As the Third Sector continues to adjust to the challenges and changes resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy is showing signs of recovery with a steadily growing number of vacancies. In these changing times, however, employers are faced with high levels of competition to find ideally skilled candidates at a time when Brexit has exacerbated the existing skills gap across the UK.
As candidates are increasingly looking towards the Public Sector which they perceive as offering greater care, stability and flexibility, how can organisations attract the right talent with the right skills?
Leverage your employer value
In any sector, prospective candidates forge their opinion on job offerings based on three criteria: career prospects, company culture and work environment. Companies in the corporate world have long depended on their Employer Value Proposition (EVP) to attract candidates, but the Employer Branding Insight Report 2019 found that 48 per cent of candidates felt third sector employers did not effectively communicate their company culture.
A well communicated and engaging EVP starts with the job description wording: see it as the introduction to an employer’s essence. A business’s online presence should also help candidates to shape their perception of the organisation and the ‘uniqueness’ of the opportunity presented to them through compelling team and employee stories in the form of blog posts or digital media.
Showcase your social values
The good news for the Third Sector is that, while the pandemic has caused people to reassess their career goals, they increasingly want a job that involves helping others. Over the past year, we have learnt the importance of mutual support and so candidates joining the Third Sector will expect it from their employer. Business leaders should be open to questioning and alleviate candidates’ own fears – for example with a ‘Career Frequently Asked Questions’.
While salaries may in some cases be slightly lower than in the corporate world, the Third Sector often places greater focus on enhancing principles that money cannot buy. This includes strong social values around employees’ mental health and wellbeing, sustainability and corporate responsibility policies and people-centric benefits too.
Make strategic investments
Candidates want stability and to know how their future employer can nurture their personal and professional development. This is especially true in this post-pandemic period, which has seen people rethink their careers and ambitions.
Employers need to ascertain what candidates want before entering the job market; where do they see themselves in the organisation in six months’ time? What training and development can we offer for them to reach their goals?
It is crucial today that Third Sector employers encourage candidates to deliver innovative ideas by supporting learning and development.
Benefiting from post-Covid flexibility
The pandemic gave employees what they have always wanted: flexible hours, hybrid working and the ability to be geographically remote. Continuing to offer work flexibility in the future could secure long-term loyalty from Third Sector candidates, allowing organisations to compete with the private sector.
While geographical mobility means that candidates’ decision-making is no longer based solely on commute duration or relocation, it also allows employers to wider the talent pool, if the right skill set is in short supply geographically. Gone are the days of the restrictive, rigid person specification. Employers today need to be able to look outside of the sector and focus on transferable skills such as digital, management and data to attract the right talent.
Be at the forefront of digital transformation
A disruptive threat to the sector, the pandemic has also pushed organisations to rapidly make technology a priority in order to survive with improved communication, collaboration and trust, data-driven management and a transformed employee experience.
Employers can only hire the right talent if they put technology first by adopting video interviewing, offering flexi-working and remote onboarding through online tools, internal or external online training, and encouraging open collaboration by bringing teams together virtually.
From a recruitment point of view, digital innovation not only allows an employer to optimise the hiring process and speed through mobile recruitment experiences, but it also influences the way organisations target specific talent using ‘social recruiting’ on the passive candidate market.
Every interim or permanent hiring situation is different and needs to be treated that way, so it’s important to work with experts to understand the rules and how they affect your organisation. There are a range of steps you can take as an employer to attract talent into your business, so don’t miss out by stalling on reviewing your processes.
As we navigate the months ahead, we do anticipate encouraging developments across all our sectors. To discuss your hiring needs, or to find out about available roles, please don’t hesitate to contact us.