In March this year the architectural job market shifted dramatically. Many staff were furloughed with some yet to return to work. There have also been many redundancies seeing unemployment now at 4.5% nationally and rising. It’s not all doom and gloom however as hiring is still happening. This does however create a new problem for employers, identifying the best talent in an overcrowded market.
Counterintuitively, recruitment consultancies still have a valuable role right now and choosing to overlook this could very well prove to be a costly mistake. If you need to recruit, it’s even more important to ensure you fill your vacancy with the best possible candidate and the damage caused by getting this wrong doesn’t bare thinking about when finances are tight. Here are six good reasons why you should still be engaging with a specialist recruiter in your sector.
You will drown in CVs
You may be tempted to place an advert instead of ringing your trusted recruiter. Adverts I’ve placed since April have attracted circa 400 applications per advert. There are a lot of people out there fighting over fewer jobs. This is an immense amount of work to review and sift this number of applications and most of these applications contain a portfolio that can be up to 10MB or higher in size. Can your email server even cope with the influx it’s about to be subjected to?
Do you have the time to go through 400 CVs? Let’s say you spend 3 minutes per application, reading the CV and reviewing a portfolio. You now have to set aside 20 hours whilst also trying to do your day job. In a market where people need to find employment and want to stand out from the crowd, your time required will also be stretched further by many calling your office to follow up on their applications.
Missing the best talent you have paid to attract
Noting most business owners and hiring managers just don’t have the time to dedicate 20 hours to sift through applications in addition to the time spent interviewing, they often choose to delegate this task to the Office or HR Manager. I’ve spoken to many Office and HR Managers about this and some are happy to admit they just don’t have the technical knowledge to know exactly who to shortlist and who to reject. This results in the possibility of the best applications slipping through the net.
The best candidates don’t stay unemployed for long
Even in today’s market, the best candidates will get snapped up quickly. I’ve spoken to many business owners and hiring managers who have run an advert and been overwhelmed by the response whilst juggling a busy workload themselves. Time slips by and other more pressing priorities take over until time can be found over a spare weekend a few weeks down the line. Frustratingly they find the best applicants they have paid to attract have already been offered and accepted a job, possibly with their competitor.
The best candidates often don’t respond to job adverts
If you are relying on an advert alone, you are excluding some of the top talent in your industry. Sure recruiters place adverts too, but they also have their finger on the pulse in your market. They have a network of candidates built over many years who they will reach out to first. They build relationships with candidates and understand both their experience and what would make them leave their current employer to advance their career. These people aren’t reading job adverts but the reality is they are likely to be the person you want. The “ideal candidate”. If you are going to hire, surely you want access to the very best candidates to choose from?
Speaking to candidates on a daily basis who are intensively searching for new jobs, I’m often told their greatest frustration is not hearing back from companies following an application. Do you really have the time to respond to 400 applicants? If you don’t respond to candidates, you risk damaging your brand’s reputation. You may receive an application from someone who isn’t quite right for this vacancy but who you would love to hire for a future role or you may have let someone ideal slip through the net. If you aren’t writing back to each applicant, they become disenfranchised with your brand. They will remember this and talk to others. Further down the line they are less likely to apply again to your company or may take this into account if multiple job offers are on the table.
Engaging with a good specialist recruiter in today’s market will still provide value whilst saving you time, protecting your brand’s reputation and providing you access to your sector’s top talent. They will allow you to get on with what you are good at, leaving you only to review a handful of shortlisted CVs. They will also manage the process in the background for both pre and post interviews. There is immense value in the use of a third party to manage the offer stage too. The agent can have conversations with a candidate that you can’t, ensuring you put your best foot forward when an offer is made with respect to other offers they have on the table or that may be pending. Getting to the end of the process, only to have your offer not accepted is soul destroying, often leaving you back at square one.
I have 19 years recruiting experience with the last 16 of these in the architectural and design sector. I’ve recruited through both good and challenging times, from entry level roles up to critical Director level appointments. Tarrant Howl is able to offer both contract and permanent recruitment solutions. If you would like to discuss how I can help your business attract the best talent, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
020 7993 6980