Navigating the Challenges of Recruiting in a Competitive Market: A Human Approach

In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving job market, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for organisations to attract and retain top talent. With a competitive landscape, recruiting the best candidates has become a delicate dance that requires skill, intuition, and understanding of people. As co-founder of Recruitment Studio, I’ve built our brand essence around being more human in a highly stigmatised industry often accused of adopting a transactional, dishonest approach to filling jobs. In this article, I’ll share some insights and strategies to help you stand out from competitors, attract the talent your organisation needs to succeed and bring a human touch to the recruitment process.

Make genuine connections with candidates.

As humans, we crave connection and meaningful relationships. Establishing genuine connections with candidates in a competitive market can make all the difference. Take the time to understand their career goals, aspirations, and values. Treat them as individuals, not just numbers, and be open, relatable, and down-to-earth in your communication. By fostering authentic connections, you’ll create a positive experience for candidates and increase the likelihood of finding the perfect match for your organisation.

Prioritise face-to-face interactions.

While technology has revolutionised the recruitment process, face-to-face interactions still have immense value. Meeting with candidates in person allows you better to understand their personalities, strengths, and potential. It also helps build trust and rapport, which is essential for successful long-term relationships. Whenever possible, prioritise face-to-face meetings, and use technology to enhance, rather than replace, human connection.

Ask the right questions.

Being inquisitive is part of human nature; to honestly know someone, you must ask questions. Spend time getting to know your candidates by asking insightful, open-ended questions that encourage them to share their stories, experiences, and goals. This will help you understand their needs and showcase your genuine interest in their success.

Emphasise empathy and understanding.

Empathy is a powerful tool in the recruitment process. By putting yourself in candidates’ shoes and understanding their pain points, you can tailor your approach to address their needs and concerns. Listen actively, be compassionate, and offer support when needed. This human-centred approach will help you stand out in a competitive market and demonstrate your commitment to candidates’ well-being.

Invest in long-term relationships.

Recruitment is not just about filling a vacancy; it’s about building long-lasting relationships with candidates and clients. Focus on nurturing these relationships by staying in touch, offering ongoing support, and celebrating successes. Doing so will create a strong network of loyal candidates and clients who will trust you for their future recruitment needs.

Be agile and innovative.

In a competitive market, adaptability and innovation are key. Stay updated on industry trends, embrace new technologies, and be open to new ways of thinking. By being agile and innovative, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the challenges of the market and find creative solutions to your clients’ needs.

Deliver on your promises.

Lastly, delivering on your promises is crucial for building trust and credibility in the recruitment industry. Be transparent about the recruitment process, set realistic expectations, and follow through on your commitments. By consistently delivering on your promises, you’ll establish yourself as a reliable and trustworthy partner in the eyes of your clients and candidates.

In conclusion, navigating the challenges of recruiting in a competitive market requires a thoughtful, human-centred approach. By genuinely connecting with candidates, prioritising face-to-face interactions, and emphasising empathy and understanding, you’ll be well on attracting and retaining the top talent your organisation needs to thrive. Remember, at the heart of recruitment is the human element. By building genuine connections, fostering long-term relationships, and treating candidates and clients with respect and empathy, you’ll set yourself apart from competitors and create a recruitment experience that embodies the essence of “Your Kind of People.”

To make the most of these insights and strategies, consider implementing the following action steps:

  1. Assess your current recruitment process: Take a step back and evaluate your existing approach to recruitment. Identify areas where you can improve or incorporate the human-centred strategies discussed in this article.
  2. Develop a candidate-centric communication plan: Create a strategy focusing on open, relatable, and down-to-earth communication with candidates throughout recruitment.
  3. Schedule regular face-to-face meetings: Prioritize in-person interactions with candidates and clients by setting aside dedicated time for face-to-face meetings.
  4. Implement empathy training for your team: Encourage your recruitment team to practice empathy by providing training or workshops that help them develop their listening and understanding skills.
  5. Create a follow-up system: Establish a follow-up system to maintain ongoing relationships with candidates and clients, even after meeting their recruitment needs.
  6. Stay informed and adaptable: Keep up-to-date with industry trends and developments, and be open to adopting new technologies and innovative approaches to recruitment.
  7. Measure and track your success: Implement tools and processes to measure your success in implementing these strategies, and use the feedback to refine your approach.


By taking these actionable steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a more human, empathetic, and practical recruitment experience for candidates and clients.

Happy recruiting!

Bridgette Johnstone, Recruitment, Recruitment Strategy, Talent Sourcing