Maxwell Stephens

Candidate shortage? Not for the right recruiters.

The recruitment market has always been a turbulent one, and current trends in the sector suggest that there is an abundance of vacancies, but very few suitable candidates to fill them. Research highlights a range factors which may have caused this apparent shift within the industry (most of which brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic). These include employee confidence and uncertainty; Brexit’s impact on the availability of EU candidates; ongoing furlough schemes; and a sudden rise in business confidence and therefore demand for candidates following lockdowns.


On paper, more jobs on the market sounds like it should be a major advantage to recruiters, however the supposed lack of suitable candidates to fill these jobs makes it somewhat of a double-edged sword. While some recruiters are being ghosted by candidates, or they accept generous counter-offers, other recruiters have been able to enjoy the increased demand and recruitment success, but what is the difference between success and failure in this current market?


There are no candidates out there? Really?

From our perspective, a recruiter saying these words should be a major red flag to any employer. When a recruiter says “there are no candidates out there”, what they really mean is there are no active candidates, i.e. candidates applying for jobs or contacting the recruiter directly. There’s one word that springs to our mind when a recruiter is heavily dependent on incoming communication – lazy!

A good recruiter should have a well-established network of professionals they regularly communicate with, allowing them to tap into the all-important market of passive candidates (those who are currently employed). A recruiter should not be starting each project from scratch with an arbitrary LinkedIn search or generic online advert, they should already have a plethora of high-quality candidates in mind for a position before even starting their search.

Quality not quantity


When it comes to effective recruitment, especially in the current climate, getting to know the candidates and clients is paramount. The scattergun, sales-orientated approach of throwing hundreds of CVs at a client until one of them sticks is no longer an option (and it never should have been). 



An effective recruiter needs to know as much as possible about both client and candidate, their motivations, their aspirations, what makes them tick. Recruiters are matchmakers, and knowing these “intangibles” is vital for making the right match, once the recruiter has enough knowledge, they don’t need endless applications from hundreds of candidates, they only need one! 

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