Posted by Karen Harrison - Business Unit Director
candidate attraction, recruitment, Skills gap
Posted on September 9th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Unemployment is high, therefore organisations will have more candidates to choose from?

The headlines are not easy to miss: “unemployment rate at 7.9%”, “2.494m people out of work”, “redundancies are up (32,000)”, “vacancies are down (22,000)”, therefore companies should be inundated with candidates looking for work. Yes…however, many organisations are finding it harder and harder to find the talent they need to grow their businesses in a time where there is increasing uncertainty about growth prospects in both the UK and global economies.

Any hiring decision must be the right decision. There is a stark gap between skills required and skills available. John Lewis, for example, received 12,000 applicants for 800 vacancies at the new Olympic shopping mall at Westfield Stratford City. Such was the poor quality of candidates across all the stores in the mall that remedial tuition has been provided to give successful candidates a basic standard in reading, writing and arithmetic.

Skilled employees are still a valuable commodity, they have choices; who they work for and where they work, and career development is high on the list of their priorities. Finding such candidates takes skill, time and knowledge. Discussions around a change of employer takes careful handling – there must be something to ignite the interest, the whole candidate experience from the first call through to the offer and on-boarding is absolutely critical and many companies make unintentional errors throughout this long process, losing valuable candidates along the way.

Candidate attraction and recruitment is a skill, the candidate must be handled with care underpinned by a robust selection process to ensure that both candidate and organisation make the right decisions. Planning for future growth or re-organisation should go hand in hand with identification of required skills – finding the right candidates at the right time to meet your business goals may not be as straight forward as you think.

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