By Sandra Innes

Hiring during a pandemic is difficult. Not surprisingly, recruiters are being deluged with applicants as the unemployment rates in Scotland rose to 4.6 per cent during May and June. Finding the right person now requires more time, more patience and more reading.

Despite the increase in applications, the best person for your role may not even apply. In fact, research conducted over the past few months by PeopleScout reveals that employed people are 10% less likely to move jobs than they were at the start of the year – with 43% of employees feeling that it’s too risky to move now.

This is confirmed by employers who are recruiting for niche skills in digital, logistics and communications. They report an explosion of applications with no increase in the quality of candidates. What’s more, with onboarding of new hires now happening virtually, employers are reporting a spike in resignations early in the probation period as new employees fail to feel the synergy and engagement they expected.

READ MORE: The young, men and over-50s will be the chief employment casualties of Covid

We’re seeing huge application numbers as candidates adopt a “spray and pray” approach: a poll of recent applicants showed each candidate is applying for an average of 20 jobs. And with the expected dramatic rise in youth unemployment following the end of furlough, this situation will only be exacerbated.

So, what’s the takeaway for employers? Firstly, it’s time to review your recruitment process and check that it’s fit for purpose. Are you clearly articulating your offer to your target market? Is it compelling enough to make them want to apply? Is it filtering out the candidates who don’t meet your selection criteria and, how are you managing those rejections?

You’ll need a higher touch than ever for those with scarce skills. Technology can help you to reach specialists, and publishing honest content around the business, work, prospects and culture will help to retain those you seek (and discourage the less committed).

READ MORE: Flexible working set to take hold like never before

When you have found the right person, you’ll need to keep their commitment. The way a candidate is treated throughout the recruitment process will affect whether or not they join you. The experience the applicant has of your organisation can make or break a candidate relationship at any stage of the hiring process. A startling eight out of 10 candidates have had doubts between agreeing to the job offer and starting the new role.

Where does this leave you? It will be hard work to find the right person, but stick with it and make sure that candidate experience is your differentiator. Create less hype and spin and be more honest and more authentic. Ultimately be an employer of choice – not of last resort.

Sandra Innes is client relationship director at PeopleScout UK.