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Managing Expectations

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As we discussed in a recent blog, we are currently in the midst of a candidate-driven market, where the power dynamic has shifted away from the employer and the best talent is tougher for them to secure. In our focus on the Accountancy space in London, there is a noticeable candidate shortage, despite plenty of attractive positions available. 

In the earlier article, we discussed the change in mind-set that employers need to adopt in these circumstances, and we’re pleased to report that many of our clients are reacting with creative offers that go beyond base salary; revising their recruitment processes so that the candidate experience is better; and paying more attention to their brand to give themselves an edge over their competitors in procuring the top professionals on the market.

However, we also believe that there are a few considerations the candidate needs to take on board, despite holding more of the cards than usual in the current climate. As last month’s REC report on jobs showed, though there was still a decline in candidate availability, it was the least marked reduction for a year, so there is no room for overconfidence or complacency if you want to secure and accept the best offer:

  • Salary expectations: 

These have risen over the past 6 months, but you should remain realistic and in line with market movement. Discuss your perceived value and expectations at the beginning of the process with your recruitment consultant, who can then negotiate with the client on your behalf.

  • Try to focus on the opportunity: 

Consider your career rather than the immediate base salary. If speedy progression looks possible, your salary may increase sooner than you think.

  • Don’t waste your time:

Being open at the start of the process and not throwing a curveball towards the end should keep everything on track. Most negotiations that fail are 11th hour attempts.

  • Remember that the usual rules still apply: 

Stay focused on all the peripherals, not just the offer number. Cultural fit, soft skills and interview technique are as important as ever – just because there is a candidate shortage, that doesn’t mean zero – you will still have competition for the role!

  • Be wary of a counter offer: 

No one wants to lose top talent and your existing employer may tempt you to stay by counter offering. Consider the big picture – why you wanted to leave and what they would think of you if you took the money and stayed.

Bearing in mind these points should keep both yours and the hiring manager’s expectations realistic and bring about the right result for both parties. As consultants in the middle of the process, managing expectations is playing a larger role in our day-to-day life and keeping both parties on the same page is crucial.