What did we learn from recruiting in 2019?

Justin Byrne

Learnings From 2019 (002)

​Happy new year! Anyone else back in the office and wondering how in the world 2019 went by so fast?

When all is said and done, aside from the political uncertainty that dominated the UK in the last quarter, globally it was a pretty good year from a sales, marketing and IT recruitment perspective. The job market was more buoyant than I can remember, with opportunities galore for both passive and active candidates; employers remained competitive and the quality of hire made increased exponentially.

So what does the next year hold for us? What did we take from last year? What did 2019 teach us about recruiting into the year 2020?

Don’t hesitate – if you like them, make the offer.

When you’re hiring, it’s easy to forget that this candidate – especially in a market quite so competitive as ours currently – is interviewing elsewhere. And chances are if you’re liking them, so is everyone else.

If 2019 taught us anything it’s that if you’re sure about this person, make the moves which will allow you to get the offer to them sooner rather than later.

Too many times we experienced disappointed clients who simply hadn’t been able to get the internal cogs turning – for instance, budget being confirmed, HR having the offer written up officially, all decision makers having been consulted – in order to get their offer in front of the candidate soon enough. The time to hire reduced significantly last year – just a day or two and you’ve missed your chance. So, in 2020, make sure all moving parts are firmly in place before starting the process. Or finishing it, rather.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

We’ve made no secret of the fact that employers are having to stay increasingly competitive when it comes to compensation packages, benefits and the like – but what we really found over the last 12 months is that, whilst these things are important, sometimes it’s possible to put aside the last thousand we’re reaching for on base salary or the 2 extra days of annual leave; if you think this person is right for the business, and they agree, the little things will work themselves out over the time.

Don’t be put off if you’re offering £60K and their expectations are planted at £65,000; if they expect a company car and your policy is to provide a car allowance.

Last year showed us that if the mutual interest and intention is there, the details can be worked out. We’re not telling you to blow your budget or sell out; we’re simply saying, have the conversation regardless.

Put the ego aside – if you want them, tell them.

Forget the old school sales techniques you think you know; forget acting cool, playing hard to get, appearing nonchalant, and the rest.

There really is something to be said for gaining buy-in from your target candidate by simply being upfront, honest and open about wanting to hire them. Whatever the level, sometimes simply telling a person, “We believe you could add value to our business,” is all it takes for them to realise that they in fact agree, and can see a future with your organisation. The ego is an interesting beast and, of course, there’s a fine line between appearing desperate to make a hire and just expressing your honest thoughts; but 2019 showed us that doing exactly that does no harm under most circumstances. In fact, in many instances, it would have been the difference between a successful hire and losing that candidate to a competitor.

But, with all that said…

There are two sides to a competitive job market. Yes, it’s important to move fast and make yourself heard if you have intentions to hire; yes, it’s important to ensure everything’s in writing as soon as you can after having made a verbal offer. But it’s also important to remember that in a talent-rich marketplace – one encompassing both passive and active candidates – there’s no need to rush.

When you know that this candidate is the right one, move as quickly as possible.

But if you’re not sure, know one thing: in 2020 so far as we can see, the same as it was in 2019, there’s going to be tons of talent out there. So, don’t rush, and certainly don’t settle.

Engaging with a recruitment partner like Certus Recruitment gives you a dedicated recruitment team acting as an extension of your business, with years of knowledge and experience in mitigating the issues we mentioned above. If you're looking to get a step ahead in 2020, get in touch and I'd love to show you how we can help your year get off to a great start!