4 Tips for Hiring in a Depressed Market



March 8, 2023

In the next 12 months, the forecast for the UK economy is gloomy. It’s predicted that Britain will be the first G7 nation to enter a recession – and the last one to leave. With budgets tightening, companies are prioritising investments – tough decisions must be made.

When it comes to employee benefits like flexible working and skills development, LinkedIn data shows three-quarters of businesses fear that progress made since the pandemic might have to be stopped - or reversed.  

This is at odds with what workers want, and what they have come to expect since 2020.  Losing focus on employee well-being has the potential to seriously damage an organisation’s ability to hire and retain top talent.

Further data from LinkedIn concludes that flexible working is what UK employees value highest in employers today.

Opportunity Knocks

Despite the less-than-cheerful economic outlook, unemployment levels remain low and the labour market is still reporting healthy levels of vacancies. Attracting talent is the problem facing companies in 2023, as people become increasingly reluctant to change roles due to the period of economic uncertainty. Job-seeking activity on LinkedIn in the UK is dramatically down compared to the same period last year.

So, what are the keys to competing and succeeding in a tough recruitment environment when potential candidates are sheltering in their jobs and reluctant to make a change?

Here are Candidly’s 4 Tips for Hiring in 2023

Keep Focusing on What Candidates Want

Only time will tell, but all the data suggests that the pandemic has irreversibly changed the world of work and shifted employee expectations. In 2023, it’s more important than ever for companies to understand what job seekers want and how to manifest those desires.

When looking for a new role, many candidates now consider flexible working as a non-negotiable. There is no way they’ll consider accepting a position that will negatively affect their work-life balance. LinkedIn also highlights the growing preference for flexible working, research finds that demand outstrips supply for flexible/remote-based opportunities – with remote roles comprising under 12% of job adverts in the UK but receiving over 20% of all applications.

Flexible and remote working will work as talent magnets for the foreseeable future - If you’re hiring in 2023, offsetting office hours with remote working will help you position your business favourably when reaching out to potential candidates.

In addition to flexible working, skills development is another essential for employees and job seekers according to LinkedIn. Organisations that show commitment to up-skilling and learning and development initiatives will prise employees out of their current roles by showing them how a job move could help them develop new skills and progress in their careers.

Hire Based on Skills Not Experience

When companies only hire based on formal education, experience and previous job titles, they miss out on high-potential talent pools and more diverse candidates. There’s a big opportunity in 2023 for businesses to dip their toes into a skills-based hiring approach - where candidates are judged on their skills and potential for the future. This can help ease the difficulties of hiring in an uncertain labour market.

LinkedIn users have added 365 million new skills to their profiles over the last 12 months, up 43% compared to last year. When you use skills to screen and search for candidates, rather than relying on direct previous experience, you unearth new talent and discover talent from non-traditional backgrounds (which can also help improve diversity within your organisation).

Furthermore, companies that search for talent on a skills-based approach actively include candidates who might not have realised their own skills qualified them for a role – Considering we’re experiencing a period of low employee job movement, drawing in new talent in this way could be highly valuable for businesses.

Work on Your Purpose, Values and Tone-of-Voice

This year, job seekers will continue to be attracted to companies that align with their values on topics like DE&I and Environmental Sustainability. When looking for a new role, many applicants evaluate where a company stands on a particular issue before deciding to apply. Therefore, companies need to reflect on their purpose and values and the type of applicant they’re looking to attract – and adjust accordingly.

Companies also need to consider which partners can help them best highlight these attributes to job seekers - via their career pages and employer branding.

Take a Data-first Approach

With so much uncertainty around the labour market, businesses need to invest in partners or platforms that can be truly consultative in nature – providing actionable insights grounded in data to help them hire better.

This means there’s a huge opportunity here for companies who arm themselves with the right tools to source this data and the skills they need to be able to analyse it properly. By providing their hiring teams with these abilities, businesses ensure they’re making strategic decisions based on numbers – rather than gut feeling.  

While these are challenging times, companies following these guidelines can be cautiously optimistic about navigating a tough economic environment, unlocking new talent pools and successfully attracting top talent.

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