Every week we meet over 150 different businesses, we do this in order to understand more about how they function, what their future hiring plans are, to find out where they have talent and skills gaps and what type of ‘fit’ they like to recruit. This enables us to build pipelines of talent that give our customers access to the best people that are ‘in’ the market, not just ‘on’ the market.
Our customers look to us as trusted advisors and because of this, our most frequently asked question is ‘what is happening in the market?’
The answer is this…..
Quite simply, we are experiencing increased demand, which is also squeezed by a tightening of available talent: across both the permanent and interim markets.
There are various reasons behind this;
- In 2008, many companies stopped investing in apprentice and graduate schemes and this is now starting to bite the market supply, particularly at part and newly qualified levels within HR, Finance and Marketing.
- From a sector perspective, the Midlands is heavily manufacturing focused and with the falling value of the pound, we are seeing an industry boost for exporters, which is driving a relative lack of supply. This is because new candidates coming into the industry are running at a slower rate than customer demand.
- Employers are starting to need more ‘people’ because of changing demographics – the aging workforce is working less hours, with more flexibility. This means that a job that has traditionally been accomplished by one person now might take two or even three. Job share’s or ‘school hours working’ are now expected, which means ultimately the number of people on organisational payroll’s are higher than ever.
- The rate of technology advancement is shaping the demands of the customer in ways that have never been seen before. Companies are restructuring to meet these demands, which means that different skills are now required. These are skills that can’t be recruited elsewhere and have to be developed and trained, so the by-product of this is a ‘relative’ skills shortage.
I’m now in my 8th year in recruitment and I’ve never seen conditions that are more competitive. So with this in mind, what do you need to do to get ahead of the curve?
- Understand that the biggest employers are paying more and that pay is always high on the list of why employees leave a company AND why they join a company.
- Be aware that ‘great talent’ isn’t likely to just be talking to you. There is every chance that at the end of your recruitment process they are going to be looking at multiple offers. With this in mind, treat them like a customer, create a fantastic experience for them throughout the process, talk to them about how you can provide a career for them, not just a job move, be aware of and share your ‘USPs.’ Adopt the mind-set of why would that person want to join you over your competitor and sell your business in an open, honest and transparent way.
- Invest in the future – What does you Leadership development programme look like? Who are your leaders of tomorrow and what are you doing to accelerate their careers? People work for people, so are yours the best?
- Invest in the present – Understand that 90% of relationship breakdowns between line manager and employee are as a direct result of problems in identity and weaknesses in relationships. People leave line managers they feel don’t care for them, or who can’t help them progress. How are you creating capability in your leadership team that enables managers to capture peoples attention and influence them in authentic and ethical ways to inspire their loyalty and best performance?
- Leveraging your Employer Value Proposition is important, but understanding that your Employer Brand ultimately defines whether talent is attracted to your culture is critical. Organisations that use their EVP effectively are x5 more likely to report their employees as highly engaged and twice as likely to report achieving their financial performance.
- Remember we now have TripAdvisor for candidates – it’s here in two forms - Glassdoor and Indeed. Both sites allow current and past employees to rate their experience of working for their employers…..and the reviews are there for the world to see. The customer of today now values speed of response and transparency in approach. So what are you doing with bad reviews? Are acknowledging them? And, more importantly, doing something about this feedback internally to improve your culture, processes, leadership styles and ways of working?
If you are interested in learning more about ‘Success Through People,’ we have recently expanded our award winning Customer Value Proposition to create a workshop that explores and gives insights into;
- Current market conditions and what they mean to your business
- Why ‘it’s all about leadership’
- The importance of a people strategy and how this impacts the customer
- How (a great) company culture is a talent magnet
- Employee engagement – why this is everything when it comes to have a customer first strategy.