Is Your Recruitment Process Stopping You From Winning Talent?

As Australia’s unemployment rate drops to a level not seen in almost 15 years, employers across Australia are scrambling for talent.

Lack of skilled migration, coupled with accelerated retirements and changing attitudes around work, have all combined to exacerbate one of the worst skills shortages Australia has ever experienced. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Canberra with unemployment sitting at just 3.2% in January 2022.

As many employers look to the state of the workforce with increasing frustration around failure to attract talent, we are excited to see that some organisations in the public and private sectors are bucking the trend. This is especially positive in the government space, where it has become very evident that traditional, outdated recruitment processes will no longer cut it in today’s recruitment landscape.

Here are 3 problems we know many organisations are facing in the current market, and how a fresh approach is helping to solve them…

Problem 1: We’re advertising, but there are no suitable candidates to shortlist

When talent was plentiful, posting a job ad and waiting for applications to roll in usually resulted in at least a few reasonably qualified candidates. These days, the same approach is almost guaranteed to turn up crickets for any role requiring a modicum of skills and experience.

In the public sector, the same can be said for departments still relying on the standardised process of posting a job ad in the Gazette and expecting hundreds of candidates to apply.

These ageing methods are failing for several reasons, but crucially because they lack personality. When just about every other similar organisation in your market is competing for the same skills, you have to find a way to stand out.

Employers bucking the trend: We’ve seen organisations achieve great success here by running targeted recruitment campaigns. Delivered with purpose-built recruitment websites and across social media channels, these campaigns are hugely effective at engaging audiences by using content and imagery to showcase human stories. By adding life and personality to your recruitment drive, you reach people on a personal level and allow them to connect with your organisation. Importantly, the benefits of doing this extend well beyond a single recruitment campaign – they allow you to build an employer brand which invites talented candidates to maintain engagement with your organisation.

Problem 2: We’re hiring, but candidates are often unavailable by the time we make an offer

In a world where waiting 5 seconds for a web page to load is too long, a recruitment process that takes months or even weeks to complete is almost guaranteed to see the best talent end up elsewhere.

Most high demand, high performing candidates will receive multiple offers very soon after they make themselves available to approach. Often within a few days. Unless they are extremely keen to work for your organisation, they’re simply not going to wait around for an extensive interview and vetting process to complete.

Employers bucking the trend: There are ways to fast-track the recruitment process, without breaking probity requirements.

Successful organisations are doing this by:

  • Rallying internal staff well in advance to keep processes moving swiftly
  • Making immediate contact with desired candidates
  • Engaging regularly with candidates to keep them updated on progress

This new approach recognises the fast-moving nature of the current recruitment market, and is appreciated by quality candidates who may really want to work in an organisation but are constantly being tempted with strong offers from competing employers.

Problem 3: We’re offering attractive packages, but candidates want more

A decade ago, salary and advancement opportunities were the top factors in a candidate’s decision to accept a new role. In a post-COVID world, they are still key factors but it would appear that flexibility and workplace culture have unseated them for the top spot.

Organisations that still rely just on standard salary packages and benefits to “sell themselves” will find it difficult to attract top talent in this tight market.

Employers bucking the trend: Luckily, we’ve seen a huge increase in organisations that are adjusting their employee value propositions through:

  • Promoting flexible workplace arrangements
  • Showcasing culture in employee branding campaigns
  • Clearly articulating non-financial benefits such as mentorship, learning and development, and health and wellbeing initiatives

Additionally, embracing remote work has allowed some employers to remove geographical limitations and secure impressive interstate talent who are able to do the majority of their work remotely.

You too could be bucking the trend

Times have changed, and we must change with them. If you do the same things all the time, you can’t expect different results. Instead of asking “Why?” when the default recruitment process fails to attract quality applicants, consider engaging with stakeholders and asking, “Can we do things differently?”.

Innovative, timely and engaging recruitment campaigns are now key to standing out in a tight market.

At HorizonOne, our People Solutions team are working together with our Brand Experience team to create and deliver successful recruitment campaigns for our clients in the APS and private sector.  

To learn more, or to have a chat about how to win talent during a skills shortage, contact us.


David Harrington
HorizonOne Recruitment

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