Published byFlat Fee Recruiter

Advertising jobs in an employer-led market: What you need to know

Average application rates began to increase during the latter part of 2023 and are continuing to rise into 2024. However, by contrast there is no longer the abundance of new vacancies that characterised the period post-Covid.

Job boards including Reed reported a 17% drop in jobs posted in 2023 compared to 2022, but a 29% increase in applications.

The upshot being that, where once employers were competing with each other for applicants, the opposite is now the case, and applicants are competing for jobs. The market is changing from being candidate-led to being employer-led.

What does this mean for employers?

This marks a significant change to the recruitment market, which has been predominantly candidate-led since the pandemic. 

Until recently, the biggest challenge was attracting and keeping hold of candidates. With competition for talent so high, applicants were easily poached, leading to associated frustrations such as ‘ghosting’ of interviews and poor retention rates.

In an employer-led market, this challenge is turned on its head. Recruiters are likely to be faced with an overwhelming number of candidates, making screening and interviewing potentially more time consuming and resource-draining.

What are the benefits to employers?

For any company hiring, a larger talent pool is of course good news. There are a greater number of skilled candidates on the market. Competition for roles also puts employers in a stronger negotiating position in terms of salaries, hours and home working contracts, all of which have been controversial in recent years. Recruitment and HR Managers will undoubtedly find attracting talent much easier.  

However, while you may find yourself with an abundance of candidates, the challenge lies in identifying and attracting the right talent.

What can I do to make recruitment more effective in an employer led market?

Candidates have, quite rightly, developed higher expectations over the past few years. Millennial and Gen Z applicants in particular are suspicious of adverts that are not up front about key factors, and they will not hesitate to jump ship if they feel that the hiring process is not being handled properly.

This means:

Be honest about yourself. Applicants are much more unwilling to apply for jobs that don’t make it explicit who is doing the advertising, suggesting a distrust of traditional recruitment agents. 

It’s for this reason that employer branded adverts that emphasise the company culture routinely outperform old-fashioned anonymous adverts of the ‘manufacturing company seeks production operative’ variety.

Be honest about salary. There are some understandable reasons as to why you might not want to reveal the salary at the advertising stage. However, at the end of the day, the majority of jobseekers will simply assume the pay is low, and not apply at all.

Even with an abundance of candidates on the market, your roles will attract significantly fewer applicants if you are not up-front about pay. Many of them will inevitably drop out, too, if they later discover the salary does not meet their expectations.

Have a careers page on your website. As with branded advertising, candidates want to know more about you, and they may even search for your company without even consulting a job board. Take advantage of this by hosting a dedicated careers page on your website.

Allocate Sufficient Resources. Advertising is only the first step in your hiring journey. It’s very easy to underestimate the amount of time and resource you’ll need to recruit efficiently.

In a candidate-led market, you can soon find yourself overwhelmed by high numbers of applicants. Skilled applicants can be snapped up in as little as 48 hours. If you’re taking longer than this to screen CVs and contact applicants you’re going to miss out on talent and find yourself at risk of ‘ghosting.’

If that sounds daunting, don’t worry, this process can be outsourced very cost effectively, without having to resort to expensive recruiters.

While the current market dynamics present a golden opportunity for employers to attract and retain top talent, it requires a strategic, thoughtful approach to recruitment. As long as you adapt quickly, refine your hiring practices, and prioritise candidate experience you will not only navigate this shift successfully but also emerge stronger, with a team well-equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Flat Fee Recruiter provides all the tools you’ll need to get the best results from your hiring campaigns, from advert writing and job posting to CV screening, first-line interviews and all associated admin. Don’t miss out. Call today on 0113 322 7243 for a no obligation discussion on how we can help.