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Candidate Short Market - How Can I Find Staff?

Author: Carl Kellis

Published date: 2022/06


Post pandemic, the labour market is seeing records low levels of unemployment, which in turn means businesses are struggling to find candidates to fill their vacant roles. In this week's blog, I've broken down the key questions I'm hearing from businesses and stepped out some key strategies for hiring managers to look at it to attract the right people.

Firstly, why can’t I find anyone for my job?

We are currently facing an unprecedented shortage of candidates and have for some time now.

There are a few things to consider ‘why’ here;

  • - There are more options available to candidates

  • - Salaries have increased due to the shortage

  • - Companies have additional benefits to attract candidates

According to data presented by Seek, job posts are increasing 4.9% month on month and are already up 36.6% from 2019.

To elaborate further; Manufacturing ads are up 56%, Construction ads up 45%, & Trades ads up 35%.

If you were recruiting a role in 2019 you had less overall competition, compared to today. Whereas now, the number of businesses looking for the same people, in the same areas as you have increased.

This is a good thing if you are currently looking for work. You will have roughly 40% more options and this gives you more power negotiating conditions (e.g. work from home) or salary.

According to Seek’s data, Construction salaries have increased on average by 5.8%. Whilst for Trades they have increased by roughly 6.3%.

For anyone recruiting for staff this raises some challenges;

  • - More competition for the same candidates (36.6% more competitive)

  • - Seek applications per advert are down by 50% from 2019

  • - Likely be paying 6% more for staff

Gone are the days where you could rely solely on Seek to provide candidates for your business.

This is leading many of my clients to ask me “How do you find people at the moment?”

I feel its less about finding people & more about not losing good potential candidates that you are finding.

Essentially it comes down to…


How do you get a candidate to take your job over your competitors?

I have just highlighted that its roughly 40% more competitive to land a candidate.

As a recruiter I need to sell your business to any potential staff. You need to start doing the same when you are recruiting for your business.

You need to be able to convince a candidate to take your role over your competitors.

I’ve placed thousands of candidates in work over the past 4 years in recruitment, the number one question I get asked by candidates is a variation of “What’s in it for me?”

Candidates want to know what benefits they will have. They want to know why they should choose your role over the 3-4 others they have been told about.

These benefits are not always financial. A good salary can help sell a job to a candidate, but it is not the only factor.

If you are limited in your budget for the role, I usually suggest seeing if there are any other benefits you can offer. This can be candidate specific, if you can find common ground on benefits outside of the financial this will help your role to be more appealing for candidates.

When I ask my clients what additional benefits they offer, they range from an early finish on a Friday to afterwork drinks, RDO’s, a work vehicle, fuel card, working from home and many others.

These don’t always need to be related to salary.

I also ask my candidates what’s important to them? Is it money? Is it being close to home? Is it starting earlier so they can pick up the kids from school after work?

If you understand the needs of who you are recruiting, you can see if there is common ground.

You can highlight how you can meet their needs outside of salary. This may be the difference between them taking your role & taking your competitors.

The main question clients are asking me at the moment is…


What are some strategies I can implement to fill gaps in my business?

Referral Program

Never underestimate the importance of a good referral program.

I work on the assumption that good people know good people.

I recommend offering an upfront amount & an amount after the candidate passes probation to incentivize your staff referring people they think will last in the organisation.

This does a few things;

  • - Rewards the existing staff member

  • - Shows the existing staff member you value their opinion

  • - Existing staff member has referenced them/put their name to them

  • - Usually cheaper than a seek add or a recruitment fee


Internal Promotion

Under the right circumstances it can be beneficial to promote someone who’s shown promise but may be green for the role you are recruiting.

If you are in a position where you have a junior who is being loyal & showing they are eager to progress within your organisation. It may be worth giving them the chance to step up. You can then train, mold and develop them to meet the expectations of the role.

You can then instead find someone to backfill the junior position within the organisation. This role will likely be easier to fill in the current market. And you are more likely to retain the staff member that you are progressing within the organisation.


Career Progression – Regular reviews & pathways to grow

Most Candidates I speak with are thinking of moving on from their current role because they feel undervalued.

They feel they have gotten all they can from a business, or they don’t feel like they are progressing.

Giving a staff member your time regularly to discuss how you feel they are tracking in your organisation can be invaluable; for retention & addressing areas of improvement for both parties.

By completing regular reviews, you can benefit by;

  • - Getting the most out of your staff

  • - Showing your staff their opinion matters

  • - Illustrates their progress (hitting goals or falling short)

  • - Outlines pathways for staff to step up & progress


Partner with an agency: How Fetch Can Help

We implement the strategies I’ve shared with you on a daily basis. Either for permanent staff, or contractors that you have employed through us.

Fetch partner with our clients to offer support on HR & Recruitment.

We take the pressure off you in a variety of ways;

  • - Source & screen candidates on your behalf

  • - Sell your roles to candidates

  • - Organise payroll and compliance (Inductions, tickets, references, etc)

  • - Consult & advise you as part of our aftercare processes (Performance reviews, etc)

Our aim is to free up your time as much as possible. This allows you to focus more on running your business, and to focus less on having to find people to fill your jobs.

With us as a resource you aren’t alone in the challenge of hiring staff in this market.

If you would like to discuss these strategies in further detail or would like chat about your recruitment needs, please feel free to reach out to the team at Fetch.

Carl Kellis is our Senior Consultant, managing the Manufacturing & Facades Trades desk, you can connect with him on LinkedIn here.