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Employment rates are higher than ever. How can employers find the people they need with a rapidly depleting talent pool?

by Heat Recruitment

A quick look at the employment landscape paints an undoubtedly positive headline: still at a record high, the employment rate continues to rise, with 32.39 million people now in work according to the latest official statistics.

On the back of these figures, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey stated the recent findings illustrated ‘a great British success story with businesses from Exeter to Edinburgh creating jobs – helping, on average 1,000 people find a job each and every day since 2010.’

However, with more people in work than ever before, growing businesses find themselves in a tight spot: faced with a shortage of skills and a lack of active candidates, leaders jostle for position on the employment pier, throwing lines out to the talent pool in an attempt to lure the catch of the day to their organisation. With an ocean of competition to choose from, dream candidates are few and far between, rising only to the surface to scour the shores for exciting opportunities.

Scared of missing out, employers will reel in the first skilled candidate to swim their way – only to realise a few weeks later that they weren’t the right fit for the business. But how can leaders overcome this challenge to grow their teams?

Build a desirable brand

Never underestimate the power of an attractive employer brand: often, reputation alone can act as a siren song to unwitting candidates, even those currently in employment. Be it online or offline, brands have started to assimilate with people’s everyday lives.

Of course, brands known for creating positive workplace environments naturally reap the rewards when it comes to recruitment. An empowering and rewarding company culture can be a key motivator for candidates and consistently outranks salary when tested against job satisfaction. While pinball machines and ping-pong tables can help you look the part, employee referrals will determine your long-term success.

Nurture passive candidates

If you have been searching for the right candidate and are yet to attract a big fish, it’s probably time to start looking for a hidden gem. Passive candidates don’t live their life on job boards: instead, they subscribe to emails to keep in the loop with opportunities in their industry. It’s no use casting your line and waiting for passive candidates to bite the bait – they require an outbound approach; they need nurturing.

In a shrinking talent pool, employers need to get in front of these candidates who, may not necessarily be proactively searching for work, but wouldn’t turn down a golden opportunity.

Cast a wider net

More than ever, hiring managers are having to go further a sea when searching for star talent.  Rather than restricting themselves to the usual suspects suggested by LinkedIn, employers must extend their reach by engaging with candidates in their natural habitat.

After all, how many of us spend our down-time on LinkedIn when we aren’t actively searching for work? Twitter and Instagram as well as industry-specific online communities can be a great place to build a rapport with skilled candidates.

On to a winner? Act fast

Think you’ve found the perfect hire? If that is the case, then there’s no time to waste! In the current employment landscape, pedigree talent is usually not without other offers. Slow acting hiring managers can often be left in the nightmarish scenario of missing out on a great candidate through indecision.

Time, money and effort can all go to waste, and a great opportunity slips through your fingers. If you feel that a candidate’s skill-set, ambitions, past achievements and overall demeanour is a perfect fit for your business, you should let them know before they let go.

Hiring top talent is no longer something that can be done with a tweet or an advert in the local paper. As a business owner, if you’re looking to stay focused on what you do best, why not give our expert team a call?

By Ross Bennett