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How to recruit professionals in a candidate short market

Robert Walters recently surveyed over 100 companies in Belgium to research the effect of both a candidate short market and the strategies businesses employ to manage them. According to this survey, an overwhelming 83% of employers in Belgium, regardless of company size, have experienced challenges when recruiting suitably qualified candidates.

Here are some tips how you can combat that shortage in your company.

Professionals are motivated by a wide range of factors

Employers still view salary increases as a remedy to talent shortages when other routes are available. Remember that while pay is important, factors such as flexible working hours, autonomy and the chance to develop a career, especially among ‘Millennials’ and other younger groups of professionals, are also key. These ‘added benefits’ can be particularly useful in making you stand out from the crowd, especially if you are not in a position to increase salaries.

Short efficient hiring processes and the ability to make a prompt offer are essential to securing a candidate’s interest in your company. 

Long-term view

Despite the challenge they pose to their day-to-day operations, many businesses have so far failed to plan for the impact of talent shortages. Sensible preparation will help you identify where gaps may emerge and enable you to formulate a long-term talent management strategy. This will also give you the opportunity to phase in new working arrangements, such as flexible hours, while minimising any adverse effects on the business.

Expand your horizons

If you’re struggling to recruit from traditional talent pools, consider widening the search. While many of these professionals won’t tick all the boxes straight away, the right combination of training and motivation will help them make the step up. As an added bonus, these employees are also likely to be more loyal. Don’t overlook the benefits of transferring employees between different parts of your business. Many professionals see this as a positive way to build their career, so giving them the right opportunities is likely to increase their engagement with your business and brand.

Don’t leave it until it’s too late

By putting off new hires, employers simply increase pressure on existing staff - the two are intrinsically linked. This affects your company’s ability to deliver for clients, damaging your reputation and undermining morale. Flexibility is key in a candidate short market, so don’t spend weeks or months waiting for the perfect candidate to materialise.

Be decisive

Short efficient hiring processes and the ability to make a prompt offer are essential to securing a candidate’s interest in your company. In a recovering market, many candidates will often receive more than one job offer at a time, so time to hire - and getting ahead of your competitors - is critical.

Dealing with counter-offers

Across many sectors and industries, businesses have become more determined than ever to retain existing employees, leading to greater prevalence of the use of counter-offers. While the temptation is to simply improve your salary offer, you may have more success by highlighting opportunities for career progression or the chance to work overseas, as these are often judged to be more important by candidates than money alone.


More information

To find more comprehensive information on how to manage skills shortages in Belgium, download our latest whitepaper ‘Recruiting professionals in a candidate short market’, or contact one of our offices.

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