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  • Writer's pictureKaren Gittins

Sometimes the Candidate you Want, is Not the Candidate You Need…

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Is that title confusing you? It confused us a bit when we first started discussing this subject. Surely, as a business, the candidate you want, IS the candidate you need? Not necessarily so.

Mind the Gap!

When you spot gaps in your business, our instinct is to recruit someone to plug them. It is a tried and tested method that has worked for decades, so why the need to re-think what already works? 2021 has been a year unlike no other. In fact, the last pandemic we experienced on a global scale was the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918; over 100 years ago. Yes, there have been smaller-scale flu pandemics since then, but nothing on the scale that Covid has created.

The Perfect Storm

Covid has created a set of situations that when combined with other factors such as Brexit and weather events, has created the perfect storm of supply vs demand. Not just with our workforce, but across the supply of goods and materials. Demand for so many things we need is outstripping supply and candidates is just one of the casualties.

Job vacancies are currently growing at their fastest rate for almost 30 years. But the number of candidates looking for jobs has fallen at much the same rate. Even with salaries being so competitive to attract new talent, there just isn’t the available candidate pool for employers to dip into in a way they normally would. The pandemic has fundamentally changed so much about us; the way we want to work, the way we want to live and the values that are most important to us. It has opened up opportunities for people to move away from cities and towns and lead a quieter life. It has also brought an element of uncertainty into our lives that we have never had to experience before. The world has been turned upside down and we aren’t out of the woods just yet. Is there more to come? But all of this just means that there are now fewer people looking for jobs at a time when companies have never been busier.

Is Training the Alternative Solution to Hiring?

Now as a recruitment company, you might start to think that we are barking mad to even suggest this. But as a responsible organisation, we feel our job is to look for solutions, not add to problems. So, our little think tank got together, and this is where we came up with the thought process that there are some roles in organisations where the talent you need could be sitting under your nose. It just needs a few tweaks and some TLC to get to where it needs to be.

The time it takes to hire an individual in the UK at the moment can be as long as 3 months. Think about who you have in your organisation right now, and what you could do with them in 3 months to make them the candidate you want.

Then look at the financial aspects of hiring. The estimated cost of a bad hire in the UK can be more than £50,000. Think of the training of people and investment in equipment you could do with that sum of money?

Look closer at what you have right now…

So, is the solution for your business hiring, or is it sitting under your nose? With so much learning online right now, training your existing staff to plug the skills gaps you need is a very viable solution. Not only does your business get the skill sets you need, but you also give your employees the opportunity for professional development and progression. You could be going a long way towards buying yourselves more employee loyalty and all of this could lead to a more positive outcome than spending time and money looking for that perfect candidate.

Taking a small risk through training and developing the staff you have will reap long term rewards. Or, you can wait 3-6 months looking for the perfect hire with no guarantee of securing the candidate you want…

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