Many employers are struggling to fill their marketing, insights and analysis vacancies, yet they often receive good applications. So why do some vacancies stay open for weeks and months and with top-name employers? There is no single answer but the solution seems to be simple.
Firstly, there is not a glut of well-trained Marketers, Researchers and Data Analysts looking for a move. There is a skills gap and this has persisted for some time. The reasons are well-documented, and range from low numbers of entry-level recruits in the post-downturn years (with the knock-on effect that there are now fewer applicants with 4-8 years’ experience than before), to the growth of some disciplines (e.g. digital, CRM, innovations etc) which has out-paced employers’ abilities to train people into these roles. These factors do reduce the talent pool, but they don’t eliminate it; there are still reasonable applicant numbers and the job market is active, but many companies still struggle to fill their Marketing and Insights/Analysis roles. The answer seems to lie in the expectations amongst both employers and applicants alike.
For employers, many still feel that there is an abundance of good applicants and that the ‘ideal’ is available and obtainable and for which they can wait. This perception is perhaps a hangover from the post-recession years when employers had more choice from a greater supply of applicants with fewer competing employers, when the reality today is quite the opposite. However, this is only half the story. Many times the employer does find their ideal person, only to be disappointed to learn that the applicant turns them down, largely because applicant expectations (usually regarding salary, level or timing) have not been managed or met. The result is the employer is back to ‘square one’ having invested time and effort to find the right person, when the situation could have been averted and a successful outcome achieved if only a few simple tricks had been observed - and we use the term ‘tricks’ as these are not complicated or difficult methods, but just common sense and simple good practice in the recruitment process. We have summarised below five key tips which are based on the feedback from thousands of interviews arranged by Resources Group over the years, and where we believe employers can be most effective in their search for talent:
1 Keep an open mind
As above, the ‘ideal’ might not exist, so try to be as open as possible on the brief. What are the ‘must haves’ and ‘good to haves’. Prioritising these at the start might help open the field up to a wider range of potential (and good) hires.
2 Don’t over-promise on salary
Manage expectations effectively. Offers below salary expectations are one of the biggest reasons why jobs are turned down, despite the best efforts of those involved in the process. Avoid stating a salary range if you don’t intend to offer at the top end. People are aspirational and will always expect to be offered a job at the highest level possible for their skills and grade, so offering below the max will always result in debate and disappointment and will distract from the positives.
3 Be efficient in your processes
Time is of the essence! Delay in the process is the other main reason why employers lose out on the people they want to hire and the evidence of recent years is that employers with the most efficient processes are the most successful in hiring the people they want. No matter how aspirational your brand is, few applicants are going to be impressed with waiting a couple of weeks for feedback or will want to hang around six weeks for a decision. There are other aspirational employers out there interviewing your applicants and if their processes are quicker, they are more likely to hire the people that could be joining your firm.
4 Keep it positive
The ‘prove to us you are worthy’ school for interviewing is seldom well-received. Keep it friendly and positive and in return you will have a more enthusiastic applicant who is keen to join you.
5 Provide quality briefings that sell your firm
The Devil is in the detail, as they say. Make sure you provide applicants and your recruitment consultants with quality information about the vacancy and which sells the business, not just the day-to-day of the job. Information about the firm’s history, clients, achievements, people and company culture are all helpful to give applicants a true picture what it is like to work for you, not just what the job is about.
We hope these tips are helpful; we appreciate recruiting the best people for your business may not be easy, but it is simple!