How recruiters can get ahead in the candidate-driven market of 2022

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Job vacancies are reaching record highs around the world in 2022, which has created talent shortages like never before. So, how can recruiters ensure that they are still attracting, retaining, and hiring high calibre candidates?  

That is the billion-dollar question, so let’s dive into what all of this means and discuss how recruiters can get a leg-up in today’s candidate-driven market. 

What is a candidate-driven market?

A candidate-driven market occurs when there are more jobs to be filled than there are talented candidates to fill them. This results in a surge of companies trying to hire, which creates a competitive job market for recruiters and gives candidates the upper hand in the hiring process. 

The competitiveness of the job market is exactly what entices employees out of their current roles and into new ones. Thus, creating more vacancies; continuing the cycle of the candidate-driven market. 

What does the job market currently look like?

Around the world, job vacancies are at an all-time high, and when compared with pre-pandemic numbers, they are quite intimidating. 

Pre-pandemic in February 2020, Australia had 226 500 job vacancies, but as of February 2022, that number has skyrocketed to 423 500, which is an increase of around 86%! In the US, 11.263 million job openings were reported in January 2022, up 87% from June 2020, when the number of job openings was closer to 6 million. In the UK, job vacancies were sitting just shy of 1.3 million as of March 2022, compared with January 2020 this is an increase of around 468 000 vacancies. 

Everywhere you look there are vacancies, and yet unemployment rates are low! In Australia, our unemployment rate is currently sitting steady at 4%, which is the lowest, it has been since the 1970s

So, with millions of jobs and nowhere near enough people to fill them, companies are scrambling; and candidates are thriving. However, there are some steps companies can take to get ahead in today’s candidate-driven market.

How can companies get a leg up in a candidate-driven market?

Cast your recruitment net wider 

In today’s competitive job market it is more important than ever that you are widening your candidate search when looking to recruit. Applicants are too scarce for job ads to be your sole source of candidates. 

Instead, recruiters should be using job ads in conjunction with talent pools when looking to hire. This will give the widest range of candidates to choose from, and with our recruitment module, the two go hand-in-hand. 

Our platform allows you to build your own custom talent pools and replenish them using candidates you have attracted through your job ads. So, each time you post, not only are you getting talented applicants for one job, but you’re also getting them for future jobs. Meaning you’re not wasting any of the high calibre applicants you attract from your job ad – you’re just saving them for your next relevant opening.

Build talent pools and proactively recruit

Many recruiters are forced into reactive recruitment because of unexpected or high volumes of employee turnover. The problem with this is that they are behind right from the start, facing pressure from the clock to fill the vacant position ASAP. Often this will result in companies settling for a candidate instead of taking the time to find someone who fits in with their strategic plan. 

Talent pools, if used effectively, can give organisations more control in their recruiting and enable them to proactively hire. They act as a bank for your pre-evaluated, qualified candidates, which you can refer back to at any time. Talent pools have many different benefits, but most importantly, they help ensure organisations don’t miss out on top talent.

Focus on creating a positive candidate experience

Once upon a time, it was the candidates who had to woo over the employer, but in today’s candidate-driven market, employers also need to impress. More than ever, employers need to be making an effort to create a positive experience for candidates to ensure they are being viewed favourably. 

Candidates are far more likely to accept an offer from a company that valued their time right from the first point of contact. Unsuccessful candidates are also more likely to reapply for a position at your organisation further down the line if their initial experience with your organisation was positive. So, now more than ever, companies should be focused on improving candidates with a positive experience.

Furthermore, creating a positive employee experience should also be a priority for companies. In a candidate-driven market, retaining employees is just as important as attracting new ones. A happy employee is far more likely to stay put when the competitive market comes knocking. 

Be willing and ready to adapt 

The world around us has changed significantly over the past few years and has had a massive effect on how we work. Many companies have welcomed flexible working arrangements with open arms, while others are still debating whether the 9-5 work model should stay or go. Five years ago, we would have imagined these flexible work models would be so widely accepted, yet here we are. 

Things can change in an instant. So you must be ready to adapt to emerging trends and changes that may arise. A notable example of this was during the widespread lockdowns of 2020 – 2021 where recruiters needed to adapt their recruitment process quickly and utilise video interviewing software. Recruiters need to be on top of recruitment, candidate experience, and workplace trends to ensure they can stay ahead of the game in today’s market. 

Final thoughts

A candidate-driven market is a difficult one, there is no denying that, but with the right mindset and systems in place, it can be successfully navigated. So, don’t lose hope, adapt, cast your net wider and focus on giving your candidates a positive experience.