As we sit in mid 2021 it has been just over a year since we all were working from home and living on zoom. I was proud to have committed a stretch of 28 consecutive days living in basketball shorts (not that those in my zoom meetings knew)

With all my legs covered up and back in the office we are experiencing a different employment market in 2021. You would not think so given the news cycles and talk of still high levels of unemployment, but in the Hunter, it is a struggle to source good candidates, from advertising alone.

The volume just is not there. Once where we would have advertised for an admin position and been smashed with 400 + applicants, now in some instances we are receiving under 10.

Employers are becoming frustrated with not having access to choice and not being flexible or willing to train. We have a market full of people from sectors that have been decimated by covid wanting a fresh start and employers looking for new staff & not understanding the current situation.

I personally think a shift will change in the future and some normality will return but at present fear is driving people to stay in their current job:

  1. The passive job seeker is no longer looking. Employees will stay in their current roles for fear of being last on, first out should we enter a third wave and more lockdowns. “I don’t want to be on a probationary period right now”
  2. This is creating issues for employers as a recent seek survey announced prior to covid 1 in 3 people were looking to leave their current employer. Meaning we potentially have 1/3 of the workforce wanting to leave but fearful to act.
  3. Headhunting from within your sector is tougher in the Hunter than prior to Covid meaning access to staff with less training costs is hard to gain.
  4. The rise of the counter offer – in my time in recruitment this tool has never been more powerful. Stats are up on people bouncing job offers as their current employers bump up the rate to keep them.

As the vaccine roll out progresses and candidate confidence returns, this market will find balance but what is the answer to staffing issues in 2021?

At HRG we have always believed in recruiting on values and culture fit, validating skills and training the gaps. This is more important in today’s employment market. Exploring the ‘why’ from a candidate’s perspective and finding fit is critical.

In recent months we have had great success with clients in going outside of the usual advertising box to source excellent people. As we work more as a recruitment partner to business and gain an understanding of the culture, we can source amazing people fit.

Working with recruiters in ‘partnership mode’ as opposed to ‘transactional mode’ always leads to a better result, but now more than ever.

2021 is also a time to evaluate your retention strategies. If the ledger is tipped towards finding it hard to get the skills you require it makes sense to invest more in retention (yeah I know this is a bit weird coming from a guy that wants you to recruit more) I love seeing business thrive and retaining great staff in my mind leads to growth which will lead to new staff requirements. At HRG we just want successful clients. Now is the time to look at smarter ways of keep your top performers, think about the positivity this will bring today but also into the future as the market shifts!!!

In summary, recruitment is an ever fluid marketplace and you need to understand what the playing field is like at the time you need to recruit. It is a tough time in 2021 as we navigate the post covid space and employees put on their pants and either are motivated or not to stay in your workplace.

If you want to learn more or have a conversation with someone who loves this space then start a conversation with HRG’s Craig McGregor today.