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Candidate Shortage

How to Deal with a Candidate Shortage: A Recruitment Consultant’s Handbook

Candidate shortage is described as a lack of skilled workers to fill job opportunities in the labour market (be it nursing staffing agency, recruitment agency, healthcare agency, etc.). Indeed, it is a big source of concern for many in the contractual staffing industry and the business world at large, hence the desire to combat it.

The struggle of finding the right talent in Australia’s job market is not seeming to slow down with the unemployment rate touching 3.4% in October 2022, the lowest Australia has seen in the last 50 years. This candidate shortage is a result of multiple factors. Firstly, COVID, which doesn’t seem to fade out as a new variant appears after every few months. This has disturbed the normal job-seeking patterns. People seem to play safe in their current position rather than looking for new job opportunities. Additionally due to lack of international travel there is a reduced supply of international candidates. This implies that there is a shortage of skills for Australian employers to choose from, so, this blog will help you with details on how recruitment agencies can successfully deal with a candidate shortage.

candidate shortage StatsImage source:


Read on to learn more.

1. Pay attention to your client requirements

candidate shortageAs a recruitment consultant, it is your primary responsibility to help your clients with their expansion efforts which mainly involves hiring the required staff. A sure shot way to effectively manage the candidate shortage is to have a clear understanding of your client requirements. Therefore, you will be a step ahead if you know exactly what they need and can make the necessary moves even before they reach out.

Will they need independent contractors, temporary staff, or permanent employees? With a clear understanding of your client’s specific industry and requirements as well as the organizational structure, you can automatically commence the hiring process to meet their needs.

2. Strategic talent acquisition

Strategic talent acquisitionIt is beneficial for recruitment agencies to follow a specific strategy when acquiring talent. Otherwise, you risk joining the ever-shrinking candidate pool. A smart talent-sourcing method guarantees that recruiters have a better probability of identifying qualified individuals. Let’s look at several strategies for aggressively hiring talent.

Keep an eye on top performers:

Inter-organizational mobility is one of those certainties in life. To always stay ahead of the candidate shortage, keep an eye on the top performers in your clients’ industries. Reach out to them and engage them; establish a relationship with them to improve the possibility that they will join your clients’ team when they are ready to explore new opportunity.

recruitment agencies

Look for recent grads:

If you want to deal with candidate shortages and help your clients stay in business, your talent-sourcing movement needs to be big enough to include these young, energetic college graduates.

Prioritize diversity and inclusion:

Diversity and inclusion are essential when sourcing talent. While it is necessary to evaluate applicants of all ethnicities, genders, religious origins, and economic backgrounds, it is also critical to consider individuals who are differently abled, veterans, ex-offenders, or even those who feel locked out of the labour market for whatever reason.

3. Expand your hiring network

The size and strength of a recruitment agency’s network determines its true value. Simple job listings on employment boards are no longer sufficient. As the pool of qualified candidates shrinks on a regular basis, the ultimate goal is to attract as many as possible.

recruitment agency's network You can dramatically expand your hiring network by taking the following steps:
• Make the most out of social media
• Obtaining recommendations/referrals

Social media has clearly grabbed the recruitment world by storm, as it is where many people spend their time and search for relevant content. Research indicated that 73% of millennials found their last job using social media (especially LinkedIn).

Furthermore, word-of-mouth is still reliable today. As a result, in modern times, referrals have proven to be another effective method for recruitment agency to address a candidate shortage. If more than 80% of companies rely on referrals, it’s time for recruiters to start asking around for qualified prospects.

4. Consider your clients’ present employees

It’s easy to overlook a client’s present employees, but the solution to a candidate’s scarcity can occasionally be found within. While a client may believe that their present personnel have reached their capacity limit, this is rarely the case. Your methods as a recruitment consultant should consider the ugly realities of the labour market. As a result, urge your clients to think about training and development initiatives for their existing employees. This is not only a less expensive option, but it is also significantly faster.

These present employees usually fit the description considerably better because they are already familiar with the organization’s culture and operations. As a result, they can get started right away without having to go through the onboarding process.

5. Create new job requirements and lists as needed

When there aren’t enough people to fill jobs, one way that recruitment agency can fail is by making unreasonable job requirements. Staffing agency may need to persuade their clients to narrow and balance their job criteria lists. A well-balanced list of criteria makes the job easier to get because it lets more people look like they could do the job.

Otherwise, the hiring process will be oblivious to the reality of the talent gap, and the wait for perfect-match applicants will result in openings staying open for an extended period of time.
To be more precise, here are some useful tips for shortening job need lists:

  • Except in severe cases, eliminate the necessity for a degree or specific certification (as in the case of healthcare staff).
  • The number of years of experience needed for the role should not be fixed.
  • Allow for flexibility in terms of working hours and location.

6. Keep your recruitment process efficient

Candidate scarcity is characterised by intense competitiveness. To overcome the candidate shortage, you must have a competitive advantage.

  • What can speed up the hiring process?
  • How can you make the candidate experience memorable?
  • What efforts must be done to ensure that the hiring process does not favour a certain applicant or group of applicants?


To cut through the clutter of dealing with a talent shortage, recruiting firms must invest in technology recruitment management systemsuch as a best staffing software in Australia. Look no further if you’re looking for a next-generation recruitment system that has proven to be the go-to solution for faster and more cost-effective results, more engaging and fair interviews, and seamless recruitment.

All you need is Entire, the premier workforce management software for recruiting agencies. To see Entire labour hire app in action, request a demo right now.

So, there you have it! This practical advice will undoubtedly assist you in keeping your head above water when it comes to managing your clients’ candidate needs.

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