What Employers need to know about recruiting top talent in a post-Covid world

The Covid pandemic has brought about seismic shifts in the way that employees and job-seekers are viewing the world of work. Employees have had a taste of freedom, flexibility and autonomy and they like it. Many of them do not want to return to an 8 to 5 office job. There is also an abundance of work from home / remote work for international clients who have realized that they can employ South Africans in Rands while their companies make profit from earning Dollars, Euros and Pounds. There has also been a boom in the number of vacancies, possibly due to a combination of companies having cut too deep during Covid, due to emigration and semigration and due to certain industries picking up. We have noticed that there are many Employers who are quite frustrated by the way job seekers and candidates are acting and thought we would share some trends that are happening in the marketplace.

Here is what Employers need to know –

  • Good talent is not desperate. Candidates are becoming more discerning about the employer brand they work for. More often, they are interviewing the company to see if the company is a fit for them. Candidates will research the company before attending an interview. Does your company have a great brand? Is the employee experience enjoyable? What makes your company stand out amongst your competitors in terms of opportunities, perks, flexibility and freedom? If you have archaic inflexible work practices you might be putting off potential talent. Employees will only leave a company if they believe the next company offers something better.
  • Don’t believe for a minute that candidates who are interviewing for your role are only waiting on your opportunity. There is a feeding frenzy out there. If you just go onto LinkedIn, you will see that everyone is hiring right now. Candidates are entertaining any and all opportunities and many of them will be interviewing for several roles concurrently. Remember the quote, “It’s not the big who eat the small. It’s the fast who eat the slow”. If your recruitment process is stop-start, haphazard or slow, you will find that when you finally get to making the offer, you will have lost out on the candidate, who would have been snapped up by a stealthier, more responsive employer.
  • Offering a tiny salary increase is not motivation for candidates to move. Top talent are looking for great opportunities and will not be excited by miniscule increases or vague promises. Ask yourself if your company’s salaries and benefits are market related? When last did you benchmark? When you make an offer, it needs to be significantly better than what the candidate is earning in order for them to take the risk and make the move. If you make a weak offer, you will find the candidate won’t accept it and you will be back at the drawing board, thereby wasting valuable time. Due to rising petrol costs and inflation, coupled with the risk of starting a job at a new employer, candidates need to believe they will be financially better off when making a career move.
  • The employer who believes that employees should be grateful to get an interview with them or who makes employees jump through several hoops will miss out on top talent. The top skilled candidates know they are in demand. They know what they are worth. They are being snapped up quickly. They won’t grovel through 5 interviews, two assessments and three role-plays to prove they are worthy. They will lose interest. Remember that time kills deals.
  • Are you PR minded when interviewing? Some Employers have the belief that they need to paint the gory details of the company and the job. Or they can be rude and unfriendly towards candidates. Candidates will often withdraw their applications due to the approach of the interviewer, their experience of the culture, the facilities or appearance of the offices or the explanation of the job. Clients need to sell themselves during the interview process.
  • You might need to be flexible about interview dates and times. We recently had a client complain that the candidates he was interviewing were cheeky and entitled because they told him when they could attend interviews. Please bear in mind that some candidates have high level jobs and find it difficult to take time off for interviews.
  • Many professionals are re-thinking their purpose after the pandemic. Does your company have a purpose that staff can get excited about? Does your company have an ethical brand? Does you company care for the environment and the community?

We hope these points will help you understand the changing attitude of job-seekers and will help you adapt your approach to recruiting top talent.