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The 'Great Resignation’ is creating tension on both sides of the recruitment table as employers seek to step-up ways to attract and retain top talent while candidates weigh up ‘changing lanes’ as they move into the recruitment driver seat.

In a talent tight market, the ‘need for speed’, to land the best person for a role quickly can potentially lead to ‘cracks’ in the well-oiled recruitment process as employers speed up the hiring process and potentially risk-taking shortcuts.

As a leading recruitment agency, experienced in connecting candidates to the best jobs, these tips may be useful for recruiters and candidates as we roar into the Year of the Tiger.

A close-up photo of a man working as a solutions architect
A close-up photo of a man working as a solutions architect

candidate tip: spend time on doing your ‘homework’

If you are on the lookout for a new role, make sure you do your research early on before jumping ship from your current employer. Talk to friends and contacts in different fields about potential opportunities and seriously consider putting yourself forward for a job that piques your interest even if it’s something you wouldn’t typically consider.

Certain sectors have been hard hit over the past few years with lockdowns and a lack of labour, but it’s also presented new opportunities to ‘shift and lift’ valued skills into roles that candidates may not have otherwise considered.

Aligned experience will always be a consideration for potential employers, but soft skills and ‘people fit’ are becoming increasingly important so think big and be brave.

A photo of a woman and a man in an office working in the tech sector.
A photo of a woman and a man in an office working in the tech sector.

candidate tip: navigating a successful negotiation

For some candidates, discussing salary and benefits can be intimidating whether this is with a recruiter or prospective employer, directly. 

If you're considering a job move in 2022, take time to identify your drivers – is it salary or other factors like learning and development or wellbeing benefits that you’re looking for?

Think about the complete package.

  • For example, what combination of salary and benefits will deliver the most job satisfaction?

Be able to justify what you are asking for e.g., why you deserve a higher salary to do a role versus their existing employee salary bands, so a potential employer can judge if you are worth what you are requesting in addition to assessing if you will be the right fit for their organisational culture.

Be prepared to negotiate for what you want and have a strategy in place to achieve your desired outcome.

  • What are you prepared to concede?
  • What are your non-negotiable remuneration criteria?

One way to do this is to picture yourself in five years’ time and ask what will be those career and personal goals that you will be most proud of. Will this role enable you to achieve these?

For some potential employees, they might be looking to join an organisation that can offer certainty during uncertainty, providing greater flexibility around hours to ensure they can manage other commitments like study, or family life, as well as their role.

A photo of two women in an office conversing about working in the finance and accounting sector
A photo of two women in an office conversing about working in the finance and accounting sector

recruiter tip: offering a competitive salary is no longer enough

The first thing I would say is that because of talent shortages, many organisations and recruiters are open to earlier conversations about salary and benefits. However, there has also been a subtle power shift towards candidates and a competitive salary and benefits will only get employers a seat at the negotiating table. It is important to consider what else can be offered to really make a role stand out. 

From conversations we are having with candidates, we know that roles offering attractive lifestyle-based benefits in addition to a competitive salary are the jobs that are getting noticed. Perhaps, not surprising when you consider that Randstad New Zealand’s most recent employer brand research showed work-life balance beat salary and benefits as the No.1. for employer attractiveness – the first time in ten years.

A group of two women and a man talking in the office working in the finance and accounting sector
A group of two women and a man talking in the office working in the finance and accounting sector

recruiter tip: deliver a great recruitment experience every time

Many of us have spent considerable time writing and submitting job applications that seem to disappear into the ether with no response but word-of-mouth, fuelled by social media, means employers can no longer risk communication voids.

While it can be overwhelming to respond to every application if you are a hiring manager, put yourself in a candidate’s shoes and remember the adage that they may forget what you said, but never how you made them feel.

And while there’s no legal requirement to respond to every application, it’s not surprising that candidates think less of companies that don’t respond to job applicants than those that do. It's worth remembering that potential employees are also potential customers and if they have a poor recruitment experience then this may impact their broader perception of your company or brand.

At Randstad, we encourage clients to review their onboarding processes annually and look for improvement points.

looking ahead

While there continues to be a lot of movement in the job market, the effects of the pandemic have made people reassess not only what they're looking for long term in their career, but also personally, as well.  People are looking for a role that allows them to achieve what they want financially, but also allows them to achieve professionally and meet their personal goals too.

Achieving a work-life balance has become an expectation, not a nice one to have. Ultimately it comes down to putting the candidate experience at the heart of the recruitment process to achieve a win-win on both sides.