Market Update - Why you need to act now!

Well, what a turnaround! We have seen a marked increase in the amount of activity in the financial recruitment market over the Summer and the consistency of vacancies being registered with us appears to be there as well.  If we look at our internal statistics from September through to December 2016, our advice is, if you are thinking about entering the job market, or recruiting that choice hire, then now is the time to start your campaign to ensure success by the New Year!

The above might make the process sound incredibly easy; perhaps you’re thinking ‘I’ll update my CV and should have a job offer next week’ or, for employers, ‘there are loads of candidates on the market’. This may well be the case, but please also be aware that recruitment consultants do not dictate the types of roles available on the market, or the volume of suitable candidates, at any given time. I am sure there is an algorithm that predicts the genre of finance roles and the number of candidates available, but until I hone my polymath skills I can only apply my experience and consult accordingly.

In order to capitalise on a more buoyant market there are ways in which you can prepare and manage expectations in order to get the best out of our services. From a candidate perspective, your greatest sales tool is your CV. The traditional format is absolutely fine and, certainly, for the finance and accountancy sector, that which is not broken does not need fixing. Please do not feel obligated to over format, get carried away with multiple fonts or include pie charts!

Hirers should have a job specification prepared for a number of reasons, but the main one in a busy market is that you have competition. With the levels of access to information that we all enjoy these days even temporary/interim roles will need a document as candidates appear to be less comfortable with a verbal brief. More importantly, your job specification is your greatest sales tool (after your consultant!) and, with increased competition in the job market for candidates, it is not a part of the process that can be removed.

Social media suggests platforms like Facebook and Instagram (which do have a presence and are both used by us here at Walker Dendle for business marketing purposes) can serve as useful networking tools, but I would suggest your next port of call, from a candidate perspective, is what I would describe as professional media.

It is worth mentioning that there should be a clear distinction between personal social media and professional social media. The lines do appear to be blurred on many platforms and the old adage ‘less is more’ when interacting on professional social media is important. We should all be mindful that public postings on social media are accessible too so keep your LinkedIn contributions relevant and businesslike and your other expressions for Facebook!

This means that your LinkedIn profile should be up to date. I once had an interview cancelled by a client who had looked at a candidate’s profile on LinkedIn prior to meeting. The client viewed an out of date profile and felt that, as they were interviewing the candidate for a commercially involved role, they did not have confidence that the candidate would be able to business partner commercial teams effectively if they could not see the commercial benefit of updating LinkedIn to market their own skills.

Most candidates and an increasing number of clients come to us, or place business with us, via referral. This is based on our reputation for service and delivery and the ability to nurture long term business relationships.  We know this from the feedback we receive, but proof of the positive benefit for clients (and candidates) is the impact this has on our use of job boards. Most recruitment firms use job boards and what we do here at Walker Dendle is no different even if the ‘how’ is streets apart!  Statistics prove that we receive three times more views per advert and 100% more applications than the average for our competitors. Whether this is down to the content of our adverts, the style or our reputation is academic; in a competitive market, this means that you are going to attract more candidates if you place our business with us and the visibility of your role is increased and the passive PR that we provide is, therefore, increased as well.

In summary, I would like to add that all of our services are free. The only payment we receive is the one made for the introduction of a candidate to a client. We all have freedom of choice and we appreciate and support candidates and clients who choose to use our services. We are a boutique recruitment firm in the best sense of the word and we can, therefore, confidently put ourselves out there as being able to provide and deliver to the best of our ability. We also appreciate everyone who engages with us on the basis of mutual respect.

Happy job hunting!

Estha Heiden

September 2017