Hays UK jobs and employment blog


How to attract new candidates during the Great Reshuffle

By Gaelle Blake, Director, Hays Permanent Appointments, UK and Ireland

Employers in all industries will not have been surprised to see recent headlines about how the number of job vacancies in the UK has become higher than the number of unemployed people for the first time ever.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed that job openings have risen to a high of 1.3 million yet, at the start of this year, the unemployment rate fell to 3.7% - the lowest level for almost 50 years.

We know the jobs market is complex and, with the rising cost of living that all of us are currently experiencing, it is likely that high employment numbers don’t necessarily mean things are entirely rosy – in fact, the ONS itself said itself that the statistics painted a mixed picture.

One interesting number recorded, however, was the record-high number of people moving from job to job, through resignation rather than redundancy. In fact, over the past three quarters, around 3 million people in the UK have moved job, which is what I like to refer to as the ‘great reshuffle’ rather than the ‘great resignation’.

What this means for employers is that it’s even harder to attract and retain talent – so here’s my three, simple takeaways to make sure you are doing all you can to attract the next additions to your workforce.

1. Demonstrate why you are different to future hires

Ask yourself – what sets you apart as an employer? Why would someone, who is taking a leap to move jobs, join me and my team?

This ‘why’ should be succinct and should feature on all marketing materials that you send to or show potential recruits and customers, from your website to the job advert itself. It’s not just about salary – think about the career opportunities you can offer and the development and training – as well as describing your company culture.

2. Move quickly – don’t delay the interview process

If you or your recruitment partner has a candidate lined up who you’d like to interview – you need to move quickly. Make sure you’ve defined what the interview process entails to the candidate (such as the number of stages and any tasks that need to be completed) and, to speed up the process, offer the first interview virtually.

Similarly, once you get to the next stage, make sure you are flexible in offering candidates a good selection of times for a face-to-face interview and be flexible with the location, if possible. Lastly, don’t forget to prepare your offer beforehand, so once you’ve met the right candidate, you can move quickly.

3. Be prepared for counter offers  

As the talent market is so tight, many organisations are offering counter-offers to staff who are handing in their notice upon receiving a new job offer – in fact, nearly a quarter (23%) of employers told us they are more likely to offer counter-offers than pre-pandemic.

So, if you have offered a job to a candidate, you need to be prepared for how you’ll react if they receive an offer from their current employer. Firstly, make sure your offer is robust in terms of pay, benefits, and flexible working – and that it ticks all the other boxes that the candidate is looking for.

Secondly, you need to be aware that onboarding a new employee starts from the moment they accept your offer, and you need to make sure to stay in touch and keep them feeling engaged and excited to join your team. They will have already met some people during the interview process, but it’s a good idea to set up a series of virtual meets while they work their notice period. This way, they can get a clear feel of who they will be working with and what their team will be like – so there’s no reason not to join you!

For more insights and advice, or to find out how we can support your career or help fill a vacancy at your organisation, speak to one of our expert consultants today.

About this author

Gaelle joined Hays in 1999, and in her time with the business, she has led dedicated teams providing expert recruitment services for a wide range of sectors and professions. In 2018, Gaelle started her current role as UK&I Director of Hays Permanent Appointments, where she works with 800 Permanent Appointments consultants across the UK and Ireland. She helps organisations to find the talent they need to achieve their goals, and help customers to find the roles they need to move their careers forwards. In July 2020, Gaelle was also appointed as UKI Director of Hays Construction & Property, leading the 300+ recruitment consultants in the largest specialist Construction & Property recruiter in the UK.


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