There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know it, and the labour market is no exception. The labour market has been affected in very unexpected ways, with the current market post-lockdown being much more candidate-driven than anticipated. With vacancies rising and candidate supply stagnating, employers are fighting to get the best candidates to fill their vacancies.
Candidate behaviour has changed too as the pandemic has and continues to change their priorities when it comes to job searching. It is incredibly important to recognise these changes in priorities and behaviour and adapt to them to increase your chances of filling your vacancies.
But how has candidate behaviour changed? Here at Kiwi Recruitment, we’ve taken a look into how and why candidate behaviour has changed since the pandemic began last year.
Candidates are applying for vacancies that they are unsuitable for
With candidate supply stagnating and job vacancies rising, there currently is not enough supply to meet demand. Shortages are being seen across every sector recently with some recruiters seeing fewer applications for vacancies than they have ever seen before.
Out of the few applications, a recruiter might get for a vacancy, many of them are unsuitable. Applying for jobs has become almost a box-ticking exercise for some active candidate resulting in them spam applying to vacancies that are not the right fit for them or the employer.
Here at Kiwi Recruitment our team of recruiters have expert knowledge on where to go to source the most suitable candidates for a vacancy. As well as this we have a team of 5 resourcers working with our recruiters, whose sole aim is to actively seek out the best talent for a vacancy.
Job security has become the biggest influence on candidates’ decisions
The pandemic has created a lot of fears over job security since the nation came to a stand-still over a year ago, which has massively influenced candidate behaviour to this day.
Moving jobs during the pandemic is unappealing for most candidates. Candidates that are already in work but were seeking new jobs have now decided to pause their search and stay in their current job due to job security fears. Those in jobs that have remained secure during the multiple lockdowns are the most unlikely to want to look for or take on a new job, at least until the economic situation improves.
Fears over job security have also influenced the kind of companies that candidates are looking to work for. While start-up companies were once seen as an exciting choice to some due to their fast-moving, risk-taking nature, this is currently not the case. Many start-up companies offer less job security than more established companies. In a similar trend, ‘pandemic-proof’ industries that have been able to operate in some shape or form throughout lockdown are currently more appealing to candidates than industries that have had to close until restrictions eased.
There has also been a decrease in interest from candidates for performance-led industries such as estate agency and sales as candidates have moved their interest towards more linear career environments such as IT, HR, and creative/design roles. People working in performance-led jobs have found it challenging to match their previous earnings during the pandemic, which has led to an increase in popularity for linear job roles as they offer greater salary security.
Candidates now have a bigger thirst for learning
The pandemic has given all of us a lot of time to think and reflect on all aspects of our lives, including our careers. One thing we have all learnt is not to take anything for granted as it can all change overnight, emphasizing the importance of continued learning and adaptability in our careers.
Candidates are now extremely receptive to the training opportunities that are being offered with a job vacancy. Learning new skills through online courses and other resources has been popular during lockdown. Whether it is to up-skill in their existing career or to take the leap and re-skill to enter a new one, there is a desire among candidates to continue this learning and development in their new job. Consequently, companies that are advertising these kinds of opportunities within their vacancies are getting the most interest from the current talent pool.
Work/life balance is one of the highest priorities
Work/life balance has also become a larger factor influencing candidate’s decisions when it comes to their job search. The pandemic has created a huge focus on the work/life balance of working people, not just in this country but around the world. While working from home had its challenges, a lot of people found it gave them more time to spend with family due to the time saved on commuting along with other factors that have contributed to a better work/life balance.
As we begin to return to normal and more workplaces are beginning to fully reopen, candidates are naturally wanting to retain that better work/life balance beyond the pandemic. In a recent survey, 79% of people said they wanted more flexibility in how and where they work, with 77% believing that a blend of office working and working from home is best for them. Companies that offer work from home options and flexible working when it is possible to do so are more likely to attract candidates compared to jobs that are not offering these options.
Industries offering jobs with unsociable working hours (evenings, nights, and weekends etc.) and split shifts, such as hospitality, are struggling to fill their vacancies the most. There is currently not a lot of appetite for these jobs among candidates as they focus their job search on vacancies that offer more sociable hours and more consistent shift patterns.
There has also been a trend of workers in industries like hospitality, who have found new jobs in other industries while on furlough. While taking these new jobs may have originally been a way to keep a steady income during lockdown and furlough, it has been found a lot of workers are now reluctant to leave these jobs and return to their original industry as they obtained a better work/life balance through these new jobs that they are unwilling to sacrifice.
Are you struggling to keep on top of the changes in candidate behaviour and therefore fill your vacancies? Then Kiwi Recruitment are here to help! As a team we have over 20 years of industry experience between us and are true experts in our field. We are always up to date with the latest trends, including in candidate behaviour. We work with candidates every day so are aware of their wants and needs, making us best placed to match you with the best candidate for your vacancy.
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