This is a guest post brought to you by Kate Allen, Managing Director of Allen Associates.
We believe businesses will reap the rewards if they focus on potential rather than just qualifications when it comes to recruiting staff for their support roles, such as PA and administration, HR, marketing and finance.
We know that employers found it challenging to recruit the right staff in 2014 but we believe the market is set to get tougher as the best candidates find themselves able to pick and choose from an increasing range of good job offers.
The situation in Oxfordshire is reflected across the UK where the labour market continues to strengthen in line with business confidence. This has contributed towards skill shortages, a drop in the choice and availability of quality candidates, upward pressure on salaries and rising demand for attractive benefits packages. In Oxfordshire, we are seeing acute skills shortages in sectors such as IT, life sciences, engineering and manufacturing, although steps are being taken to address these issues through investment, innovation and training.
Although business support roles are not under the same kind of pressure, employers often inadvertently miss opportunities to recruit exceptional people because they can be too focused on qualifications and a proven track record. While these are undoubtedly valuable indicators, candidates often have the right set of innate, softer skills, such as communication, capacity for lateral or creative thought, and business acumen, which are arguably far more difficult to teach than the specifics of the job.
Our advice to employers is to consider all the options, including ways to grow your team from within and employing talented people who will soon perform at the required level with a bit of training, support and coaching.
When it comes to recruitment in today’s candidate-driven market, Allen Associates has the following advice for employers to help them stand out from their competitors:
- Continue to invest in your brand and promote it across all platforms. Shout about your successes and make yourselves look as attractive as possible to new recruits
- Ensure you have a robust and efficient recruitment process in place. First impressions are really important and you need to be able to act quickly, if you meet someone you think may be suitable
- Check that your salaries are competitive and if possible, offer a little bit more
- Revisit your benefits and see whether they can be enhanced. Flexible working is key for many of today’s employees so try to ensure you can offer a degree of flexibility
- Don’t forget to nurture your existing employees; it’s far easier and more cost-effective to retain and grow your team rather than replace people every couple of years; it’s also often better for customer relationships, continuity of service, reputation, culture and morale
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.