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Businesses losing potential employees by being 'too slow'

A sign of buoyant times and the skills shortage mean that the & lsquo;availability cycle’ of a potential employee has fallen to just 24 hours rather than the 2-3 weeks that businesses have been used to during the recession. This is according to monitoring of current vacancies in the Midlands and South West, by consultants at the branches of Expectations! Recruitment Services.

Jo Long, Director, Expectations! Recruitment Services says “Traditionally, applicants apply for one or several roles in their industry or geographic location, dictated in part by their current employment status and future prospects. During a recession, employee loyalty increases as job scarcity and insecurity drive employees to stay with their employer in turn employers have weeks or even months to fill vacancies, responding to market pressures and expecting excellent value for money. Once the market returns to buoyancy, and in this case entering a period of extreme skills shortage, the tables are turned and employees have far greater choice of where to apply and offer their skills.”

Consultants at the three branches of Expectations! Recruitment Services worked with local businesses and candidates to collect anecdotal data, identifying appointment times and availability of candidates. Hospitality and Leisure employers had the shortest & lsquo;appointment cycles’ (24 hours) at the same time having the highest volume of vacancies and applicants, whereas skilled industries including engineering and software programming had marginally longer cycles (48-72hours), but significantly lower volumes of candidates. Opting to appoint a recruitment agency increased the length of the & lsquo;cycle’ by 50-65%, depending on the industry, due to their ability to manage expectations and keep candidates engaged for longer, but the cost of professional recruitment was considered non-essential for many low-skilled jobs.

Victoria Maddock, Managing Director, Expectations! Recruitment Services says “Our consultants have been talking to businesses regionally, as well as monitoring applicant behaviour and market trends and they have found that speed is of the essence when it comes to employing candidates. This means that the time employers have to make decisions about a potential employee are now 85-95% less than they were just eighteen months ago, and unfortunately businesses and HR teams have yet to adapt to these changes. In the majority of cases, employers will make a decision 10-14 days after the original interview, and in nearly two thirds of cases will lose their top and fall-back candidates to another vacancy due to this delay”

She continues “Businesses can increase the time they have to appoint a candidate by properly planning their recruitment process. Holding all interviews in a 24 or 48 hour window, including professional recruiters or assessment centres, and communicating daily all help to increase the likelihood of ensuring a potential employee is happy to wait.”

 

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