You want the best employees!

Every day, I collect the number of jobs listed on for Perth, Western Australia. As you can see by the graph below, job vacancies have been dropping significantly and steadily over the past few years.  The mining boom began to end in January 2012 and by August 2012, it was truly over.  We have not recovered at all even we have seen an improvement.

11 Recruitment - SEEK Line Graph - employees

The number of redundancies announced in WA has been significant – many employees have lost their jobs.

So what does this mean for you and your recruitment drive? Well, there are more candidates if you need to fill a vacancy. “Hurrah”, you may say. However, this is not necessarily so.

This is uncomfortable for some to hear

By and large, the best candidates are the employed ones. (This is what LinkedIn is telling recruiters and why we need to spend $8000 per year on their recruiter license). Yes, there are exceptions and it is not always the case – far from, e.g. when a company or a whole division shuts down in one massive layoff of employees. But with these situations aside, companies do try to retain the very best employees they can in a period of redundancies.

The reason is simple. Let us say a company has 25 employees and need to let 5 go, which ones do they choose? They are likely to choose to keep the best talent – the ones that are most likely to make the organisation successful again. They are key assets.

Therefore, the best candidates are largely still employed, well-looked-after and very busy. They have to take on departing colleagues’ job duties, which they may see this as an opportunity in itself (more responsibilities). So they typically are not in the job market.

The best employees have to be approached directly

We are therefore now in a sales process and we will have to act like salespeople which is different to normal recruitment behaviour. We have to present the vacancy as a unique opportunity –  one not to be missed. Sell it!

My advice is to focus on the following

Convert job descriptions into career opportunities. Get the candidates’ imagination flowing and make it “wow”! Focus on challenges and opportunities; the positive long-term impact on their lives; their long-term happiness. Tune in on the benefits of a career move, not monetary compensation. We sell on benefits NOT price.

Let’s present vacancy as a rare opportunity with unique benefits… If the conversation starts to revolve too much around monetary compensation – we will attract the wrong people or get the right people to move but for the wrong reasons.

The end result is the same, that employee will not last long. The amount of money wasted will be immense. The opportunity/indirect costs are at least 3 times higher than the monetary remuneration.

It is amazing what extraordinary talented employees can accomplish. Attracting the right employees – could be the difference between success and failure…

See also: The most expensive employee you can hire is…

11 Recruitment - Christian Madsen - Behaviour

Christian Madsen
Managing Director
11 Recruitment

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