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10 Ways To Better Manage Recruitment In 2022

Happy new year! I hope you’re well-rested and ready for another year of unpredictable events! It’s fair to say that the past (now) two years have been the most challenging of many careers.

It’s stretched us in terms of mental health, resilience, problem-solving, leadership, communications, technology, training, prioritisation of competing tasks and operating in an environment where sometimes we have no control over what the next day looks like.

It’s no wonder we were exhausted!

So we thought we’d put this checklist together to help you with recruitment right now. 

Because recruitment is normally a headache.

In 2022 – it could be a full-blown migraine.

Borders are closed, but candidate confidence is very high.   This has created a massively supply-constrained labour market filled with people keen on their next best role.  They are all expecting a good pay rise and (importantly for many) – a change in scene, a fresh perspective and a new challenge.  (I guess a change is as good as a holiday and Fiji is still a no go!).

So how do you go about recruiting right now?

  1. The best recruitment is not losing your top talent.
    Seems odd for a recruiter to say this, but the reality is that your best people resigning costs you big time.  Money, time, connection, future leadership potential and really importantly, intellectual property.  So work really hard to reconnect with your people – hear how they are, what their aspirations are and let them know they are important to you and your business.  While you’re at it, review their pay and if you can – give them a pay rise.  In the recent Mood of the Sales Leader survey – 81% of NZ salespeople said they had been contacted about potential roles in 2021.  Like it or not, your best people are being approached every day about other roles.

  2. Work out your recruitment strategy and invest your time and attention in it.
    Now’s a great time to reassess your team and to decide what roles you need to recruit for. It’s taking some employers months to find one suitable person for some roles, so don’t expect you can just turn on the candidate tap. We are getting calls from employers who previously recruited themselves that they’re only getting up to 10 applications from job boards, and none of the candidates are suitable. Now, more than ever, you need expert help if you are serious about hiring. Now, more than ever, business leaders need to concentrate on their business rather than drowning in the recruitment process.

  3. Understand the role and the market.
    We’ve never had an employment market like this before.  We have no immigrants (and practically no kiwi returners) coming in to accept our vacancies.  This means companies are either trying to hire offshore (which is a challenge) or they’re having to pay more to attract good NZ based talent to their company (i.e. stealing people from other companies).  We’re seeing rampant salary and rate escalation.  If you’re needing to recruit – work with recruiters who are experts in those roles.  They can give you a market update and examples of recent placements.  It’s pointless holding out to pay what you were paying a couple of years ago.

  4. Work with the best recruiters you can.
    Of course, I will say that! But I mean it. The best recruiters are those that can access the talent you want. They do this because candidates trust them. Candidates trust them because the recruiters have taken the time and energy to get to know the candidate and to know when a role is right for them.

    The recruitment industry is littered with consultants (and agencies) who work on any vacancy for any company. Work with agencies that know their stuff, who are referred by others and who take the time to understand your business. You need to partner with an agency big enough to have the candidate pool you are looking for. There are a number of small pop up agencies emerging in this market (which we love – it is where Consult came from!). But if you’re speaking with an agency that only has a couple of people in it – they’re massively constrained with finding candidates right now.

    It’s also important to work with agencies who pay their temps and contractors well (so you don’t lose them), have good systems and processes and operate professionally. In New Zealand there is the option for recruitment agencies to be audited for these things – it’s called StaffSure, and there are less than 20 agencies who have bothered to do it. (We have!).

  5. Mind the gap!
    The likelihood is that if you go to market for a vacancy, you’ll be paying more than you have in the past. It also means you might be paying more for a new person than you do for someone in your organisation who is in a similar role. So make sure you’ve reviewed all pay structures so no gaps emerge. Unfortunately, people do talk and it can create havoc if left to chance.

  6. Don’t expect a massive long list of people.
    We’re spending a lot of time speaking with clients about this. Gone are the days where there was a long list of 10, a shortlist of 5, a first interview list of 3 etc. etc. If you have more than one or two options – you are lucky!! The reality is there are always people who can pad out a process, but the best recruiters will explain that it’s a waste of everyone’s time to give you profiles that won’t be successful and in this market, if you have one or two people who are good and tick your boxes, then that is winning!!

  7. Don’t muck about.
    Time does kill deals. We had a placement fall through late last year because the company took a week to get a contract out. In that time, the candidate was approached about another role. They got the contract out and our client missed out. If you’re hiring, make sure your HR team can support you with a timely turnaround on contracts, testing etc. Candidates have a choice and they will happily take another offer.

  8. Make sure you are recruitment ready.
    Not in sales? We are all in sales! If you are recruiting, you need to make sure you have your sales hat on so potential hires get excited about joining your company. A good recruiter can help you with this – though it can make for a vulnerable conversation! Last year we had a client who was lovely but was really not great at selling the company or the opportunity. After a good discussion, we modified the interview process, made sure we were having good conversations at the right time and that everyone worked together. The outcome was a great hiring experience for everyone, the hiring manager felt supported, the candidate got to see the company and opportunity authentically, and we got to make an excellent match.

  9. Be realistic about the market.
    There are some roles where there is so much demand, it is incredibly hard to hire.  Salary escalation, counteroffers, multiple job offers etc are the norm.  Make sure you are addressing whether there is an opportunity to access talent from a different part of the market.  The sales industry did incredibly well hiring loads of people from the tourism industry for example.  Our underemployment at both ends of the age spectrum continues – for a savvy employer, there is an opportunity here.

  10. Know that this isn’t forever!
    At some stage, things will change.  Borders will open and we will move into different phases of the recruitment process.  It’s really important that you move with the market and keep on top of trends.  Right now, candidates are very confident, but this could change quickly with a major covid outbreak and economic hit.  Eventually, however, we will return to a new normal.  So keep on top of things, and don’t let the right now get you down.  Together we can get through this!

About the author

Angela Cameron - CA, CPA

Executive Director

A chartered accountant by qualification, she is a recruitment leader by nature.

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