How to Compete in a Candidate Short Market

A few weeks ago I wrote an article based around the shortage of candidates in the niche market that I specialise in, Microsoft Dynamics and what as an eco-system we can do to try and get more skilled professionals into this growing market. I thought it would be a good idea to write this follow up article around recruitment strategies in a tight market.


As I mentioned in my last article the Microsoft Dynamics Market is expected to see substantial growth which ultimately means competition for skilled candidates only increases. With that, I believe organisations need to bear this in mind when they are actively recruiting and the methods they use to attract top talent. Old methods of Post and Prey won’t be as effective as they used to and having a brand, value proposition and reputation in the market is more important than ever.

This is certainly currently a candidate’s market, with not too many candidates currently out of work which means they don’t need to take any job and can be very selective, a lot of the times with multiple opportunities being presented.

Here are some key points to take on board when you are in the market for that top talent


Don’t rely solely on Job Ads

As we all know by posting a job ad you are only reaching perhaps 20% of candidates that are actively looking, which means there is another 80% not being touched and it’s fair to say that you would expect the top talent in your market to be in that 80%, who are game fully employed. Certainly one of the best avenues is current employee referrals, have a good scheme in place to reward successful referrals. This will also go a long way to cut out some of those bad hires as their experience and skills can be vouched for. If you see the ROI, engage a specialist agency that already has a deep understanding of the market, that extensive qualified network of candidates and someone that can sell the opportunity against the competition.


Utilise Linkedin Properly 

We all use Linkedin which has been a massive game changer for the industry and whom we connect with but when utilising the power of Linkedin make sure you have targeted campaigns more so than mass mailing. Top professionals know their worth in the market so when they receive a very generic in mail where it isn’t personal, with there is no correlation of the role to their experience and aligned skillset they are more inclined to disregard the message if someone hasn’t taken the time to even read their profile.


Understand your brand in the market

With sites now such as Indeed and Glassdoor prospective employees can and very much are now doing research on companies before considering the opportunity. In a niche market, you will also find that a lot of professionals are well connected and may well know someone who does or has previously worked at your company, so again they will do their research and truly understand the pro’s and if there are any con’s. If you have a good solid brand and reputation in the market you are putting yourself in pole position against your competition.


Know your Competition

Surely a key factor must be to understand your competition, what they tend to offer, not just in terms of salary but other benefits, perks, company culture. In recent years via surveys Linkedin have conducted the salary aspect of why people take a new opportunity is not in the top three. Candidates are looking for better career prospects, they want to be able to make an impact and that work/life balance is becoming more important than ever to a large proportion of the market.


Streamline Your Recruitment Process

Certainly, in the Microsoft Dynamics market, good candidates are snapped up in a heartbeat. If you have lengthy stage recruitment process you must be prepared to lose out on occasion. These candidates will be more than likely involved in other interview processes at the same time, so if you really like the candidate you need to act fast, as your competition certainly will be. There is the saying in the recruitment industry, Time Kills Deals and I’ve certainly had this experience on many occasions where clients come back very keen days later after an interview or reviewing the CV and I have to advise that the candidate has now accepted another role.


Have flexibility

Firstly, remember there are no unicorns, waiting around for one just allows you to miss out on suitable candidates. Asking for a candidate to tick everything on your A-Z wish list perhaps isn’t realistic in today’s market, ask yourself can this candidate ultimately deliver an outcome for the business, are they a good culture fit and can we upskill them where required. A key point to consider is that you can train technical skills, you can’t train drive and attitude.

Hope this helps provide some value to you and your teams to find, retain and build great teams.


As always, I welcome any thoughts and feedback.


by Craig Radford – Director, Monk and Specialist Dynamics 365 / Power Platform Recruiter

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