Hiring and Attracting Candidates in the Current Market

Invaluable insight from Bain and Gray's Financial Director and Founder, Claire Gray.

The post lockdown recruitment market has boomed.  Companies are hiring again and the job vacancies have come back to pre pandemic levels and more.  Fantastic for recruitment on the face of it.  However, there are other factors that are not making it so straightforward.

The effect of this on hiring has seen talented PA’s and support staff in great demand.  Companies that have been slow with their recruitment processes have found they have missed out on their preferred candidates. Counter offers and bidding for the best candidates has seen salaries on the increase.  Another big factor is businesses adapting to the new ‘normal’.  This is possibly an over used expression but outlines a significant shift in working patterns.  PAs are used to working from home and have enjoyed the efficiency and benefits of cutting out travel time, as well as the cost.  Many have realised they can work just as well remotely, and have benefitted from the lack of office distractions and time spent commuting.

Conversely employers are keen to get their staff back in the office, and have missed the ‘face time’ and their teams being together. There is zoom meeting fatigue and often what could be a quick 5 minute catch up in the office can become a drawn out scheduled zoom meeting taking a lot longer.

The result of this is that both employers and employees have needed to adapt.  The companies that we see having the most success attracting talent and retaining staff are those that are offering flexibility where they can.  Hybrid office/home working has been successful for many companies keen to adapt to retain staff and maximise efficiency.  This involves trust, good tech systems and compromise.  It also needs thought around what works for the office size, culture and needs of the business as a whole.  It requires some time and planning; employers that have put thought and structure with clear parameters in place have seen huge success in both hiring and staff retention.  It is often beneficial to ‘trial’ new ways of working, this helps both sides give the adjustments the best chance and can open discussions for reviews if there are snagging points or times in the working patterns of a business that may need securing.

The best approach is to be open minded as an employee, to listen to your staff.  It is also key for potential new hires to realise that trust built is key, they may need to prove themselves first, and office time is valuable and has its own merits in faster communication and long term company culture and key internal relationships.

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