maintaining consistent communication, managing candidate expectations and providing constructive feedback, your candidates are assured of a positive hiring experience. This will inevitably result in positive PR for your business.

Counter Offers


Without a doubt, this is THE most frustrating part of the recruitment process. Having spent time and energy attracting and engaging with the best talent in the market, only to lose them to their existing employer, can be soul-destroying. However, when recruiting for new employees, it is vital to be aware that counter offers will likely form part of the process. Addressing this reality early on can help minimise this risk.

  • Take time to understand your candidates’ reasons for seeking a new opportunity, highlighting how your business differs to their current employment and emphasising the unique opportunities available to them.

  • Promote open and honest communication to ensure that counter offers are highlighted and shared within a timely manner.

  • Acknowledge that counter offers are a testament to a candidate’s value within their existing business.

  • Gently and tactfully remind your candidates that:

- Counter offers do not eliminate the initial reasons for considering a move.

- No matter how strong the relationship with their current employer, handing in their resignation will naturally impede that trust and loyalty will be questioned moving forward.


Statistics show that over 50% of employees who accept counter offers from their current employer, will still leave within 12 months. Though losing a candidate with whom you have invested time is disappointing, respecting their decision and nurturing the relationship for the future, will stand you in good stead.

Retention


In such uncertain times, employee confidence has naturally been impacted. Unemployment, furlough and redundancies have prompted widespread pessimism. Whilst amidst the first waves of the pandemic, employees were mostly grateful to still have their jobs, as we start to move forward, we will see more resignations and candidate movement in the market. Never has there been a more important time to instil confidence in your workforce!

  • Acknowledge where your business has potentially made mistakes throughout the pandemic, accept responsibility and share those findings with current and prospective employees.

  • Celebrate the commitment of your existing team to date and make them a part of your growth strategy moving forwards.

  • Recognise that mental-wellness has been impacted and instil a culture of empathy and understanding.

  • Accept that agile working is here to stay! Covid-19 has transformed the way in which we operate as businesses. Embrace these changes!

In these uncertain times, planning for the future is naturally proving an ongoing challenge. Our economy, though starting to recover, is subject to an uneven growth. However, as we move out of this ‘recovery phase’ and into a period of strategic growth, recruitment is fundamental to your business.


It goes without saying that an experienced and reputable Recruitment Partner will provide a valuable support function during this economic recovery. Aspire Recruitment Services offer an insightful appraisal of the current market, utilising innovative candidate attraction and engagement techniques which bypass the shortage of available talent ‘actively’ seeking new opportunities. For employers seeking to expand their workforce, and without the time to invest in the candidate journey, Aspire Recruitment Services are your Talent Partner of choice.


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