This is a guest post, brought to you by Kate Allen, Managing Director of Allen Associates
This year’s positive economic headlines have been borne out by a sharp rise in recruitment activity. Organisations of all sizes and in most sectors are growing which is great news for business and even better news for job-seekers. But it can make the recruitment process unexpectedly challenging for employers, particularly those looking for quality candidates with specific skills and experience who may suddenly find themselves facing multiple job offers.
Allen Associates’ recent Oxfordshire Employment Trends Survey of 122 HR decision-makers revealed that more than one-third were finding it more difficult to recruit quality candidates in 2014 when compared with last year. So how do you approach recruitment in an upturn and what, if anything, should you be doing differently?
The key thing is to try to be as flexible and open-minded as possible. If your list of requirements is too stringent, there is a risk that quality candidates with complementary skills and experience may be overlooked. Most people respond well to training and businesses may be surprised at how quickly they can develop candidates for the roles on offer. In many cases, softer skills such as the ability to communicate well, build relationships, lead teams or think strategically, prove to be more important in the long run as they are often far more difficult to teach than other aspects of the role.
When you hear about a promising-sounding candidate, it’s important to move quickly. Interviews can usually be set up within the week so if you can be flexible about dates and times, that will work in your favour. Candidates will be interviewing you as much as you will be assessing them so it’s more important than ever to present your business in the best possible light. Positive PR and marketing, clean and tidy offices, welcoming staff and an enthusiastic description of your business and the role on offer, all help to create a good first impression.
It is always worth reviewing salaries and any employment benefits to ensure they are in line with what competitors are offering. Candidates are often keen to see a clear path for career progression so it’s helpful to be able to demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to training and personal development. Your attitude to the environment, the community and charity work may also swing things in your favour.
About Allen Associates
We are here to help our business clients make the most of the recruitment process and find the best possible candidate for the role on offer. Having worked exclusively in the Oxfordshire market for the last 16 years, we have an exceptionally strong database of candidates to draw from. Everyone registered with us has been interviewed in person by a member of our team, so clients and candidates can be confident of a suitable match.
Founded by Kate and Rob Allen in 1998, Allen Associates has grown to become one of Oxfordshire’s leading independent recruitment agencies. Allen Associates was also the first recruitment agency in Oxfordshire to have been awarded Investors in People Gold which underlines its commitment to delivering a first class service to both clients and candidates. The agency works with businesses of all sizes across a wide range of sectors, carefully matching candidates to permanent and temporary roles at all levels within Administration and PA, Human Resources, Marketing and Finance.