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In article published today on the BBC website, business correspondent Jonty Bloom stated that, “According to the Office for National Statistics, today we have seen a fall in both employed people and those in an unemployed status.”
The unemployment rate stands at 4.3 percent - its lowest rate since 1975. At the same time, the number of people in work dropped to 32 million, down 14,000 from the last quarter.
The best way to explain this is that the number of jobs in the economy has fallen but the number of people available for those jobs has also fallen. Whether they’re leaving in anticipation of the terms of Brexit starting to bite, returning to full time education or, at the other end of the spectrum, retiring, there are fewer people available for work.
So - how is this good for the recruitment industry?
On first impression, it certainly doesn’t sound good. Surely fewer jobs mean fewer opportunities to help individuals along their career path?
This climate essentially adds further fuel to the ongoing debate around talent shortage. Which means that both the role of the recruiter and the position of the candidate have never been stronger.
A smaller talent pool puts the ball firmly in the recruiter’s court. For employers, working with a recruiter becomes more critical than ever, because it gives them access to an increasingly valuable (by virtue of its diminishing size), pre-qualified pool of potential candidates. With fewer roles available, competition is set to be fierce and, against this backdrop, recruiters and candidates can start to call their own tune.
Moreover, to attract the best in talent, employers are offering better employee value propositions (EVPs) in the form of higher salaries and, more importantly, lifestyle benefits. These include perks such as professional development opportunities and healthcare provision to appeal to the next generation of job seekers, who are regularly identified as motivated by means other than financial reward. This growing practice of candidate courting will help keep the industry buoyant.
Working with recruiters in a candidate-poor climate saves employers significant time and resource through being exposed only to the most qualified candidates for the role. The best candidates will usually only be found through working with a recruiter, especially one who specialises in the particular sector.
...to combat candidate fall-out
One of the most frustrating aspects for recruiters is that candidates are becoming underqualified for roles they were formerly more than qualified to do, as they are being driven out of the market by changing technology that demands something new from them. Finding ways to appeal to the next generation of graduates to grow a talent pool is now commonplace.
Recruitment agencies wanting to win the talent war in a diminished candidate and decreasing jobs pool will need a better game plan. No one is suggesting this opportunity is an easy ride. The right technology can help. A recruitment website that offers a strong user experience together with embedded SEO to keep you at the top of search rankings, digital marketing automation and ATS integrations, will keep recruiters ahead of the curve.