Recruiting Staff in a Candidate-Short Market

If you’ve tried to hire staff recently, you might have experienced the symptoms of a candidate-short market – applications trickle in slowly at a glacial pace from poor quality candidates, leaving you feeling less than inspired about finding the right person for your team.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the factors influencing the trend, along with strategies to help businesses and organisations looking for staff in the current market.

Despite drought and bushfires, strong global demand for Australian produce has helped to maintain the industry’s value. In the 2018-19 financial year, Australia grew $60 billion of agricultural products, up 3% on the previous year.

“The downside to strong industry performance is a lack of people looking for work and COVID-19 has made the situation even tighter with people less likely to take the risk of a new job,” says Tom Lucas, a Senior Consultant at The Lucas Group.

While COVID-19 has had a significant impact upon industries like retail and hospitality, agriculture has remained resilient. According to seek.com.au, demand for agriculture employees is up 0.15% compared to last year, one of only three industries to see an increase.

If you’re currently in the market for a new employee, there are ways to get around the roadblocks to finding the right employee for your workforce.

Put your best foot forward

In a market where candidates are shy about jumping ship, putting your best foot forward is key in attracting interest. Whether you’re replacing a staff member or hiring a newly created position, you’ll need to know what the sector benchmark for remuneration is so that you can attract the right candidates. Additional package features such as a vehicle and performance bonuses should also be used to sell the opportunity to potential applicants.

Proceed without delay

A delay in recruitment process is the number one cause of candidates withdrawing from an application. Whether you’re dealing directly with candidates or using a recruitment partner, make sure that you’re setting short timeframes to provide feedback to applicants or interviewees. Keep candidates up to date on a regular basis – even if it’s just to provide an estimate on when the candidate should get an answer.

Let us do the work for you

As Australia’s premier agribusiness recruitment agency, we have the connections and the industry expertise to find the right employee for your business. In addition to a database of more than 35,000 agriculture candidates, we undertake targeted advertising campaigns to promote your organisation as an employer of choice. The Lucas Group undertakes thorough reference checks and offers a guarantee on all placements, freeing up your time and giving you peace of mind.

Consider retention strategies

If you’ve had a number of employees resign recently, it might be time to ascertain how engaging your organisation is as an employer. Consider surveying your staff to identify areas from improvement. If remuneration is a common theme, you might need to see how your business ranks among other employers in the sector – The Lucas Group’s salary benchmark service could be beneficial. If more complex factors are in play – workplace culture, management styles, WHS, etc. implement corrective action to make your organisation an employer of choice.

Need more support?

While it is a hard market to recruit in, the right candidate is out there – they might just be a little harder to find. Widen your search to a national approach and make sure you have a competitive salary package to offer potential employees. If you need help, we’re here to support you. Call The Lucas group on 08 8201 9999 for an obligation-free discussion with one of our consultants.

Sources: ABS, Seek

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