Hiring in a Candidate Driven Market: What Hiring Managers Need to Know

Hiring in a Candidate Driven Market

Since the start of the year, we have seen an employment market that has been touch and go. The hiring landscape saw an abundance of candidates, but exceptional talent remained a rare unicorn that both recruitment agencies and employers chased after. Suffice it to say, it’s a candidate’s market.


What Hiring Managers Need to Know

In a tight market, filling a vacancy is almost never easy. Here are 5 critical points every hiring manager needs to know when hiring in a candidate driven market. 

1- Timing Matters

The current employment market makes it such that unicorn candidates have the luxury of choice. 

Often, exceptional candidates are only available for up to two weeks. In a time when choices are abundant, to expect a candidate to wait and remain available for even 3-8 weeks is a mistake and a sure way to lose talent. 


2- Simplify the Process

While it is completely understandable for employers to take their time between providing interview feedback, decision making, and making an offer; dragging out a recruitment process does not do any party any favours. From a candidate’s perspective, one day, one week, or one month makes all the difference. 

Employers can simplify a recruitment process by making decisions at before or at the beginning:

  • Communicate the steps early in the process. Are assessments required? How many interviews will be needed? What is the time frame?
  • Maximise each step by identifying what you are looking for as early as possible in the process, whether it’s a specific skill, level of experience, or even cultural fit.
  • Minimise the number of people and decision makers involved

Losing a great candidate to a convoluted or overly stringent process is not unusual. 


3- Communicate

After going through potentially several stages of interviews with varied people within the organisation (HR, Hiring Manager, Senior Team Members etc), the next stage of waiting for feedback is the most arduous stage for a candidate; so communication is most critical at this stage. 

Consider what is going through your candidate’s mind. What is, for a hiring manager, a decision to fill a gap within their team; is, for the candidate, a life-changing decision. 

Keep the lines of communication open - whether it is through email, a quick phone call, or liaising through internal or external recruitment consultants.  


4- Offer Competitive Market Rates

Before starting a recruitment process, it’s important to make an informed decision as to what rates the business is willing to offer a successful candidate. 

When a candidate makes a decision to apply for a vacancy, it can be expected that they will also be seeking compensation that is considerably higher than what they are currently receiving. 

Expecting an outstanding candidate to negotiate with you over salary will almost certainly leave a sour taste in their mouths.  


5- Partner with a Specialist Agency

Partnering with a specialist recruitment agency means that you will be working with team whose main role is to source the exact types of candidates you are looking for.

Day in a day out, a Public Policy recruiter talks to Public Policy candidates. Of the same accord, a Finance & Accounting recruiter will talk only to Finance & Accounting candidates. 

The knowledge and experience of specialist agencies means that they will be able to offer you a wider and heavily specialised and targeted talent pool to select from. 


The Johnson Group

The Johnson Group is a specialist public sector recruitment agency. We recruit public sector roles across Policy, Management, Human Resources, Project Management, Marketing and Communications; both permanent and contracting. 

Contact us on (04) 473 6699 or send us an email at to learn more about the recruitment solutions we provide.

Candidate Experience
Hiring Managers
Hiring Process