How Can Charities Navigate the Current Recruitment Market?

You may have read recent reports that unemployment rates are lower than ever and job vacancies are higher than ever. But what does this recruitment market mean for the charity sector and the candidate shortage?

More jobs than job seekers

For the first time since records began, there are fewer unemployed people in the UK than job vacancies, the ONS Labour Force Study reported earlier this month.

From January to March 2022 the unemployment rate was 3.7%, the lowest it has been in almost 50 years, as job vacancies rose to a record high of 1.3 million.

Graph to show vacancies rose to a record 1,295,000 in February to April 2022

The Labour Force Study also revealed that total job-to-job moves have increased to almost one million, ‘driven by resignations rather than dismissals’.

Despite total employment rates rising this quarter, they still remain below their pre-pandemic level, suggesting the candidate-driven market is set to continue.

Whilst the figures above are for all jobs and sectors across the UK, it will come as no surprise that the charity sector has been hard-hit by the candidate shortage, with many charities advertising new roles but struggling to recruit.

What can charities do?

In this challenging employment market and the battle for talent, you need to work that bit harder to grab the attention of more candidates. There has never been a more crucial time to invest in recruitment and to re-evaluate the benefits you offer.

Make adverts stand out

While candidates have lots of jobs to choose from, you should make adverts as visible as possible. Our enhanced job adverts are designed to highlight your role. They spend a week at the top of the search results and include a free refresh that sends them back towards the top again. This makes sure they are seen by more jobseekers, resulting in over 200% more clicks on apply than our basic ads.

Increase reach

You need to target passive job seekers (those who are currently employed and not actively looking to move), as well as those who are proactively searching for a new job. Our ad enhancement features, such as our CV Match and Handpicked Email Services, target candidates who are most likely to be interested in your role but may not have seen it advertised.

Another useful tactic is to cross-post roles to other job sites through CharityJob. You can find our different options here.

Review salaries

Fierce competition for workers pushed UK salaries higher in April this year, Bloomberg UK reports. In a time that job vacancies are soaring, candidates can afford to be picky.

To win talent, charities need to increase salaries where possible. You can use our salary checker tool to check if your offer is competitive.

Man and woman reviewing salaries in current recruitment market

Offer flexible working

The pandemic has changed the way people want to work and there has been a huge shift in employees’ expectations. There is now a strong demand for ‘hybrid’ work, which combines time in the office and working remotely, with 73% of respondents reporting that they would ‘prefer to work at home some of the time, or to perform specific work tasks at home’.  Employers that don’t accommodate their employees’ desire for remote working risk seeing them find jobs elsewhere.

Microsoft’s Work Trend Index 2022 found that 53% of workers are more likely to prioritise their health and wellbeing over work than before the pandemic, with 46% rating ‘positive culture’ and 42% rating ‘mental health/wellbeing benefits’ as very important when looking for a new job.

More jobs than ever now offer flexible working and wellbeing benefits. Charities must adapt existing work principles and benefits to meet the demands of job seekers.

Embrace older workers

During the pandemic, almost 500,000 people aged 50 years and over left the labour market and there are now almost 250,000 fewer people aged 50-64 in the workforce than there was at the start of the pandemic.

Covid-19 had a huge impact on this, with the majority (77%) of adults aged 50-59 saying they left their previous job sooner than expected. The good news is that more than 58% of all respondents in their 50s and 31% of those aged 60 years and over would consider returning to paid work in future, according to the ONS Over 50s Lifestyle Study.

The over-50s are a generation that are open to getting back to work and changing careers, and they bring great value to the workplace.

Recent analysis from the OECD shows that firms with a 10% higher share of workers aged 50 and over are more productive, and a study by YouGov found that 8 in 10 employers in England believe older workers could help in knowledge and skill sharing.

Let CharityJob help

When you post a job with us, you get free access to a dedicated account manager with lots of experience with charity roles. Call us on 020 8939 8430 to let us know what you’re looking for, and we can tell you what’s worked for similar roles and give you personalised advice on how you can attract the best applicants.

Reports are all showing that it’s set to be a candidate-led market for a while yet, but investing in recruitment and employing some new tactics can all help you find that right candidate.

Tags: attracting the right candidates, charity recruitment, charity sector, charity sector recruitment, finding the right people, job market, recruitment process

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About the author

Lucy Hardy

Lucy Hardy is Research Manager at CharityJob.