In the current low-unemployment market, there are more industries impacted by skills shortages than not. To secure the talent they need, employers need to adapt to the changed dynamics of the current talent market and understand that competition for skilled resources is at an all time high.

Border restrictions will ease in time but won’t be the silver bullet that solves New Zealand’s hiring challenges. We could see talent shortages intensify further, with candidates heading overseas in pursuit of higher pay, lower cost of living, a wider variety of job opportunities and a desire for overseas experiences.

Employers are no longer in the driving seat, with in-demand candidates fielding multiple job opportunities from both here and abroad.

So, how can hiring managers best manage these challenges, and find and secure the talent they need?

Here’s four suggestions to get the best outcomes from your recruitment process:

1. Be ready to move quickly

The first step to an efficient recruitment process is going to market with full approval to hire for the role. This will allow you to be decisive and turn offers around quickly. It may seem obvious, but it’s commonly missed. You will lose out on candidates if you have to pause a recruitment process at the critical moment to chase after an approval.

2. A well crafted message

To attract the right candidate, the key is to begin with a clear reason that prospective candidates will want to work for your business. If an employer wants to secure top talent, they need to showcase the unique aspects of what their business does and stands for.

Employee experience starts at (or before) the first point of direct contact for a prospective hire, not on the day that they start and it’s vital that the message that reaches passive candidates is the message that you want them to hear.

Being clear about your company benefits and what the candidate will receive in return for their hard work is also key.

(If talking about yourself isn’t your strength, the team at HainesAttract have experts on-hand who can help you to write well-crafted content which is on-brand, search engine optimised, and gets noticed).

3. Embrace remote hiring, as well as remote working

Employers’ need to be flexible and be prepared to adapt to fully remote hiring. If you’ve gone all the way through a thorough recruitment process and then hold out to meet a candidate in person before finalising your decision, then you’re going to lose candidates to organisations who can complete the process remotely.

With uncertainty around future lockdowns and restrictions, businesses need to develop a complete onboarding process that includes final interviews, onboarding, ongoing training and staff reviews that can be conducted with fully remote employees.

4. Be flexible. And realistic

Being ‘realistic’ sounds like a simple goal, but there’s a range of criteria to consider; salary, required skills, location, flexibility, to name just a few. If a candidate is clear about their salary expectations throughout a recruitment process (and with many candidates receiving multiple offers), lowballing is an even worse idea than usual. Bad news travels fast.

We’re living through the greatest disruption to the workplace seen for a century. Employers that embrace that change will find opportunity in supporting flexible working practices that support neurodiversity, different abilities and fit around candidates’ lifestyles. Working from home, reduced or flexible hours shouldn’t be seen as perks. They’re a new reality and standard operating procedures for an increasing proportion of employers.

Required skills/Attributes on job specifications should be pared down to what you need the candidate to do or what they can learn. A long shopping list of ‘nice to haves’ could slow down your recruitment process or even discourage suitable candidates from applying for roles with your company at all.

If you don’t need a candidate to tick every single box on your requirement, maybe they simply shouldn’t be on your job brief.

Whilst there’s no one factor that’s going to make your business appealing to every single candidate, maintaining a view of what’s happening in the market and what’s going to appeal to candidates (rather than viewing organisational needs in isolation) will stand you in good stead for the busy (and highly competitive) year ahead.

We look forward to working with you in 2022!