Last week’s ONS data demonstrated that demand for candidates continues to grow as the number of job vacancies in August to October 2021 continued to rise to a new record of 1,172,000. This is an increase of 388,000 from the pre-coronavirus pandemic January to March 2020 level, with 15 of the 18 industry sectors showing record highs.

It is also important to note that the end of furlough did not instigate a dramatic rise in redundancies as was initially anticipated. As Sam Beckett, Head of Economic Statistics at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), said: “There is no sign of an upturn in redundancies and businesses tell us that only a very small proportion of their previously furloughed staff have been laid off.”

Yet whilst the strong job market is clearly a good news story, the reality is that many industries are still struggling to recruit staff and the inflated salaries which have been used to attract talent continue to be an issue for recruiting organisations as the staff shortage wears on.

So, what can organisations do to overcome these challenges and attract the best candidates? In reality, this depends on the nature of the role on offer and the scope the hiring organisation has to maximise the attractiveness of the role to potential candidates.


For Industrial Roles

  • Pay rates are critical in these roles and organisations paying the National Living Wage are competing in a market where others are increasing theirs to attract new talent. If you are unable to offer increased pay rates you really need to be looking at what else you can offer.
  • Organisations also need to be focused on employee experience, paying particular attention to attrition rates and reasons for leaving – making small changes can result in a dramatic improvement, so listen closely to your employees and pay attention to exit data.
  • In terms of attracting more candidates, flexibility is key. We have seen that organisations that are able implement specific shifts for certain demographics such as working parents have seen a positive response rate, allowing them to tap into new candidate streams.


For Professional Roles

  • In these roles it’s about making sure your Employer Value Proposition is centre stage. Many candidates are being counter-offered. Candidates who have engaged in a recruitment process are often doing so to progress their careers, they will be counter-offered, so making sure that you are explicit in the development and career advancement opportunities you can offer over their current employer is paramount.
  • In a candidate-driven market recruiting organisations needs to be selling the role and the organisation as much as assessing the candidate before it. Be clear on your EVP and bring it to the forefront of the recruitment process.


By tailoring your recruitment approach to suit the type of candidates you are looking to attract to your organisation, you will become an attractive prospect to the wealth of talent that is out there and take great steps to winning the war of talent that is currently raging across sectors.

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