Where have all the candidates gone?

Where have all the candidates gone?

This is the second article in this month’s series on the theme of ‘What’s happened to job vacancy candidates?’. The full series can be found at monarc­hper­sonnel.­com.

If you’re finding it tough to recruit at the moment, let us put your mind at rest. It has nothing to do with your personal hygiene, your very ‘unique’ approach to teambuilding or Beryl in Accounts. Sorry to say, but you’re not special – everyone is struggling to recruit. Why? Because the candidates appear to have jumped on the talent bus headed out of town.

To explain in more professional terms – we’re in the midst of a candidate-driven market. There is a skills shortage, permanent salary offers are high and employers are finding it difficult to woo the best candidates.

Why are we in a candidate-driven market

COVID-19 – yes, that old chestnut! The candidate-driven market is not new to 2022, it’s been going on since the pandemic kicked in. Employees have been having epiphanies all over the show about their careers, their shifting expectations of employers and what they expect in terms of salary and benefits.

Employees also came to rather like working from home, not having to commute and generally having more control over their working day. When they were invited back to the office, many decided they didn’t want to go back to that pre-pandemic life. They wanted to work from home permanently or have a hybrid working role. This resulted in the ‘Great Resignation’; a time when the number of resignations across the majority of sectors reached unprecedented levels.

Companies found themselves looking for staff and soon discovered a skills and talent shortage. This resulted in the candidate-driven market that continues to cripple businesses.

What do candidates want?

Candidates are looking for flexible working conditions, better career plans, study support, a competitive salary, modern working environments and employee benefits. Not much then! Employers who are unable to offer all of these requirements are unable to compete with those who can.

The pandemic has also given employees time to consider their work/life balance and what really makes them tick. Many have discovered that the answer to their personal happiness lies beyond the stress and hours of work that a promotion would offer, so they’re not keen to move from their current roles.

In fact, many candidates are finding their demands are filled by their current employer as they negotiate changes to existing contracts. This keeps them out of the job market and therefore unable to plug the hole in skill shortage experienced by other employers. To get around this, many employers are finding other ways of dipping into the talent pool.

Passive candidate recruitment

Passive candidate recruitment is similar to executive search whereby employers think, “If you’re not coming to me, I’m coming to you!”. Passive candidates are already employed elsewhere and not actively seeking a new role. However, in the nonchalant manner of a candidate in a candidate-driven market, they might be up for it if convinced it’s something they might actually want!

By opting for a passive candidate recruitment approach, employers have access to a wide talent pool where there is less competition. It saves on job advertisements and enables the recruiter to look for exactly what they want.

What do companies need to do to attract the best talent?

Companies need to improve their flexibility and working conditions, and focus more on mindset than skill. At Monarch Personnel we encourage all of our clients to recruit on mindset wherever possible, as skill can be taught whereas mindset is instinctive. A candidate with a proactive mindset that matches the culture of the business can be extremely valuable.

The alternative approach for employers is to look at their current workforce to unveil a hidden gem who could just be the candidate they need.

Find out more

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Posted in Help & advice and tagged #JobMarket #CandidateMarket #TalentPool on