Clients regularly ask: “How’s the market out there?” and that’s the question I am going to be answering for you here today. There’s some very interesting things happening out there that will excite and compel competitive employers!
For now though I want to state a simple, fundamental truth. In NZ we face a talent shortage which will continue to increase. I suggest this will become one of the most significant and challenging issues facing business leaders in this country.
Personally, I operate on a fundamental belief that about 20% of people out there are actually any good at what they do. Combine that with an increasingly competitive market and you’ve got an issue in getting enough of the right people on your bus.
The good news is you can do something about this and that’s where the opportunities come in. Let’s narrow our focus to that top 20% of talent – after all that’s who I’m trying to find for my clients. At the end of the day, acknowledging the talent war is affecting or will affect your business is the start. So now what?
LOOKING FOR THE 20% AND THE BARGAINS TO BE HAD!
OK, we’re in a recession, but let’s not labour the point. And don’t think “superb, more candidates in the market, better choice for us!” Head office calls, says trim some heads. Who do you move on? Certainly not your top 20%! Don’t join your competitors in choosing from the 80% that are left – in a recession, there are other opportunities.
Many companies handle the sensitive issues around restructuring and staff redundancies very poorly. As a result, there are employed people out there who are feeling disconcerted and unstable. Although these people are not aggressively in the market, they are often great candidates who value stability and direction more than a massively competitive cash offer from a new employer.
Use Search to uncover these people and get talking to them. These are the people that could form your recruitment strategy over the next 12 months. A good industry specific recruiter should be able to introduce you to these people.
Another key factor that’s become apparent is the high number of senior sales and marketing execs who are in the market. These may turn out to be “bargain” employees because of the lack of roles around at their level. Normally I don’t condone bargain hunting when recruiting, but it’s a commercial reality right now.
These people are also more open to a contract role offering you an opportunity to try them on your business before going permanent. I’ve found senior people are being more salary competitive for the right employer and that’s compelling when thinking about acquiring talent isn’t it?
LOOKING SOUTH? ACT NOW!
Another trend in the market is that clients are looking for more from their recruitment provider. The market is definitely getting smarter and more sophisticated. If all you’re getting is advertising and rudimentary background checking, then think again – there is so much more to find out there. If it’s been years since you reviewed your service provider then put them under the spotlight. It’s also a great time to negotiate recruitment fees. (Did I really say that!?)
I want to mention Christchurch because I’m having so many queries about it at the moment – and it’s heading for a recruitment traffic jam. A lot of businesses are looking to hire new people in and around Canterbury. If you’re thinking about Christchurch, then my advice is push this up your to do list, budget allowing.
SEEK listings are increasing, demand is increasing and the candidate market down there is getting more and more aware (and therefore competitive). Hesitating now could mean your standards will need to drop and your recruitment investment increase to keep up with the market!
So, in brief, let’s look at the main points when considering recruitment right now:
- Now is a great time to recruit: there are bargains to be had and skilled, passive candidates looking for stable opportunities.
- There is a talent shortage in NZ – what are you doing about it? What’s your long term recruitment strategy around recruiting and retaining the top 20%?
- Review your supplier and ensure you’re getting the top service in the market.
- Make a decision about Christchurch and hire ASAP.
- Look to your senior team and set about addressing any talent gaps you see. Consider contract roles to make up any workload disparities.
So, here’s the message: stop asking how the market is and start asking “What am I doing about it?”