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It’s a candidate driven market...

by Greg Hayes


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“It’s a candidate driven market” is a phrase we’ve all heard, and it is certainly true at present. The national picture shows, despite a recent slight drop, that the number of vacancies is still larger than the number of unemployed. In the past, local government has had challenges attracting talent, add in the pandemic’s impact upon work life balance, moves working practices to agile. Add in the effects of churn amongst senior leadership, and the result is that strong candidates are experiencing greater choice in opportunities.

So, we must ask ourselves, how then do councils maximise their chances of securing the best talent in such a competitive landscape? Yes, a good salary and benefits helps, as does a flexible and inclusive agile working policy, but ultimately an effective and thoughtful recruitment strategy will help your organisation to reach and engage broad, diverse networks. A great employment brand and a set of compelling values are crucial to achieving this.

But all of this must feed into the recruitment process, which in turn, must reflect the culture of the organisation and be tailored to each specific role your organisation is recruiting to. A one size fits all approach to senior hiring will feel like just that.

Given the choice of opportunity, sought-after candidates may be entertaining a couple of opportunities concurrently. Therefore, councils need to work hard to become a ‘preferred opportunity’ among several competing organisations. Candidates want to see the culture on their recruitment journey, and learn about the organisation and place. They want to speak to and hear from the relevant people and feel the values and imagine a sense of belonging. More than ever, it is a two-way process and councils must show a commitment in time and energy to attract the best talent.

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