How to survive a talent drought

Remember when we thought COVID would leave us swimming in freshly unemployed talent? Nobody expected the plague to be followed by a drought. Yet here we are.

Recent studies show that the need for workers is rising at the fastest rate since 1998 – but the pool of suitable candidates is shrinking at the fastest rate since May 2017. Both starting salaries and temp pay are rapidly rising under the pressure. And on top of this, candidates now expect flexible and hybrid working as standard, not as a perk.

So how can businesses and recruiters work together to attract and retain the right talent? Short answer: Definitely not how we did it in 1998. Long answer: there are two main strategies, and they’re most effective when used together.

 

Strategy 1: Digital headhunting

In recruiting, as in dating, the best candidates are likely to be taken – and in a talent drought, they’re almost certainly taken. That means it’s vital to start targeting passive candidates. Someone who isn’t actively looking for work may still be interested in new opportunities.

Reaching out to passive candidates delivers consistently high hiring success rates. In fact, it’s more than twice as efficient as relying on independent applicants.

But as we’ve said, this isn’t 1998. You can’t just flip through your Rolodex and call up a few contacts from your professional network. To win at headhunting in today’s market, you need to use all the digital resources at your disposal. You can find a wealth of good candidates on social media – particularly on LinkedIn, where many skilled and experienced candidates are hoping to be headhunted.

 

Strategy 2: The new candidate experience

In the new normal, candidates interview you. It’s you, the employer, who needs to impress them by standing out from the competition. And what worked to impress candidates pre-COVID – like competitive salaries and good training programmes – is only the start of what they expect from you now.

Flexible working is no longer a perk; it’s an essential, with 34% of UK workers saying they’d resign from their current role if it wasn’t offered, according to a recent survey. As this suggests, employee retention is also more vital than ever, and providing outstanding flexible working options could save you from losing your existing talent.

Speaking of retention, the candidate experience doesn’t end when they sign your offer letter; to retain new hires, you need to fine-tune your onboarding process too, tailoring it to digital and remote work but keeping communication top priority. Use digital platforms together with traditional recruitment practices to streamline your hiring and make your onboarding experience seamless.

As the talent drought intensifies, you need an expert recruitment partner you can trust to help you not only survive, but thrive. Get in touch today to discover how we can help you source and secure your ideal candidates.