The Wrap: The key recruitment questions companies are asking

Now that we are at Level 1 and the pace of change has slowed, we’ve changed our Weekly Wrap to The Wrap. It’s the same regular market and recruitment update – but not every week!

Following on from our previous update where we answered candidate queries, here we respond to the recruitment questions companies are asking us the most.

  1. What is happening in the senior recruitment market?

We are recruiting a number of exciting, senior roles at the moment. These are a mix of replacement and new business critical roles. The new roles have been developed to respond to current market conditions with the hiring organisations seeing them as pivotal to their recovery and next phase of growth. As such, they are looking for truly outstanding candidates (which is our speciality!).

Having said that, the senior space is quieter than it was earlier in the year and this is a reflection of what is happening across the board at all levels of recruitment.

  1. Are people who are employed willing to change roles?

People are exercising more caution in the current environment as employment security is paramount.  Those who are employed are less likely to apply for an advertised vacancy.

However, this does not mean that top talent are not open to change – but it is critical to engage with people and take them on a journey so they fully understand the opportunity, what is on offer and crucially, whether the role will be secure. It is difficult to get the full picture across in a job advertisement alone, which is where using a specialist recruiter works to your advantage.

So top talent will move, but their due diligence process is likely to be more thorough.

  1. Are more people applying for roles and will it be easier to find the right candidate?

There are definitely more candidates applying for vacancies. This week one role we advertised attracted more than 100 applications in less than 24 hours. A few months ago, a role like this typically would have received approximately 40 applications across the full application period.

This does not make finding the right candidate any easier and in fact, in many ways it makes it harder. Much more time is needed to review applications and with applications in the hundreds, it can be an overwhelming task.

Expertise is also key, particularly for more senior and business critical roles.

Without specialist knowledge and a thorough recruitment process, of which advertising is one component of a wider strategy, the risk of making a less than optimal hire is greatly increased.

We discuss why it can be harder to find talent in this market (88% of candidates placed this year did not apply for the job) in one of our recent articles.

  1. We are not recruiting permanent roles but we need resource – what is the contract market like?

There are a lot of good candidates willing to consider interim and contracting roles. There are many exceptional professionals returning from overseas who bring valuable skills and international experience home to the local market.

We have an extensive database of candidates across all levels of Accounting, Finance, Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement who have specialised skill sets and are immediately available. This includes candidates who historically were only interested in permanent roles but are now considering interim as well.

Hunter Campbell has flexible options – we can put candidates on our payroll, we can set up independent contracting arrangements or temporary staff can be hired directly by your business on a fixed-term contract.

  1. Are organisations continuing with flexible working arrangements?

There is really no fixed pattern from a formal policy perspective but businesses are utilising the tools available to make remote working more effective, so a greater level of flexibility has emerged as a result of the lockdown.

This works well for companies that can have their teams working remotely and it opens up future opportunities for these businesses to tap into employees who need greater flexibility and those who are based in different geographical locations.

Some organisations who have reduced employees’ hours are now back up to 100%, which is another positive sign.

  1. Are companies hiring? What is the market like?

This is the still the question that everyone is asking! And the recruitment market is a good indicator of the economic environment, business confidence and future recovery.

Business critical roles continue to be recruited across our core specialities of Accounting, Finance, Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement. Unlike the GFC, the impact at the moment is mainly sector specific. As has been widely reported, the hospitality and tourism sectors have been severely impacted. At the same time many businesses in sectors such as grocery and manufacturing have never been busier and it has been all hands to the pump for the last few months.

New roles are coming to market, though not we are certainly not at pre COVID-19 levels. We’ve been having a lot of encouraging conversations with clients and hiring managers, who are hoping to begin recruiting again soon. There is no doubt that people are feeling concerned, but on the flip side others are seeing opportunity.

It will still be some time yet before we can more fully understand the impact of the pandemic on the economy and the job market but watch this space.

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