Up until March 2020 recruitment was taking place in a candidate-driven market, and this had been the way for at least 2 years. This meant that there were very few great candidates compared to the number of roles out there. Candidates were in the driving seat. A great candidate was in a position to be able to negotiate on salary, dictate when they were available for interview and keep employers waiting whilst they considered the best offer for them. 
Then COVID happened and other strange things started to happen to recruitment too. Firstly, potential candidates who were furloughed, or were no longer confident in the longer-term prospects of their company started to look for their next position. Secondly, huge numbers of vacancies were put on hold as employers started to try and guess their marketplaces and the long-term impact of COVID. Companies that were recruiting found that the numbers of applications started to increase rapidly. 
Finally, we have settled into a new norm (well for the time being at least!) where those companies that may have stalled for a while have pivoted within their market place and those that are growing need to fill their vacancies. However, the candidate pool is now huge and will continue to grow over 2021. 
So, what does this mean to you if you are recruiting? 
Expect your application levels to rise. You will need to find time and processes to handle the pool of candidates that you can expect to be interested in your role. Glassdoor data suggests that the average number of applications stands at 250. We are experiencing far higher levels than this. A recent role that we were recruiting for at a salary level of £30,000 had over 765 applications. 
The number of quality candidates is increasing, but not at the same level as the number of applications. It is harder to find the needle in the haystack. Job sites make it easy for candidates to apply and therefore the number of not relevant applications has increased. We recently used the word “brand” in a Business Manager role in Financial Services and got 23 applications from graphic designers! 
Candidates want more feedback and updates in terms of their applications. This can vary from selling themselves on the phone, sending in additional information to support their applications to wanting feedback on their CV and what they could do to be considered. 
Make sure that you have appropriate systems and processes in place to manage candidates effectively whilst also protecting your employer brand. Make sure that you have clear reasons for your recruitment decisions and that you can support these if (and when) candidates want to know why they aren’t successful. For more help or advice to run your recruitment processes call 0116 2080246 or email recruitmentsolutions@emerald-starfish.com 
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