Competitive Employers vs Candidate Complacency

It might seem as though we’re banging the same drum over and over, but facts are facts: there’s a mass skill shortage and lack of qualified candidates for roles across Australia, involving many industries. But with that comes its own challenges, and it’s making for some interesting conversation. Namely we’re talking about candidate complacency.

What is candidate complacency?

In a candidate-driven market, it’s an entirely understandable attitude. Complacency manifests in many ways. When there’s an abundance of jobs up for grabs and seemingly less competition, it can make the job search feel like a less daunting task.

This can lead to jobseekers being perhaps less prepared for an interview than they should be. Complacency can also lead to jobseekers playing their cards a little too close to the chest, which can simply sometimes come across less positively – in the same way that lacking confidence can affect your chances of securing a role, thinking it’s “in the bag” can be just as detrimental.

But the employer needs me more than I need them right now!

In some ways, you’re entirely correct. With so few qualified candidates seemingly available, and so many roles picking up post-lockdown, candidates are in a unique position. That position is one of choice, of options – of time to spend thinking about what you really want and need from your next position.

But it’s not the position of a done deal. Merely showing up to interview for a job, even in a market like the one we’re seeing right now, isn’t enough to ensure you’ll get it.

Whose job is it to sell to the other?

It comes down to one fundamental fact: a job interview is a two-way street.

Employers – you should be doing everything you can to remain competitive. Your value proposition as an employer should be reflected in the quality of the candidate you’re looking to attract. Stop thinking about the hiring process as a move-by-move interaction – if you want someone, tell them, then tell them why. Sell the opportunity and explain why yours is the right one for them.

And jobseekers? The same goes for you. The way you interview – the preparation you do beforehand, the effort you put into each and every communication, the way you present, the enthusiasm and passion you approach with – should reflect how much you want the job. If you’re interviewing just for the sake of it… Well, don’t. It’s the hiring company’s job to explain why you should join them, but yours to be respectful of everyone’s time.

How to tackle candidate complacency

Candidates, take this as it’s intended: not an attack, but a friendly nudge that every interaction still matters, regardless of the market conditions. After all, you may not desperately want or need this job now – but who knows how this contact could come back around in future to present an opportunity.

Our top tips for jobseekers to kick complacency:

  • Treat every opportunity you apply to with the same level of focus and energy, until you know it’s not the right one for you – then let that employer know. There’s no excuse for leaving anyone hanging!
  • Be transparent with potential employers about any irons you have in the fire (without using them as a bargaining tool!)
  • If you’re just ‘testing the waters’ with no real desire for a move, be open about it the circumstances without coming off as nonchalant. Give this potential employer the chance to tempt you otherwise!
  • Respond promptly, regardless of if it’s an opportunity you’re still considering – respect other people’s time and the work they’ve put into communicating with you.

And employers, for you it’s a reminder that to attract the talent you need, standing out is crucial. All of the above apply directly to you too.

If you’re a jobseeker wanting to work with someone who has their finger on the pulse for not just the best opportunities, but the best employers as well, we’re here to chat. And employers, we’d love to talk about how to find you the talent you need in today’s challenging market. Get in touch!

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