The laws of supply and demand rule recruitment and the employment market. Fact. Sounds obvious, but the importance of this simple economic principle cannot be understated. If a market has a surplus of candidates, talent becomes readily available, and positions are easier to fill. If a market has a deficit of candidates, talent becomes scarce and positions are harder to fill. If I were a candidate, I know which side of the market I would prefer to be on! What makes you a rare candidate?
If your skills are rare, such as UX design, social media buying, or particular software customisation, an employer will go to extra lengths to attract you as an employee. But if your skills are oversupplied or generic, then you will most likely find your CV in a large pile of CVs that the hiring manager is yet to go through. It's a harsh reality but a good incentive to address any gaps in your education or experience. You can do this by undertaking a specialised course or creating your own side project that uses these rare skills.
If your experience is unique, such as working in a niche industry sector or job role, then chances are that you are at the top of the list for particular job opportunities in the market. But these opportunities won't come up often. If it's a niche area, you will need to be well networked, speaking with the right recruiters and then letting them bring the jobs to you.
It depends on the industry, but for many relationship based roles, bringing a swag of contacts with you is like walking in with a bag of gold. If your new employer wants to work with ABC Company and you already have a relationship with the key decision makers there, or better still a proven business relationship and track record, then you are onto a winner. Sometimes restraint periods will be in place, but if you're moving to a non-competing sector, then you and your employer have an excellent head start.
Sometimes as recruiters we desperately want to entice a candidate to join our client's company, but on some of these occasions, we are very glad that they say no. Or indeed we will advise them that perhaps staying is the better career move for them. Why? Loyalty. Not just loyalty for the sake of loyalty, but loyalty for the sake of career development. How can you build and achieve in a role if you are only in it for six months? As recruiters, we want to speak with candidates who have built and achieved success in past roles, and this takes time. Yesterday I spoke with a candidate who I had approached for a business development opportunity. He was open to speaking but said to me, 'Erin, I’m open to opportunities, but I’m not open to moving until September. I’ve got a lot in my pipeline. I'm on target to achieve 150% of budget, and I want to see that through.' Wow. What he’s really saying is, 'I'm rare, and I'm worth waiting for.'
5. Career focus
Our favourite candidates to work with as recruiters are those who know what they want. They are realistic, clear and have a vision for their future. They set goals in each position that they take on, and they work hard to achieve them.
Because of their consistent career focus, rare candidates have worked hard to achieve in past roles. They have clear, specific, measurable goals that result in clear, specific and measurable achievements. And they can articulate these well. So why do rare candidates rule in recruitment? They work hard to innovate and keep their own skills relevant and current. They set clear goals, work hard to achieve them, and they know what they want. They also fill a market need that exists. And that makes them invaluable to their next, very lucky employer. Perhaps YOU are a rare candidate?