How to find the right candidate in the modern workplace

Do happier employees make for a better business? One recruitment company would argue they do.

Studies show that employee engagement is a major priority for businesses, as high staff turnover is both expensive to maintain, damages a company’s reputation and can mean the loss of skills and knowledge.

“Some 58% of job seekers end up in their second-choice role because their preferred employer took too long to get back to them.”

When the UK talent market is limited, finding and retaining an engaged workforce should be a top priority for small business. “The demand for skilled talent is rising faster than supply in many countries and the UK is no different – in fact, I would go so far as to say that the UK is currently in a war for talent with no foreseeable end,” says Matt Weston, UK managing director of the recruitment company Robert Half.

Founded in 1948, Robert Half was the first specialised staffing business focusing on the recruitment of finance and accounting professionals, with an emphasis on the principle of “ethics first”. Today, Robert Half is a world-leading recruitment agency in the same sectors, as well as an expert in finding diligent candidates in the wider financial services, technology, marketing and administrative sectors.

“There are two sides to our role. First we partner with businesses to ensure they attract, secure and retain the right skilled and experienced professional to meet their business objectives, whether that be on a permanent, contract or temporary basis,” says Mr Weston, “but we also ensure that we connect skilled candidates to the role that aligns with their career goals and would support their success too.”

Weston says that Robert Half has remained relevant by being a leading voice in recruitment, with local talent knowledge combined with a deep understanding of its specialisms, which gives them a competitive edge when supporting UK businesses. “We understand that most SMEs are focused on delivering their business objectives and that hiring needs can often arise when hiring managers have the least time. So, finding and securing the right candidate for their vacancy is time-sensitive and is further complicated by the UK’s record high employment levels. Skilled candidates aren’t readily available on the market so you can’t always rely on traditional recruitment channels.”

Recruitment can be particularly cut-throat, as candidates tend not to be able to wait for the perfect opportunity, and will often take a second-best offer now, rather than wait for something better. Some 58pc of job seekers end up in their second-choice role because their preferred employer took too long to get back to them.

The solution? Robert Half has developed a candidate pool who aren’t actively looking but remain “passive candidates”. “We understand their career goals and the direction in which they would like to take their career, so can approach them directly when an opportunity fitting their career plans becomes available,” says Mr Weston. “This approach kills two birds with one stone: matching the right candidates with the right opportunity and being able to reactively support the ongoing needs of UK businesses.”

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