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8th Aug, 2023

Jack Ireland
Jack Ireland
Job Title
Content Marketing Executive

The labour market is ever-changing, and recruitment managers today find themselves in a position not seen since pre-pandemic times: an employer-driven market.

With a 17% decline in job postings in the first half of 2023 and 29% rise in job applications according to Reed’s data, companies must review and adapt their hiring strategies to stay ahead.

We explore ways businesses can successfully navigate this changed recruitment landscape and continue to attract and pinpoint the best candidates.

How has the jobs market changed?

In a recent interview, Reed CEO and Chairman James Reed said, given the evidence of data, that “the tide has turned, and what had been an incredibly strong market for candidates is now much more moving in employers’ favour - in terms of the balance of power in the labour market.”

With fewer jobs being posted but more candidates searching for opportunities, employers are seen to have a little more bargaining power than they did a year ago.

So how can businesses react to this change in the market?

Keep creating compelling job descriptions

In an employer-driven market, jobseekers still have numerous options at their fingertips, even though they are no longer in as high demand as they were 12 months ago. To stand out and attract the right talent, it's crucial to create head-turning job descriptions that answer a lot of preliminary questions (including job title, location, salary), and effectively communicates a company's culture, values and ambitions.

Use clear and concise language, highlight the exciting opportunities your company offers, and describe the desired qualities of your prospective candidates. Businesses need to focus on hiring people that will help the organisation grow in the future, and compelling job descriptions have the potential to do just that.

Maintain a streamlined hiring process

While employers have the upper hand in the current jobs market, it’s no excuse to return to the hiring practices of former times, when long, drawn-out recruitment stages were commonplace.

The hiring process should continue to be streamlined and straightforward for candidates, without compromising quality. Ensure prompt communication from the beginning, keep interview rounds concise, and provide timely updates to candidates to maintain their interest.

Also consider using the power of automation for pre-screening CVs and interview scheduling – alongside personalised communication from the hiring team – to enhance the process for candidates.

Leverage the company’s brand

No matter what type of recruitment market we find ourselves in, an employer’s brand remains one of the most important elements in the hiring process. Candidates still want to work for companies that align with their values and offer a positive work environment.

From the well-constructed job advert to the final stage of onboarding, companies need to showcase their unique culture, benefits and rewards, and growth opportunities. Building a strong employer brand can make a significant difference in both attracting and retaining the top talent the market has to offer.

Prioritise competitive rewards packages and workplace flexibility

If there’s one thing that remains a must on the hiring process, no matter the market conditions, it’s that attracting talent means offering competitive salaries and attractive benefits packages.

Hiring managers should benchmark salaries against their competitors to ensure their offerings are on par, if not better, to ensure they are likely to attract their ideal candidates. Ever since the pandemic, other workplace benefits have been put under the spotlight including flexible working arrangements, professional development opportunities, and factors that contribute towards a healthy work-life balance.

Hiring should be a positive candidate experience that leaves a lasting impression, influencing business reputation and its ability to recruit effectively for years to come.

Don’t lose sight of diversity and inclusion

A focus on diversity and inclusion has been a key factor in attracting and retaining talent for many years, as companies across the UK continue to benefit from a diverse workforce. By fostering a diverse and inclusive work culture, you not only create a more welcoming environment but also tap into a wider pool of talent.

An ongoing commitment to reviewing standards in your hiring practices is a must to ensure they are unbiased and inclusive. Once a new starter has settled in, it’s often an inclusive culture that influences their decision to remain with the employer long term.

Check out our ‘Inclusion at Work 2022’ report with the CIPD here.

Embrace technology

In today's fast-paced world, technology plays a crucial role in the hiring process – regardless of whether it’s a candidate- or employer-led market. Leveraging video interviews to reach candidates in different locations, and capturing and recording applicant data on a customer relationship management system, can all effectively save time and resources.

Embracing technology not only makes the hiring process more efficient, but also shows candidates that the company is forward-thinking and tech-savvy.

In this new labour market, businesses should look to maintain strategic hiring practices that illustrate their commitment to overall employee satisfaction – key to the success of any business. By continuing to personalise and prioritise talent acquisition strategies, companies can attract top talent and build a team that will drive their success in this competitive but constantly changing environment.

If you are looking for your next talented professional to join your team, contact our specialist recruiters today.