Finance recruitment – Q2 market update 2015

As we come to the end of the second quarter, sentiment in the market is incredibly positive compared to the same time in 2014. Recruitment spend is up 25% across the board and organisations are looking at their longer term, three to five year business plans. With this in mind, organisations are increasing their recruitment spend and investing in talent within the market place both on a temporary and permanent basis. However, this means that the majority of organisations are approaching the market at the same time, all seeking top quality talent. As a result, they face challenges securing talent in this candidate-driven market.
London and the Thames Valley have seen the strongest uplift in activity levels for Page Personnel, approaching 30% growth. There have been good gains in the Midlands and North West as well.  The larger sectors have had steady growth so far, with a noticeable uplift for the public sector. Some of the smaller sectors have seen hiring rates grow by 50% to 100%; energy, health and not-for-profit in particular. 

Talent attraction and retention

The current market is suffering from a clear candidate shortage. In particular, the credit control and part-qualified candidate markets are becoming increasingly candidate short. Employers are doing more and more to retain their current staff - top candidates are consistently receiving counter offers from their employers. Equally, the top candidates are receiving multiple offers within incredibly short time frames so are off the market very quickly. 
Employers are increasingly having to look at incentives to encourage part qualified candidates to move organisations and to prevent them from being bought back by their current employers. These incentives are not only in the form of career progression but also study support packages and cash incentives.
Top three tips for employers looking to attract candidates in a short-skilled market
  1. Speed - in order to secure top talent in a candidate driven market you must actively work to ensure your processes progress quickly. Clear, prompt communication with the candidate ensures their interest is maintained throughout the process. Top quality candidates will not wait months (or even weeks) for an offer to be finalised. It’s likely that they will be snapped up by another employer within a matter of weeks.
  2. Competitive packages – candidates want better packages, benefits and ultimately, more money and they know they can get it. With so few candidates on the market, companies need to be willing to offer competitive packages to get the right candidates onboard.
  3. Sell your organisation - in a candidate driven market, it is crucial for employer to recognise the whole process; from the initial meeting to the conclusion of the offer stage, is one where your brand and what you offer as an employer are on show. In this market, you do need to work harder than ever before as an employer to secure the best talent and your interview process will be as much about the candidate assessing you as it will be about you interviewing the candidate to ensure this will be a successful match.

Candidate behavior

In general when the top talent is looking for new opportunities they are looking at the overall package on offer including brand, career progression, base package, training schemes and any other flexible benefits. It is becoming a common expectation in the market place that not only does the career progression and base salary need to be worth moving for but the flexible benefits need to be reviewed in order to balance whether the move is worthwhile for the candidate or not.
With the significant increase in counter offers, it is important that you are aware that this is common practise from the outset in today’s market.  Throughout the recruitment process, it is critical that you are aware of the candidate’s key drivers for moving roles, their current package and what they are looking for.  What are they comparing your opportunity to? Candidates’ motivators vary. Some candidates may look at career progression whilst others will have a strong interest in work/life balance benefits and training schemes on offer. In order to minimise the risk a counter offer, you must set yourself apart from the competition and ensure you go above and beyond during your interview process to ensure the candidate is not only interested in the opportunity but is bought into your organisation and more importantly, you and your team.

Looking ahead

The market will continue to be increasingly candidate led throughout the remainder of 2015 and into 2016. From both a temporary and permanent perspective, clients will be looking to increase the scope of their current teams by investing in talent. It is critical that when recruiting, organisations work at speed and focus on putting their best offer out to the market first time.
Our specialist teams across the country can help with your finance recruitment needs, please feel free to contact Kirsty Luce, operating director at Page Personnel Finance for a confidential discussion.
T: +44 1908 240545