The struggle to find and hire tech staff
The average time from search to hiring a candidate in the New Zealand tech industry has reduced by 50 percent this year, leaving no room for mistakes in the race to secure the best talent. Managing director and founder of specialist IT and digital recruitment company Imara Limited, Barry Hardy, said that before the Covid-19 […]
The average time from search to hiring a candidate in the New Zealand tech industry has reduced by 50 percent this year, leaving no room for mistakes in the race to secure the best talent.
Managing director and founder of specialist IT and digital recruitment company Imara Limited, Barry Hardy, said that before the Covid-19 pandemic, companies were running a hiring process that, on average, took 10 to 15 days to find and employ a suitable candidate.
That time has shrunk to only seven days.
Hardy has worked in the tech recruitment sector since 1996 but has never seen the recruitment market so tight. Companies of all sizes are fighting hard to retain and hire talented individuals.
“The supply of candidates today is easily a tenth of what it was before the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re seeing more clients conducting their first and second interviews on the same day. This is a clear market signal that companies are speeding up their hiring process.”
Hardy said the assumptions of the recruitment process had changed dramatically in the first half of 2022, and the dynamics have firmly shifted to a “candidates market” in which candidates have much more power to negotiate rates and work expectations.
“The candidate’s ability to move roles makes it difficult for companies to attract and select high-performing talent. Some employers feel almost paralysed. They don’t seem to have the same sense of confidence they once did,” Hardy said.
“Gone are the days of putting a great candidate on ice until others have been considered. The market is forcing companies to accelerate their decision-making. If you are comfortable with a candidate, begin build a relationship straight away,” Hardy said.
An average of seven days to find a candidate is a narrow window and maybe the reality for 2023. However, Hardy said it is still important for companies to perform robust quality assurance and background checks.
“Being nimble doesn’t mean cutting corners,” he said.
Navigating a tight labour market can be a headache, so Hardy offers a few tips for companies to stay ahead.
1. Embrace early
Wrapping a new candidate into the company’s culture from the moment they are engaged is crucial in this candidate’s market.
“Delaying the onboarding process until all the documents are signed will often be too late for many candidates. Look for ways to keep them engaged, like inviting them to company functions or activities.
“Since the market is so tight, it is safe to assume all candidates are likely courted by other recruitment agencies and potential employers – not to mention by their previous employers who are desperate to retain them.”
2. Benchmark standards
Many companies hire new candidates into the same roles multiple times. While that process can be frustrating, it also offers a great way to speed up the hiring process.
“A good hiring decision can be de-risked by benchmarking the role to a past employee. If you are looking for a similar set of skills, you can look for a new candidate that matches the profile of existing staff. But this does require a philosophy shift,” Hardy said.
3. Clarify expectations
Few things are more frustrating than signing up for a new role only to find on the first day that the expectations and day-to-day reality are very different to what was promised. That’s an excellent way to lose a great candidate, said Hardy.
“The connection between what is advertised for the role and the actual function of the role must be distilled and real from the beginning. If you can create that, I still think multi-year tenure in a candidate is attainable,” Hardy said.
Imara is an Auckland-based recruitment firm specialising in locating high-quality technology professionals for corporates and SMEs. For more information visit www.imara.co.nz