In the current uncertain economic climate it’s normal for workers to stick with what they know. But it’s also a candidate’s market right now and there are some outstanding opportunities out there that may never come around in the same way again, writes specialist market recruiter Alex Waring of Foxton Budd…
We are living in uncertain times. Naturally that can lead to changes in behaviour and no more so than we are currently seeing in the recruitment market.
For many months now there has been an imbalance between jobs and candidates -across virtually all sectors. There are more vacancies than there are candidates to fill them. The media reminds us daily of impending doom in many forms -the cost of living, soaring energy costs, the climate, recession, supply issues etc.
Understandably, that has made many people consider whether now is the right time to move. With so much uncertainty, should you really look at changing jobs?
The good news…
Employers are well aware of the challenges of recruiting good staff, as a result they are only recruiting for absolutely necessary roles – opportunities to work in a position where there is a key need, in a proven or established market.
Furthermore, salaries are having to be raised to attract talent and employers are pouring their efforts in to retention – the last thing they want is to find themselves going through the costly and frustrating process of recruiting new people again after just a short time.
So what does this mean for candidates?
1. Less competition and a more open minded employer
Clients are being presented with fewer applicants. That means less competition for each candidate and an opportunity to be considered for a wider variety of roles.
Clients are much more open to considering candidates based on their merits as a driven, ambitious and dedicated employee, than on their experience or contacts in that sector.
2. Lower risk
If they are offering you a role, the client is convinced that you have the skills and ability to do it. They know that they need to ensure that you are properly trained and supported, and they will be working equally hard to retain you in the business.
It’s also important to note that whilst the market is presenting clients with some real challenges when it comes to recruitment, they are not making decisions on a whim.
If a candidate is not right for the business they won’t offer them, and so in all of the cases that we are seeing, the roles being offered are secure positions, in a strong market with full support available. Truly, the roles that we are presenting candidates with right now are outstanding!
3. Future proof?
Nothing is guaranteed in life and employers can’t guarantee the future either. However, the fact that a person is employed with a business that has kept them through Covid sadly does not mean that they will be immune from redundancy if the market takes a downturn.
If you are considering a move it’s important to look at the security of your current position versus the opportunity in front of you. Do you currently focus on a market sector which would be adversely affected by a recession? Which sectors does the role on offer focus on?
If a client is recruiting in an uncertain market it is likely that they are very confident that this is an essential position within the business, both today and in future -even with the threat of some potentially rocky trading on the horizon.
4. Candidate behaviour
Unfortunately, one side effect of a candidate-driven market is that some candidates can begin to behave in a less positive way. The market is busy, jobs are busy and people are busy. The imbalance between jobs versus staff means that many people are now getting approached on a regular basis to consider new opportunities, and no doubt, some of those approaches are not as professional as they could be.
However as a candidate it is important to be aware of the footprint you leave in the market place. We have seen an increase in candidates failing to turn up to interviews, or withdrawing from a process at the very last minute, ‘ghosting’ recruiters and clients by failing to respond (at all) to calls or messages, and in some cases going through a whole process, being offered a role and then going radio silent.
Recruiters and clients fully understand that circumstances change. As a candidate you have every right to change your mind about a role, at any stage of the recruitment process. However the way that you communicate that and your behaviour through a process will leave a lasting impression.
If you are someone who maintains professional communication, does their research and is conscientious, the door will be left open to you and you could well find that there may be a career-defining opportunity for you with that employer in future, even if you decide not to join them today.
However, if your behaviour during a recruitment process is viewed by a client as unprofessional, they will naturally assume that this would be mirrored in the way that you behave as an employee. If you decide not to move now, but you do it in the right way, it will pay dividends in future.
So, what’s next?
Unfortunately, nobody knows what the future holds but that absolutely shouldn’t stop you from looking at ways to progress your career.
If there are frustrations where you are, if the opportunity to do more is limited, if you are bored, now is the time to look at what else is out there in the market, you will very likely find that the opportunities you may be presented with could be the springboard for your career.
Staying put may seem like the safe option but that simply isn’t the case. As a candidate you may never see another market so rich with opportunities -seize it!
Alex Waring is director of Foxton Budd, a specialist foodservice equipment recruitment agency.