Exactly what is a candidate-driven market?

From an employer’s perspective, a candidate-driven market is something that isn’t always recognised until faced with the prospect of recruiting. Too often, employers hear the term, “it’s a candidate market”, without necessarily understanding the full implications of what this is. It’s something that affects all employers recruiting, with the candidates often in the driving seat and able to command more than just the best salary they can get.
Candidates are often receiving multiple job offers, as well as their current employers trying to offer more for them to stay on as their employee. It’s not just about salary, but the whole package. Candidates have such a choice that they are able to command more competitive salaries, flexible working patterns, stronger study support and a full career development plan. If a client can’t offer what a candidate is looking for, they’ll ultimately lose them to a competitor that can.

Attracting premium candidates

Given unemployment is at an all-time low, candidate attraction is high on the agenda for many forward-thinking businesses. It’s to be expected that candidates will leave roles through natural attrition, but how do companies attract the premium candidates that will really add value and move their department forward? There are two significant areas that come to mind when attracting passive candidates. One, what is the company about and what can be found online to support the company’s values and vision? Two, how quickly can businesses make decisions, bearing in mind the candidate is already in a position where the status quo is positive and prospects of progression are realistically achievable?
We partner with a lot of businesses using branded advertising and a joined-up approach is likely to catch the attention of passive candidates. In addition, we have connections with the more junior end of the market where we can keep in touch with the candidates through the early parts of their career, through to middle management ensuring we are in touch with the markets with our finger firmly on the pulse. It is important that employers have a process which makes it straightforward. The number of interview stages, speed of the process and information provided to the candidate prior to the interview, show you are serious about recruiting. A lot of potential employers lose candidates due to their hiring process taking too long between each stage as top candidates are being offered something better elsewhere. Another reason employers miss out on great candidates is not providing a comprehensive job specification that fully informs applicants about how attractive the vacancy could be for them.
  • Make your company visible on all platforms - the more positive information the better and consider what your own motivations were for joining the business; think about what you would have done after reading all of the available company information online and use that knowledge to your advantage.
  • Act fast. If you like the candidate then move quickly because it’s one thing to interview a passive candidate, but it’s another hiring them. 

The importance of selling a culture, brand, and reputation to attract top talent

Culture, brand and reputation are paramount to attracting top talent in the market. As previously mentioned, candidates don’t make their decisions of who to work for based solely on salary. The full package is considered and the decision-making process begins from the minute the candidate starts the process with the employer. It is important for the employee to feel like they have a future where they can see themselves as being part of a successful business. The interview is one of the major influencing factors for a candidate deciding if they wish to work at a company and it is important that the company culture is explained to the candidate in the interview. More often than not, interviewers don’t sell their organisation enough and expect the candidate to be excited about an opportunity based on reading a job spec and answering interview questions. Don’t make that mistake.

Retaining the candidate

Retention is about ensuring the employee is happy and there are many factors that keep a candidate with the same employer. Usually, the main reason people leave their role is not being able to see a future in the company or their relationship with their manager/management team. Therefore, it is important that the employee believes that the manager has their best interests at heart, is supporting them in their development with regular reviews, and ensuring that any problems are resolved early on before they become a bigger issue than they need to be. Praise for doing a good job goes a long way, as does having an understanding approach with regards to work-life balance when personal issues arise. If you demonstrate that you have your employees’ interests at the forefront of your mind, have a good working relationship and offer responsibilities and a development plan, you are putting yourself ahead of a lot of employers.

Tips for employers to follow

  • Ensure a strong brand is recognised by the candidate in the interview.
  • Display good values.
  • Outline future plans and recognise the areas to be improved. 
  • Talk about previous success and advertise this where possible.
Chris Crawford
Operating Director, Page Personnel Finance
T: +44 161 829 0356 / +44 151 255 3776
M: +44 7810871790