Some ‘Hiring Managers’ need to up their game!

It may seem counter-intuitive but the current marketplace for some IT specialists is tight and therefore competitive. In fact having been in this industry for nearly 25 years I think it is as competitive as I have ever experienced it. I am of course referring to a number of specialist roles like; Solution/Enterprise Architects, Business Intelligence & Big Data people and .NET developers. Perhaps this is due to the collision of a number of factors? The scarcity of skills, offshore salaries, uncertainty in the public sector and an increase in job numbers are all real factors.

So how do hiring managers need to act in these market conditions? Three things may help:

1. Stop assuming that candidates automatically want to work for you. These candidates are interviewing you as much as you are them. They expect you to be prepared, compelling and decisive. As much as you need to satisfy yourself in their abilities, aptitude and culture fit you need to answer the “what’s in it for them” question. They will have choices. Sell the role, the company and the reward and recognition proposition but also sell yourself. Your passion and commitment will play a key role in a successful outcome.
2. Know your competition. Put time into understanding the market opportunities and who will be out there competing with you for these candidates. Use your recruitment partner, whether an agency or an in-house resource, to advise you of the big picture and the most relevant issues for each candidate. Let them support you and negotiate as they are the experts at this phase of the engagement.
3. Be prepared. Be ready to decide one way or another. It frustrating to hear how often employers miss out on the candidates they really want and need simply due to a lack of planning. Get approvals to hire, interview schedules and panels organised so that you reflect an organisation on top of their game. Candidates will not wait for you. They expect a decision and your reputation as an employer is reflected in the recruitment process. People Talk!

If you are experiencing any pain in getting the skilled professionals you need on board then feel free to contact us. We are always willing and open to giving you feedback that may improve your process, reputation and hopefully recruitment outcomes. We know it is a tough competitive market out there!

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Market ain’t that hot…let’s keep it real!

I’ve been reading a lot of market commentry about just how hot the ICT employment market is again. I even read a blog from a Sydney based recruiter stating that it’s the hottest market they have ever seen! I hate to be rude but… that person can’t have been around long!

From a recruitment industry perspective let’s keep some perspective and acknowledge that the market is a lot better than this time 12 months ago. However, I suggest cautious optimisism is not a bad approach. Plan for growth without feeling the need to freak out and hire at all cost.

The recruitment industry had a real clean out over the last 18 months with those less than 110% committed to the career opting out. Let’s remain determined to focus on quality and committed people as we re-emerge and grow our businesses.

What is the best source of candidates?

Employee referrals will always come up as the best source of hire in any research that I have read.

But I have a warning!

A company we recently did some work with made virtually no hires that were not from an employee referral. The good news was that their cost per hire was very low. They didn’t even pay employee referral incentives. It was even better when we looked at their employee retention and found their staff turnover was very low. All good and no need for intervention here we thought.

However, this mid-sized national company was losing market share and not hitting its revenue targets. Long story short was that new hire profile directly matched existing employee profiles. Yes, a happy content bunch of underperformers. The market had changed and competitors were hiring a very different and diverse group.

The issue… “like attract like’ and whilst this may be convenient and cost-effective it may not get you the result you want. A bit like using the “old boys” network… yes it has a place but not always and not without rigor in the process!