Australian companies cannot afford to be complacent with their recruitment strategy: survey

06 May 2014

Despite a large applicant pool, employers and hiring managers need to have a firm grasp of what top performers really want from a job in order to attract talent, according to research released by specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half.

In a survey of 100 Human Resources (HR) executives in companies across Australia, close to four out of ten (36%) say candidates are more likely to knock back a job offer than they were three years ago. However, it is not only attracting staff that is a concern, 83% worry they will lose top employees.

Andrew Brushfield, Director at Robert Half says, “it is easy to assume that recruitment is a one-sided process with the cards stacked in the employer’s favour. However, hiring managers don’t always hold the winning hand, and there is no guarantee their preferred candidate will accept the offer”.

When asked to suggest the most common reason why a candidate will refuse a job offer, 29% of HR executives indicated a competing offer from another company, while 21% cited unsatisfactory remuneration as the key problem. Other refusals are attributed to staying with a current employer (16%), job responsibilities not meeting expectations (12%), long commute (12%) and poor cultural fit (10%).

“Quality talent is always in demand and companies cannot afford to be complacent with their recruitment strategy. It is important for employers to have a strong understanding of current market salaries in their industry, and in particular, for highly-sought after skills. Failing to offer appropriate remuneration can cost a business dearly, both in terms of lost talent plus wasted time and resources during the recruitment process”.

“Employers are also exploring additional ways to attract and retain staff; which doesn’t always involve direct remuneration. Some initiatives we have seen include mentoring programs, training and development, health and wellbeing benefits, flexibility around hours or telecommuting, as well as providing a more positive office environment in a convenient location and with amenities”.

Brushfield notes that for hiring managers and candidates to make an informed decision, both parties need to be transparent during the selection process. “As a job-seeker this means discussing career motivation and researching the company’s reputation; and for employers being honest about the position and responsibilities, availability of resources, working hours and remuneration”.

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