Recruiting at senior and strategic levels has always been challenging and there are always numerous obstacles to overcome during the process. The challenge is even greater when approaches are being made to well-established candidates within competitors organisations. These candidates have often not even contemplated making a move and so will be both difficult to entice and ultimately be very likely to respond positively to a counteroffer from their existing employer.
Historically and true today, the most likely candidates to take a role are either those looking to make a move or those who have no option. The challenge is thus to be able to identify and engage with these candidates as quickly as possible. This will also involve different thought processes and attitudes as the population goes through its current ageing process and a lack of pension funds sees people working for longer than they ever planned or hoped for. There is a lot of knowledge and talent available with a desire and need to keep working.
The recruitment industry is now awash with companies and their consultants trawling LinkedIn and job sites looking for potential candidates who have given any indication at all that they may be open to opportunities or are directly on the market due to circumstances beyond their control. The recruitment companies are now being joined in direct competition by in house recruitment teams from companies who previously would have been their direct or potential clients.
This has led to greater competition for the smaller number of potential candidates available in the market place at any one time. There are always less higher-level candidates available, due to the total pool, and at the moment the market is still strong enough to keep most in employment. Structures are now tighter and flatter than ever and companies have learnt how to retain and develop their key people and realise their value in their future success.
HR teams have managed to ensure that they keep their salary and benefits packages in line with competition companies and this has resulted in more solid management and senior teams. The downside of this can be a lack of new ideas being brought to the table as teams stay in place for longer.
The shortage of candidates has seen some receiving an increasing number of approaches made with potentially enticing opportunities. As mentioned, it is unusual now to find opportunities that offer candidates a cast-iron reason to make a move without some compromise involved. In many cases, their current companies are quick to capitalise on this make some kind of counteroffer to bridge the gap and thus retain their valued key member of staff.
Candidates at senior level now have much more access to information about potential employers and make their own decisions in advance of embarking on what could be a 3 stage interview process plus psychometric testing. Gone are the days of two quick interviews and going through a modern-day process can use up a week’s worth of holiday entitlement and carries a calculable risk of potential failure.
Companies are now managing to develop potential managers internally but often lose this potential talent to their competitors when new internal management opportunities fail to materialise. Companies need to constantly develop and diversify to enable them to create opportunities for ambitious members of their team. Those that don’t will soon become the hunting grounds for those that do.
Despite technology, it is probably as difficult now as it is ever going to get to recruit at senior level and a new approach may soon need to be adopted. The key to success for a recruiter is to find and build upon the best possible routes to develop strong long term relationships with potential and current senior level candidates across the country.
Want to find out how Alastair can help your business?
Call Alastair Ames on 0783 6683 995 for consultancy & project management services to support both recruitment and ‘search and selection’ processes at senior levels.