Employees are ahead of employers in the jobs stakes

There has been a shift in the way people look for new jobs, a research by talent solutions company Hudson has found, and employers are not quite keeping up.

According to Hudson's Talent Insights research of more than 1500 professionals in New Zealand, 46 per cent of employees consider themselves passive job seekers who are open to opportunities, up from 35 per cent in the second half of 2016.

Hudson New Zealand's regional general manager, Roman Rogers, says that in addition to this, the job market has become tighter when it comes to finding talent.

Rogers says many candidates are having multiple job offers. "This is just showing how tight the job market is getting, so if someone's got a reasonably defined skillset and if they can articulate what they're good at, it's likely that they will be picked up relatively quickly".

Advertisement

He says: "I think it's going to get more competitive and it's going to be harder for some organisations to win, because others will be better at selling a good story or providing the package that the candidate's looking for."

Rogers says the research findings show some interesting things about passive and active candidates. " We're seeing the definitions start to change as technology influences the way people look for work and how organisations are looking for talent.

"Back in the old days you were either looking for new work or you weren't. You were looking at the newspaper or you weren't.

"Then of course job boards came along and it made it easier for people to look for opportunities and we saw a shift in the number of passive candidates.

"And then we saw the next evolution from job boards whereby you or I could put a profile up for the job we're looking for and job boards would send suggestions to us and alert us to jobs that matched our profile.

"The challenge we have now is that it's a really grey line between active and passive because it's difficult to stay passive in this market and the reason for that is because of the prolific use of social media and people having a digital footprint."

Rogers says the curious nature of people is that when you reach out to them and say: I have an opportunity for you, are you interested - "that's the tipping point of them no longer being passive but thinking maybe the grass is greener on the other side".

He says the other element is that there's an expectation on job seekers that the employer will be a lot smarter about how to find them.

"So for instance, I put my profile on Seek, Trade Me and LinkedIn - I'm using all these tools to do the work on my behalf and therefore I'm putting myself out there on a digital platform even though I'm not actively looking. A phrase that's becoming commonly uses is 'monitoring', I'm monitoring what opportunities are out there.

"This is interesting because if candidates now feel that the technology is doing the monitoring for them, and if organisations don't get their heads around how people go about looking for opportunities through using their digital footprint, they will struggle to find people."

Rogers says it's quite frustrating that organisations and hiring managers aren't being smart around technology.

"Both sides need to use technology in order to take the next step in their career or look to bring talent to the organisation.

"The candidate at this point is, in the main, more advanced in playing in this world than are hiring managers."

Rogers says it's worthwhile noting that another change is that employees at present are becoming less reliant on employers to develop them.

"We did some research last year that showed there's actually quite a divide on where the employer is looking to develop people and where the employee wants to be developed.

"In order to develop their profession, employees are starting to link with specialised groups online, with blogs, websites of interest -- in this way they're keeping in touch with things other than just what's happening in their organisation.

"And what employers need to understand is: if I want to hire this particular sort of person, where do they work, live and play? What are the websites they visit, what are the chat groups they belong to, what are the blogs they contribute to? When you get to understand that, that's when the employer can start fishing in the ponds where the candidate is most likely to be playing."

"So, candidates are baring themselves wide open -- they're using technology, but it's not quite being mirrored yet by organisations. The organisations who are better at finding these employees are getting the choice of the best candidates."

Rogers says this is why some of the larger organisations may have an advantage -- they employ recruitment teams and invest in technology.

"Organisations also need to be thinking strategically of the capability they need in the future and start looking for candidates and build relationships before they need to hire for those roles. This creates less risk for both the candidate and the employer."