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Recruitment Trends and Hiring Advance by Tom Hammond

Posted by Alex Rutter on 13/05/2022
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Ready, Steady, Go!

Russell Taylor’s Scientific Divisional Manager, Tom Hammond gives us small insight into recruitment trends and advice to hiring managers who are struggling to fill vacant positions.

This year is flying by, and judging by recent trends that Indeed published, we seem to be at a stable level in terms of job postings now. Particularly when compared to pre-pandemic levels (which illustrated nearly 50% growth), but even running that in a straight line from April, that’s a lot of positions and there are no suggestions or indications that this is going to slow down!

So why is it important that we look at employment trends, and what advice can I offer to my clients and to my network who are hiring currently?

  • My first piece of advice to anyone hiring right now is to ensure that you have pre-booked interview dates. I myself am guilty as charged when it comes to ‘being too busy to recruit’. Work takes priority, of course it does, but you have to be realistic when it comes to turn-around times right now. So, book out some times and dates for interviews in advance. Which leads nicely to my next piece of advice:
  • The average time to hire currently in the UK is three to four weeks across all industries. We are awaiting some data captured results for 2021, but I would assume that these have speeded up drastically. So, to get the best candidates, I would advise that you act much faster than the average. My next point:
  • The candidate is King/Queen! Don’t forget that there are considerably more Jobs than there are candidates available right now, and don’t forget that for every person that interviews with your company, they are likely to be interviewing for several others. If you are using agencies to promote your company, I always advise keeping this to a maximum of two to three agencies per role, and wherever possible, keep them on an exclusive basis for at least a few weeks. A more ‘invested’ recruiter will contribute to a much better candidate experience, which is also key right now.
  • Engage with your agencies. Bring them onsite if you haven’t already – we can only sell off what we know and see. I try to see my key clients as much as possible so I can give the candidates a real simulation of the role and the company culture and profile.
  • Keep a track of your average data, such as time to hire, retention rates etc. My team will deliver retention review data annually to provide our performance against things like fill rate, CV to interview rate, time scales etc and discuss shortfalls. This will also allow you to manage your PSL effectively. Also keep an eye on salary averages if you fall below this you will really struggle with your attrition rate and word will spread fast. Employee incentives and benefits are more essential than ever and could be the difference from them accepting your role or someone else’s.
  • If you interview someone, try to avoid big gaps between their first and final interview. If necessary, delegate interviews as your candidate is likely to receive an offer elsewhere if there is a lengthy delay.
  • Be realistic. If your job has been live for months on end, where can you provide flexibility? Can you strip the role down to be more aligned to the marketplace? Discuss options with your assigned agencies as they may have some suggestions that might help (title changes, small tweaks to the advert etc).