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2016: The Year of the Candidate

 Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library​

It’s a fact; candidates are getting pickier. Skilled professionals are starting to have a greater influence over the roles they choose, realising they hold the power when it comes to getting the job they want. Whilst this is great for candidates, who are finding themselves in a position to pick and choose between employers, it’s making it harder for recruiters to attract and retain the best talent.

If you’re a recruiter and planning your targets for 2016, you need to ensure the jobs you’re advertising are appealing to the right market. Job security, status, lifestyle and money all contribute to employee motivations, which means you need to be looking out for these things if you’re going to beat the competition and stay at the top of the leader board. As this year draws to a close and businesses prepare for the year ahead, we explain what you should be doing if you’re going to encourage the right candidates through your door.

Offer training incentives

Training and development courses are a great way to incentivise candidates. By providing employees with the opportunity to continue developing themselves and learn more skills, they will be in a position to work harder and contribute fully to their employer. This would, ultimately, help them aim towards that promotion they want and, if applicants have their own personal goals to aim towards, especially with status and money as the key motivators, these incentives would really appeal.

Respond quickly

Applicants are no longer willing to wait around; if they apply for that job they want and they don’t hear back quickly, they will continue to look for other roles that offer similar perks, attracting even more competition for the one trying to fill the position. Therefore, if you receive an application and you really like the sound of the candidate and think they’ll be ideal for the role, it’s imperative you don’t leave it too long before responding to ensure they haven’t gone elsewhere before you’ve had the chance to speak to them. Another word of advice: if the applicant has got to interview stage, recruiters should encourage the employer to feed back to the candidate as a matter of priority. If they don’t, chances are the applicant will be looking for something else already.

Make workplace perks more attractive than ever

Whether it’s a year’s membership to the local gym, a great pension scheme, or private health insurance, candidates are more likely to edge towards that job offer which provides them with more than just a good salary. Although an attractive pay packet will definitely help, applicants will also be looking at how they can save money in other areas and how this will impact their future, long-term goals. Imagine this scenario: employer ‘a’ offers the dream job and a £45,000 salary; employer ‘b’ offers a similar job with £44,500 salary in addition to private health care and an employee travel fund that will contribute to fuel savings. Which do you think is the most appealing?

Outlook for 2016

It’s clear to see that if recruiters are going meet their targets and continue to attract the right candidates for their roles, they should be looking at ways they can make vacancies more attractive and think about tailoring their job packages to suit their ideal candidates.

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