The power of recruitment agencies in a pandemic

21 October 2021 Sharyn Waterworth

Andrew Neel Cckf4 Ts H Auw Unsplash

For many, posting job ads that reel in the same number of bites as they did pre-pandemic is feeling like an impossible task. Fortunately, finding the right candidate isn’t. You just might need to do things a little differently...

There’s no denying the pandemic has well and truly shaken up the workforce - from home office setups to stringent new health regulations - and the recruitment process has been no exception. 

In many respects the candidate pool now feels more like a puddle. Traditional avenues of job advertising like LinkedIn and Seek just aren’t getting the same swell they did pre pandemic. 

In my experience, this is because of two reasons.

  1. Candidates aren’t as willing to jump ship

Job mobility reached a new low during the first year of the pandemic and employers with roles to fill have been feeling the pinch as a result. 

As it turns out, employees are less likely to jump ship during a pandemic, because, well, we’re in a pandemic. Stability is a priority. According to a recent ABS survey, 88% of Aussies think job security is a problem. 

Senior economist Alison Pennington noted that people, “want to hold on to their job if they have one and if they're not in a decent one they're feeling more insecure about what's ahead”. 

And if we pull back the recruitment curtain for just a moment, I can absolutely tell you that this is a conversation we’re having with potential candidates on a daily basis.

Which leads me to the second reason traditional avenues just aren’t cutting it. 

  1. Employers aren’t offering the right incentive

Offering opportunities for career progression and even a competitive salary are both great incentives but unfortunately these kinds of carrots often aren’t enough.

According to research from Glassdoor, 57% of candidates report benefits and perks being among their top considerations before accepting a job, and nearly 80% say they would prefer perks over a pay rise.

Our experience shows this is bang on. In conversations with candidates, the number one perk potential employees are looking for is flexible working arrangements - particularly the ability to work from home. 

On more than one occasion we’re had excellent candidates turn down employment opportunities because the flexibility to work from home - even as little as one day per week - wasn’t on the table.

Employers hiring need to rise to meet these expectations, otherwise, they run the risk of having their active job ads simply gathering dust or missing out on top talent.

So, how is People In Focus tackling these new challenges? 

Well, I can tell you that 72% of roles we've advertised in the past year have been filled by candidates not actively looking for a new role. And no, we didn’t go grassroots style and hand out flyers on the shop corner. 

We have an extensive database filled with candidates - some of whom are actively looking for a new role but many who aren’t. 

It’s a pool of candidates that we’ve spent days, months and years actively nurturing. 

Sharing new job openings, hiring tips and even some career advice — because we know that sometimes the right person for the job isn’t the stranger logging into the Zoom interview but the candidate we’ve been fostering a strong relationship with behind the scenes; and with right nudge will be ready to find their next perfect fit.  

But having an extensive database isn’t the only secret ingredient we’re using to fight this pandemic-sized recruitment hurdle — the real trick lies in the relationship-building skills of our team.

After all, a candidate is unlikely to maintain contact with us if we don’t have their best interests at heart. 

Lucky for them, we don’t have to pretend. We genuinely care. It’s hard not to after stepping in for a job hunt. Regardless of where they end up.

That’s the power of a recruitment agency. 

Ready to find your next recruitment solution? You’ll find innovative (and effective) options over here.