View from the team: Why is it so hard to find suitable candidates at the moment?
There have been numerous reports in the media recently about the difficulties faced by businesses looking to recruit good quality candidates, but what is the situation in reality? What’s causing these recruitment issues and how can companies with vacancies improve their chances of finding much-needed new staff?
We spoke to some of the NuStaff team to find out their thoughts.
Why is the candidate market so poor?
“We are currently experiencing a shortage of candidates for all areas of work. And it’s not just us, other agencies in this area are reporting the same. In fact, we’d go as far as to say this has been the main challenge throughout 2021 so far.
“We can’t be entirely sure about the cause of the issues in each individual’s case, but in general, unsurprisingly, the lack of candidates available can be attributed to the pandemic. Furlough, specifically, has played a massive part."
“For the more skilled roles, we’ve found that people are wary of moving until things settle down. The future is still unclear, if there were to be another opportunity for companies to furlough staff, those who had only recently joined might not be covered under the scheme. With that in mind, it’s perhaps to be expected that people are sticking with what they’ve got for the time being. "
“Conversely, those on benefits have been deciding to stick with their current situation too, but for different reasons. Increases in benefit payments and the relative security compared to the uncertainty of a temporary role in the current climate, has led potential candidates to take themselves off the market for the time being. "
“That said, both the furlough scheme and these higher benefits payments are due to end later this month, meaning we can be hopeful about an increase in candidates in the near future.”
And how are candidates reacting?
“We speak to candidates regularly and keep in close contact with our temporary workforce, so it’s been interesting to find out what they’re thinking. It seems uncertainty and anxiety are playing a big part in the decisions potential job seekers are making. "
“Interestingly, we’ve seen people become more unreliable. We are seeing far more workers registering and not showing up for their start date, for example. We wonder whether some of that is due to being isolated for a long time as well as worries about being in an unknown environment that involves contact with strangers as Coronavirus numbers are once again on the rise. We’ve even started to arrange for workers to visit clients before they start a role, so they can see their workplace and understand more about the job in the hope that this will make it less intimidating.”
What can companies do to aid their recruitment activities?
“Clients we speak to are still finding it difficult to understand why we’ve seen such a big change in the candidate availability across every sector. They have, however, been understanding of the difficulties job seekers are facing and are keen to support starters in whatever way they can."
“Some of the companies we work with have started to increase their temporary workers pay scales in order to attract more semi-skilled talent, perhaps increasing the hourly rate for roles such as Warehouse Operators and the like."
“There’s no getting away from it though, with fewer people applying for vacancies, employers are finding they have to lower standards and think outside the box in terms of what are absolute necessities for the role and what can be learned onsite.”
And, what can Nu Staff do to help?
“We want to reassure our clients that resourcing issues should improve throughout September and onwards and while it doesn’t necessarily help, it’s important to understand that everyone is in the same situation."
“We have tried to be a lot more reactive in sourcing passive candidates for our clients, taking more of a ‘head-hunting’ approach to reach those who would ordinarily be open to a move. With the right roles in the right organisations, particularly those in high demand, there really is no reason why there is risk associated with moving and it’s been important to try to reassure people of this.
“We’ve also offered our temporary workers a candidate referral scheme to encourage them to promote Nu Staff and our clients’ brands too – this has been particularly useful.
“Overall, we’ve just been trying to be as understanding as possible towards our clients and help them get through this period in whatever way we can. We are hopeful that over the next month or so things will take a turn for the better and we’ll see good quality candidates come back into the market, keen to take on challenging and exciting roles.
“Don’t despair, all the signs are suggesting that things will improve very soon.”
If you’re struggling to find good quality candidates in the current market, whether for temporary or permanent vacancies, give our experienced and dedicated team a call or email us to find out how we could help you.