The Recruitment and Employment Confederation publishes regular data on job vacancies, tracking recovery in the jobs market … I’d love to say post-pandemic but I’ll have to say as the pandemic develops.

Whatever uncertainty exists socially and economically, the jobs market only moves in one direction: last week there were over 3.5 million job adverts live in the UK, another new record high, with that number having increased by over 500,000 (16%) since the end of October.

The commentary from the report highlights something that should sure be obvious by now to all those in Recruitment and Talent Acquisition: “this is very much a candidate's market now [now?!] …  firms need to think about how they will attract staff facing greater competition than ever before."


What does this mean and how should firms change their approach in this context? In our RPO partnerships we’ve seen positive impact in several projects, particularly relaunching Contact Centre recruitment for leading UK enterprises, by shifting the dial in candidate engagement and experience. We’ve delivered higher applicant volumes and quality by:

  • Creating frictionless online (mobile-optimised) application experiences, removing as many steps and superfluous questions as possible while maintaining rigour in automated screening. Does your rec tech require candidates to create a login/homepage to complete their application? That alone can lead to 70% drop off at the very first stage

  • Stacking the positives in job ads – and targeting the right audience. Are you highlighting all benefits of the current opportunity, and future career development? What can you honestly tell candidates about flexible/remote working? How does your offer – whether EVP or salary/benefits – stand out (does it stand out – time to invest if not)? Our recruitment marketing teams put all this into job copy, in a succinct and engaging way, and use rich market mapping data to place ads in the right spaces, for the right audience

  • Removing layers of assessment. This does not mean sacrificing quality, though careful consideration needs to go into induction and training experiences should some assessment measures be removed in the recruitment journey. However, if candidate supply is low and conversion tricky sometimes the right strategic approach is to progress to interview quickly, with reduced initial screening. This can give Hiring Managers better supply and more control rather than creating additional work for them.

The competition for talent is not going away – it’s time to be bold and make changes that solve problems now and set your Talent Acquisition teams up for success throughout 2022 (and beyond). The best RPO partnerships accelerate that process.