Hiring soon? This is what dropping unemployment rates mean for you.

Mark Freire

17th October 2014

It is a testament to the recovering UK economy that we’re turning so quickly from high levels of unemployment into an increasingly candidate short job market. This week, the unemployment rate dropped below 2 million for the first time in 6 years and all indicators are that this fall will continue for some time to come.

That’s great news for the UK economy and great news for all those people who have found new jobs. Yet for those looking to hire fresh IT talent it brings a whole set of challenges.

Finding talent in a candidate short market

Lower unemployment means two things for those looking to hire.

1.    The pool of potential candidates for any role is shrinking; limiting choice, especially for specialist roles.

2.    Candidates with strong skills are in demand, giving them options when it comes to choosing a new employer and negotiating terms.

Recruiting in today’s job market

So how can you secure the best talent in today’s job market? Even in a candidate short market there are still ways to make sure you get the best choices for any role.

1.    Use a specialist recruitment agency

As a leading London IT recruiter you may expect us to suggest this, but the reasons are compelling. We have spent over 13 years building up relationships with top candidates and working on the best ways to attract and engage IT talent. When it comes to sourcing strong talent, the people actively looking for jobs and responding to job adverts are just the tip of the iceberg. A specialist recruiter will also engage with passive candidates who are not yet job-hunting but are dissatisfied with their current employment.

2.    Create an attractive work environment

It is a fact that the best candidates want to work for the best companies – even if that means compromising on salary. By creating a positive work environment centred on employee wellbeing you are drastically increasing the chances of attracting and retaining new talent. Even in a tight job market, the very best London tech companies have no problem finding candidates or luring them away from rivals. There is already a skills shortage in the IT industry. Add in dropping unemployment rates, and companies with poor employee conditions will always struggle to recruit.

3.    Think contract

When new jobs and projects are plentiful some of the best employees turn to contracting over full-time employment. Our IT contracting team have a growing list of highly skilled contractors looking for interesting new opportunities. The overall cost may be higher, but in a shrinking candidate market taking the contract approach may be the only way to fill a specific skills requirement.

4.    Grow your own talent

Hiring in the skills you need is one approach. However many forward thinking tech companies are concentrating on growing talent from the ground up. Alongside the Just IT recruitment team, Just IT Apprenticeships place 450 IT Apprentices a year into London companies. These 16-18 year olds don’t yet have the technical skills, but have enthusiasm and will complete many IT qualifications during their Apprenticeship year. Many of the Apprentices we have placed have grown to become key employees in some of London’s top companies.