Recruitment is officially back to pre-covid levels, which is great news! There’s plenty of roles to fill and great opportunities for job movers, except there is one big problem: there’s a massive shortage of candidates. SFR Recruitment Solutions operates in a niche market talent sourcing purely for the ironmongery, door hardware and access control sectors, which means the pool of available candidates is next to none-existent. In today’s market headhunting is a necessity and is becoming more of a challenge because less people are open to moving right now due to many reasons. Read our blog: Vacancies record high, candidates record low – where are all the candidates?
Employment is Soaring
The Metro says that the number of people in employment soared by 207,000 to a record 29.2 million between August and September. This being 120,000 above levels seen in the UK before the Covid pandemic hit in early 2020. Vacancies reached a new one-month record in September at nearly 1.2 million, suggesting all industries have at least as many jobs as before the onset of Covid-19. However, there is a reluctance in the labour market on the supply side to come back to work fully or move jobs.
Talent sourcing within a Niche Market
Operating in a niche sector such as hardware sourcing for sales and marketing professionals predominantly, where clients often have precise job and person specifications in mind. Finding candidates is very challenging for recruiting managers who often end up turning to us for help. The available jobseekers are, more often than not, not a great fit unfortunately as their motivation is to find a new role, sometimes ‘any role’ creating a ‘forcing a square peg in a round hole’ effect. The best candidates are the passive candidates who are working in similar roles within the sector who are not actively looking.
Attracting Passive Talent
Passive candidates are like elusive prospects; they are in work, they’re comfortable hitting their bonuses and targets, doing really well in the role, feel respected and appreciated by their employers, or in some instances are too busy and content to even consider looking for another role. Tech Target defines the market as 70% passive versus 30% active job seekers. It takes an exceptional opportunity that needs to be waved in front of their nose to ‘awaken’ them and ‘allure’ them into the prospect of entering the recruitment process. This predicament puts recruiting managers in a difficult position as having the time to research and find suitable candidates is very time-consuming and approaching them directly is awkward and not something that is done.
Tips on Finding the Best Talent
Passive candidates often know, instinctively, the companies they would like to work for; however, they are not actively looking – they therefore need to be headhunted. Here are some tips on headhunting the best talent:
- Create an attractive opportunity – ensure the role is interesting and the package reflects the responsibility and use a broad salary range to attract good-better-best candidates. For example: £30-£40K dependent upon experience;
- Send recruiting emails to passive candidates on your database and follow up. Don’t have a database? Perhaps it’s time you should create one? Use LinkedIn to identify possible passive candidates;
- Browse CV databases and portfolio sites – such as Indeed and CV Library. Note: these contacts may or may not be actively looking, look for indicators when their CV was last updated and how current it is. Passives will have let their CV go out-of-date, those currently looking should be bang up-to-date;
- Join social media groups and professional networks and interact with potential candidates;
- Advertise open positions to external networks such as LinkedIn and recruitment platforms;
- Ask for referrals from current employees, acquaintances and industry professionals;
- Attend job fairs and organise career events;
- Keep in touch with past applicants – they may be suitable for future roles;
- Conduct benchmark research on salaries and benefits for various position levels – you won’t attract the best candidates without offering above market rate;
- Entrust a specialist recruiter such as SFR Recruitment Solutions to do the headhunting on your behalf.
Finding candidates right now is not impossible, it just takes a lot longer and companies need to be proactive in attracting and finding the best talent.
Convincing a Passive Candidate to Join Your Company
Our experience of recruiting in this sector tells us that before Covid-19 we were easily putting forward 5 candidates for roles, 4 were getting to interview stage and 2 to second interview stage. Now, we are lucky to find 2 qualities candidates and the pressure is equally on for employers to impress the candidate, as well as the candidate impress them – it’s a candidates’ market! Here are some tips:
- Make sure that you give the candidate a positive impression of the company over and above what they will have researched on your website. Make them feel welcome, give them insight into any growth plans and strategies. Show your company as progressive and attractive;
- Consider opportunities for career progression in the role, give examples of other employees who have climbed the ranks, show that opportunity exists beyond the role itself;
- Ensure that you communicate all the benefits of working for your company. Annual pay reviews, bonuses, pension, training, study sponsorship, performance bonuses, holiday entitlement, team building days, ride to work schemes, Christmas parties, canteen and emotional welfare support. These things are often found out at offer stage along with contract of employment, but knowing these things earlier on can instil confidence in making the move to your company;
- Factory tours or ‘meet the team’ are other ways of impressing candidates. A member of the team could be part of the interview process;
- Try not to be overly picky in finding the most perfect candidate otherwise you may be waiting a long time to fill your role. Use the 80-20 rule – if a candidate has 80% of your requirements and is a good personality fit for your team, try to wavier the 20%. Interviews are intense situations and it’s difficult for candidates to press all the right buttons. Cut candidates some slack and go with your gut instincts – positive attitude, a good personality fit and the right career record to date are the important things.
Need More Help?
Here at SFR Recruitment Solutions, we’re employment specialists for the Architectural Ironmongery, Doors, Access Control and Window & Door Hardware industries. If you are struggling to find candidates right now, why not reach out to us for advice? Similarly, if you are looking for your next career move why not register with us so we can be on the lookout for you.