Employers fully recognise the value of top talent - those individuals that can drive their business forwards and boost the bottom line. Hiring managers are on a brief to bring in the best possible candidates - budgetary constraints allowing - ensuring a flow of skilled, experienced and naturally capable professionals through the organisation.
But where are these individuals to be found? Sometimes employers simply do not receive applications of the required calibre for the jobs they are advertising. Factors such as pay grade, type of organisation, level of responsibility and location will always play a large role in determining who submits their CV, but they are not the only contributors.
Where are candidates hiding?
Sometimes the main reason employers are left short of quality candidates to choose from is because the best people simply aren’t aware of the job opportunity. This could be due to the job hunting techniques they have deployed, or because the vacancy hasn’t been marketed widely enough.
Often, the best individuals are not actively looking for a career change. Until they are approached about a potential opportunity, they may be perfectly happy in their current role. Remember, the best-skilled and experienced candidates are likely to be well looked-after by the existing employer - they will be eager to retain their services for the long term. As such, the employee may be satisfied with their existing remuneration package, and the duties their job entails. But that doesn’t mean they can't be swayed.
If the role your organisation is advertising represents career progression for an individual, or an exciting opportunity for them to pursue, their attitude towards moving can quickly change. Once they know the role is available, they have a decision to make. It could be that they decide to apply immediately and pour all their energies into securing the role. The main obstacle has been overcome:establishing contact with the candidate in the first place.
The role recruiters can play
Recruitment agencies are uniquely positioned to help employers find and attract the best staff. The reason for this is they have contact with both parties independently; organisations use recruiters to fill vacancies, and candidates use them to help with their job search. As such, agencies have a wealth of knowledge and understanding about the jobs market, how it works, and which types of individual suit which jobs.
If an organisation is struggling to fill a role, they could approach a recruiter to assist with the hiring process. Calling on their candidate records and sector knowledge, the agency can propose certain individuals who may - based upon their CV and salary expectations - fit the bill. Because the agency has already established a relationship with the professional through their past dealings, they are perfectly placed to act as a middle man between the employer and candidate.
The recruiter is able to establish whether the individual would be interested in the role currently available, and also assess whether they are affordable to the organisation. If the response is positive, and the agency sees potential for a hire, it gives the employer the opportunity to issue an invitation to interview. This targeted approach to attracting staff not only saves the employer time and money, but increases the likelihood that suitable candidates are identified.
Employers need to play their part
Agencies can play a vital role in bringing employers and future employees together, but they must be provided with the information they need to find the right candidates. This means employers must prepare detailed job descriptions, and be as specific as possible in terms of what they are looking for. It may well be that the exact match does not exist - at least in a specific locality, at the determined pay grade - but there may be several individuals who tick most of the boxes.
Ultimately, the employer will make the final call as to who they hire. Using a recruiter ensures they actually have a decision to make; it is far preferable to sifting through 99 unsuitable applications to find one that is worth reading. Almost always, the right person for the job is out there, whether they are actively hunting for a job or not. Employers just need to ensure they are looking in the right places.