Adapting your recruitment strategies to work in a candidate-sparse market

Candidate Shortage

The recruitment world is always changing. The need for new employees is not. The current marketplace favours candidates, with quality people few and far between, so it’s more important than ever for businesses to source and retain good talent.

A 2017 report ( found that 48% of employers expect to face a shortage of candidates over the coming few years. The reasons behind this candidate-sparse marketplace are many and complex. A decade on from the 2008 financial crash, we’re now seeing the effects of ten years of low investment into training and development. Companies have suffered continually from financial and political uncertainty, impacting long-term strategy potential and growth planning. Brexit has only added to this over the past 3 years.

So, as rising demand for candidates clashes with fewer qualified individuals, what can you do as recruiters to adapt?

#1. Change up your Strategies

There are so many channels available to advertise and collect CVs. If you’re not making use of online resources yet, then now’s the time to start. Make sure you use a range of tools – job boards, social media and an ongoing content marketing strategy – to make the most of these platforms and access new talent.

#2. Be very clear in your job description

Interviewing people who are not suited to the role, therefore increasing the total time from advert to placement, is a waste of both your time and the candidates'. Carefully tailoring the job description, and including specific information to reach your ideal candidate, streamlines the process and makes your job a lot more manageable.

#3. What else does this job offer?

People, especially younger ones, expect a job to be more than just a job. With the balance in their hands, you need to seek out ways to offer other incentives like a good work-life balance, flexible working, pension schemes, training, progression opportunities and more.

#4. Think outside the box

When sifting through the CVs, are you thinking outside the box? What skills and experience do the candidates have that are transferable to the new role? What have they done before which demonstrates their ability to problem solve, work well independently or as part of a team?

One solution we’ve found to this problem is delivering training as part of the placement process. As a sales training and consultancy company, our recruitment offering includes a day’s training. This enables us to think a little outside the box and hire individuals with solid backgrounds, upskilling them to suit the new role.

#5. Move quickly through the process

Nothing in the digital age moves slowly. Don’t be the exception. Individuals expect to be pushed through the process quickly and efficiently and, given their in-demand nature, will easily lose enthusiasm and get snapped up elsewhere if you don’t keep up. One solution to this is asking for exclusivity from the start (See but this should never be an excuse to dawdle.

Rounding up, to adapt to the current climate, recruiters need to build a framework to meet the high demand for, and low numbers of, experienced candidates. I’d love to hear what other solutions you’ve found.

I hope you’ve found this useful, The Sales Manager are a sales training, recruitment and telemarketing company based in Northampton. To get in touch with any questions or to speak to us about any of our services, call 01604 532004 or email

See you next time!

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