Canberra recruiter's tips for our hot market

Luke Keioskie
Wed 14 Feb

Businesses looking for top candidates and candidates looking for top businesses need to have it together in today’s employment market. Ironically in Canberra, this is because our unemployment rate (3.7%) is faring better than any other states and territories, and even the national average.

Kate Prior, who opened face2face Recruitment 13 years ago, said the current market requires both candidates and employers to be prepared to pounce when opportunities present.

“In a candidate short market, employers need to react quickly if they want the best candidates,” Ms Prior said. “Using a recruitment company helps cut through. If your internal recruitment procedures take several weeks, you’ll miss out. Candidates are often snapped up in a week or two.”

The way employers treat candidates in a hot market is also key.

“Respond immediately when an application comes in, especially from a quality candidate. Tell the candidate your processes to manage their expectations and keep them informed so they don’t move on. And make decisions quickly because they don’t need to wait around.”

Another piece of advice is to think hard about keeping employees who are performing well, instead of letting them move on to take up another position.

“More and more smart employers are making counter offers to keep performing employees,” Ms Prior said.

“They understand that it saves money because recruitment is costly. And they understand it’s easier on an organisation overall. Talk to employees and work out what makes them tick. Think strategically about how you can adjust their roles or what you can offer to keep them.”

Candidates must also be ready to react in the current market, even though they have plenty of choice.

Ms Prior said an up-to-date resume that meets modern requirements is essential, both for candidates actively looking for new opportunities and even those who aren’t.

Throughout her 20-year recruitment career, Kate has placed more than 1,500 job seekers. She’s also written a #1 best-selling book, Resume Success Stories, which remains in the top 20 in its category on Amazon.

“I wanted to write a down-to-earth, straightforward, practical book on writing a winning resume,” she said.

“It’s a valuable resource packed with tips, information and resources, and it’s written in plain language. It’s designed for anyone new to the employment market, those returning after a break and those in a current position who have decided to move on or who may not know they want to until they unexpectedly hear about a dream job.”

As with employers, employees should talk to management about their positions before deciding to head to another organisation.

“Although every case is unique, smart businesses are more than willing to adjust to keep performing employees, especially in this type of market.

“It never hurts to have the discussion and many employees are surprised at the result and more than happy to stay put under new arrangements.’

Resume Success Stories also includes tips for candidates on how to stand out at interview, providing advice on the types of questions that could be asked and how best to respond.

face2face Recruitment has won several awards since it opened its doors for business in 2005, including the Australian Small Business Champion Award for Recruitment Services.

Ms Prior is planning to write two more books, one for those just entering the job market and one for mature aged workers.

Resume Success Secrets is available online through