Hire at speed… without the risk!


Now more than ever, working with speed to find and recruit the right people for your business is imperative. As the war for talent boxes on, employers are faced with skills shortages and stiff competition to find the perfect fit.

New Zealand’s unemployment rate edged down to 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. It was the fourth straight decline and lowest jobless rate since the last quarter of 2008. The unemployment rate for women sits around 5 percent, and men sitting at 4 percent. The candidate market has changed considerably in the last decade and more intensely in the last two years.

Candidates are being swamped with opportunity and competing offers. The fact is good candidates don’t sit in the market for long. Conversely though, we’re faced with employers who are, rightly so, feeling anxious about their employment decisions, and worrying about the costs and impacts of a bad hire. The dichotomy between the two worlds – of employer and candidate, is firmly felt by recruitment agencies and those who are working to bring the two parties together!

Firstly – what do we know about candidates in a talent shortage? You might be interested to learn that in a talent shortage, candidates like to feel extra special! All joking aside, from the get-go candidates are judging their future employer on how they communicate, the story their website tells them, where they are located, what future opportunities for advancement might be on the cards, what the employer’s reputation is like in the market, and overall how they might fit into that business. You as an employer are being judged as much as you judge a candidate from an initial meeting. One of the most common conversations we have with candidates and employers alike is the fit must be right. Yes, candidates absolutely want to click with the values and goals of the business and truly understand the culture of the business. How employers portray this information is often one of the key reasons why the perfect candidate might not click with your business.

Secondly – what can employers do to keep up with the candidates who are being wooed by multiple opportunities? My biggest piece of advice to employers who are keen to find new people for their teams is to seize opportunities quickly. You simply cannot wait six or eight weeks to get back to candidates, to arrange interviews or communicate with them. This action straight away tells great candidates that they are not a priority and they will jog on. Next, if you’re an employer looking for talent, what does your shop window tell the marketplace about you? If your website is old, tired and boring – what message does that send about your place of work? One thing I always ask employers is why would I want to come and work for you? In the old days many businesses would have taken the higher ground and come from a position of power when interviewing candidates – these days however, its due diligence both ways. Just as keen as you are to find out about your candidates, they are also researching what it might be like to work for you.
Lastly, a good hiring experience (for both candidate and employer) doesn’t have to take months to fulfill. If there are willing parties both sides, then offers of employment can be made conditional on reference checks, tests and criminal checks etc. Often these administration functions appear to slow completion of offers – it doesn’t have to be that way if you make an offer conditional on these aspects being completed to your satisfaction.Manage your risks appropriately but don’t dilly dally in today’s competitive talent pool. You might just miss out on hooking that winning fish!


About Author

Senga Allen

Human Resource specialist and managing director, Everest Group Ltd Waikato HR Specialists www.everestgroup.co.nz