Recruiting in a Tight Market

Recruiting in a Tight Market
It feels like the availability of candidates is at an all time low. Referrals are drying up, online applications are down and LinkedIn seems to have run its course as a source of productive leads. Interest from non-EEA candidates is high yet they are, for the most part, never realistically going to secure the required permission to work legally and that’s even if employers will engage with them due to the uncertainty and length the permit application process takes.

We have seen instances of salaries increasing by 10-20% in some instances over the last 12-months as employers counter-offer to avoid losing their talent. This is trickling down to the offer market where experienced candidates are now demanding more basic salary, benefits and working arrangements. 

So are employers missing a trick when it comes to passing over candidates that have not traditionally been seen as a perfect fit? Here are three options that need to be given serious consideration;

‘Hire for attitude - Train for skills’

The core attributes that successful employees have demonstrated can be found in candidates with alternative industry and role experience. Yes they require training but their core attributes are already present and have been verified. There is a real likelihood of increased loyalty by these employees where their core attributes are recognised and fair remuneration is offered.

Non-EEA candidates with a Stamp 1G (Graduate Permission).

The Stamp 1G is a special permission given to graduate students who have finished their studies in Ireland and gives them the opportunity to work for up to two years where they have completed a master degree course. We have seen clients offer Fixed Term Contracts tied to the date of expiration of their permission.

Remote or Blended Working Arrangements

Covid-19 has been the most influential event to advance remote working as a viable alternative to site based roles. Where the role, technology and team structure allows, this is a real option for employers and the plus side is this; when considering site based employees, most employers limited consideration to those within a 60 min commute, now geography has been eliminated, the pool of candidates has just increased by multiples.

With such huge competition for resources, companies need to be aware of the following when it comes to hiring new employees;

  • Candidates research companies and can be aware of issues that previous employees, clients or suppliers have experienced. If you have a higher than normal staff turnover within your industry, you need to quickly identify why, as other companies will exploit this failing to entice your staff.

  • Good candidates have options so they won’t accept anything less than they consider reasonable. Examples could be a below market rate salary or benefits package, poor physical working environment,  outdated systems or processes, difficult management or employees, unstructured hours, lack of accountability, high staff turnover etc.

  • Don’t oversell the opportunity as it won’t end well. If there are issues then acknowledge them and state how and when these will be resolved. If you are not honest with a potential new employee then don’t be surprised when they leave for an alternative role.


With the economy ramping up and companies eager to make up for the lost time, getting the right people into your business and retaining them is a key milestone. Accepting the new normal will be difficult for some hiring managers and many business owners will struggle to justify the increase in costs, working arrangements and environmental demands by job seekers and current staff in order to retain their services.