It’s fantastic that Canberra’s unemployment rate is at a low 3.7%, but does that mean winning the perfect position is an automatic given for candidates? Or that employers will secure the best talent?
The answer is a flat ‘no’ says Kate Prior, who runs face2face Recruitment in Deakin.
“In this market, candidates are the star attraction,” says Kate. “Now is the time to be ready, whether candidates are seeking a new role or savvy enough to realise that dream jobs can pop up even when they’re not looking. Candidates who aren’t ready to act on short notice will be disappointed.”
Employers must also be on top of their game. “With a shortage of candidates, organisations need to move quickly on recruitment or lose out,” says Kate. “And organisations should think strategically about retaining performing talent instead of losing them.”
So what do candidates and employers need to win in today’s market?
The first step for candidates is to have a winning resume ready to send in an instant.
Kate knows a thing or two about quality resumes. She’s placed more than 1,500 job seekers throughout her 20-year recruitment career and is the author of Resume Success Secrets, originally published in 2015. The book rose quickly to a #1 best seller on Amazon and remains in the top 20 books on Amazon for its category to this day.
Resume Success Secrets is packed with information and tips on how to write a dynamite resume, a task many dread. “I wrote it as an easy-to-use and practical resource,” says Kate. “It cuts to the chase. There are no fancy words and no long-winded information. It’s just as valuable for first-time job seekers, as it is for those returning to, or already in the workforce.”
“Your resume is the only information an employer has when deciding whether to interview you,” says Kate. “It must be scannable—employers usually spend only 60 seconds on each resume, so you have to quickly give them what they’re looking for.”
The second step is for candidates to prepare to shine at the interview. “Resume Success Secrets includes interview tips,” says Kate. “It provides advice on combating nerves, the type of questions to expect and ways to best answer them. It also provides advice on how to dress and act.”
The third step is for candidates looking for new opportunities because their current role doesn’t cut it for them anymore. “These candidates should discuss their position with their employer, focusing on what’s missing. There’s usually a solution that will make everyone happy,” says Kate.
Kate also has advice for employers battling for top candidates. “Employers must move quickly. If your recruitment process is four to six weeks, you’ll miss out on hot talent. Great candidates are gone within a week or two. Using a recruitment agency can speed up the process,” says Kate.
Another bit of advice for employers is to explain the recruitment process to job seekers and keep them informed. “If you’re fortunate to have a quality candidate apply for a position, respond immediately and make decisions quickly so you don’t miss out,” says Kate.
Kate says employers should be proactive in trying to keep performing employees. “We’re seeing a large rise in employers making counter offers in a bid to retain employees,” says Kate. “It’s easier and less expensive than recruiting a new employee, which can cost up to $50,000. Depending on circumstances, employers should talk to employees about what’s driving them and tweak roles to retain them.”
face2face Recruitment opened in 2005. Five years later, Kate won the Australian Small Business Champion Award for Recruitment Services. She’s picked up other awards along the way and is now focusing on starting her next two books.
Resume Success Secrets is available online through amazon.com.au