The reason your team is missing out on great candidates!

Posted // by Benet Hanley

Most candidates we talk to are looking for something more!

They want:

  • More responsibility
  • More flexibility
  • More of a technical challenge
  • More personal growth
  • More recognition

And the reality is that they can afford to be choosey about the jobs they apply to and take.

There is also the effect of what I call Covid Cautiousness where many people have hunkered down and are less open to change especially those in good jobs and doing well. They are more resistant to change.

The smart growing companies are taking care of their staff and promoting from within where they can. Again, this means the people that are available are aspirational candidates. They are looking to move up and prove themselves but with that they are looking to be compensated at the level of the job they are moving into. They don’t subscribe to the theory that they are being given an opportunity and should simply be grateful for that. They want to be rewarded for the job they are going to do. They feel that,  “sure there are some elements that I need to prove and master but I am 85% there and these elements won’t take long to build up so why should I be paid less for the job”. Again, it is back to expectation and the fact they can pick and choose the jobs they want to do.

What we are seeing especially in the UK Photonics market that is expanding rapidly, is that candidates are no longer just grateful for the opportunity, they see the value they bring to a team that is looking to grow. Often these companies are no longer early-stage and boot strapped they are publicly declaring growth, success and funding so the old line of “join us for the ride” and “we promise we will look after you when the big cheques land” does not wash any more. Candidates know they can do the same job at an established company for that 10%, 15%, 20% more and with more flexibility so they expect that from your growing company now.

The gap is widest between the aspirational candidate who can do the job but may be unproven or has some gaps and the hiring team that is looking for the perfect match.

The challenge is to get both to see the value in each other at the same time and this is where we believe companies are missing out on talent and opportunity. That aspirational but slightly untried or imperfect candidate is pushing to prove themselves and more often than not will work hard to prove the hiring decision was the right one. Their commitment and drive are the intangibles that will make the hire work. Their skill level is almost always already there and can be tested. We are after all, almost always talking about highly educated Meng, PhD candidates with commercial experience.

The one thing we will say is that every candidate that we see rejected as “not being quite good enough for us” goes on to get a job at a competitor business. The candidates are proven right that they are worthy but sometimes they need the right opportunity. There are almost no cases of people that then drop out of the market so if they were good enough to get that job they were likely good enough to make a positive impact in your company.

In the current market the issue is that candidates have choice.

Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. We find technical leaders for the emerging and enabling technology industries. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, software and IoT in Scotland and the UK. Check out our blog page for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us or call us on + 44 131 510 8150


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