3 October 2023

Summer of Reflection Jolts Candidates Into Action

Steve Halsall

Red Tiger Consulting


Have you ever felt too comfortable in a role? Thoroughly bored in your job? Thinking you aren’t being stretched or challenged?

Red Tiger Talent have seen a rise in the number of inbound candidate conversations exploring career options in the last few weeks – suggesting that people have been thinking quite a lot during the summer months. Extended periods of leave (Summer, Easter, and Christmas in particular) are often moments to take stock, reflect and decide on what’s next. Common triggers to start looking at new roles include change of boss, company structure, threat of redundancy and excessive workload. But the most common reason in recent weeks has just been to have a fresh challenge.

Typical Characteristics of Candidates Looking for a Change

There are exceptions, but let me paint a picture of the typical characteristics of such inbound enquiries. They have usually been in their current roles for several years, and have deliberately resisted moving during or after the pandemic. They are often at the stage when their family is largely self-sufficient (kids are at least at high school age or have flown the nest) and they are getting close to paying the mortgage off.

These people are typically right in the middle of their career, are in relatively senior positions, with salaries to reflect their experience. They mostly desire a fresh challenge, fresh impetus, driven by a realisation that their current role and or company will not fulfill their career aspirations for the next 3 to 5 years. They are also open to exploring their transferable skills and strengths that they have gathered over the last 20-25 years of working.

There is sometimes a desire to move out of their current niche, that they have reached the peak of where they can get with their current career path, and perhaps move sideways into a similar, but different, role. For example, I have seen hardened location planners ‘pivot’ into wider roles such as customer insight, real estate. or data insights.

Supply Outstrips Demand

The challenge we have as a recruiter is that as previously reported, we don’t seem to have that many roles that meet the requirements and salary expectation of this cohort. The majority of our current live roles at Red Tiger Talent tend to be at the junior to mid-level analytical or management capability.

In my 20+ years of recruiting I have never seen such a significant opportunity to hire some pretty driven and skilled individuals who still have a lot to offer to potential employers. I do see it as a once in a working life opportunity to employ such talent as they are likely to be in their next role for a long time.

What do we do as recruiters when we have some very capable, very successful and very driven individuals who are seeking the next challenge, but we don’t currently have that next challenge? Here are some strategies I have adopted and will continue to adopt in support of this cohort:

1. Career Coaching

Drawing on my coaching experience I support people in understanding their main career/job motivators and explore what options they have in terms of next role. This usually starts with looking at what I call the ‘hygiene’ factors that they place around a role, which does differ from person to person. We dig deep into those things that are really important to them (type of work, type of company, type of role, remuneration, location, etc) and get them to rate where they currently are and where they would ideally like to be.

This provides a really nice platform with which to assess the gaps in where they want to be relative to their current role as well as provide a methodology with which to assess new opportunities as they arise. We may also explore their values, skills, and strengths to determine the types of roles and businesses they could be well suited for in the future.

We almost always provide advice around their personal marketing – specifically their CV and LinkedIn Profile. Please refer to our How To Guides for more information on how to optimise your CV and LinkedIn profile.

2. Selective Speculative Applications

For very select candidates I may consider using my extensive network of contacts to facilitate an introduction. At this level it has to be a pretty perfect fit, particularly if the target company is not actively seeking talent at this level. We work on the basis that if a conversation doesn’t happen then an appointment doesn’t happen.

You will see in the next few weeks a unique way of us putting candidates out into the market whilst being respectful of their identity and current role with our Matching service. Different times asks for different measures.

3. Leverage the Power of LinkedIn to Network Build

We at Red Tiger Talent provide advice on helping candidates expand their own network and use LinkedIn to research roles, organisations, and departments that they could potentially join. There may not be an immediate vacancy in these organisations, but if you can gain a better understanding and a better connection with people within those organisations (particularly those who are HR or hiring managers), then you could gain a first move advantage if they do decide to hire.

4. Keep an Eye on the Wider Market

Our ethos at Red Tiger Talent is a long-term investment in both clients and candidates. This is why we will always keep an eye out for other roles that might be suitable. We may not be working directly with the client for the role but it is part of our service in support of our candidates.

If you are someone who has been reflecting on where next in your career why not get in touch and have a chat. We guarantee that you will get value out of that 15-30 minute investment.

Book in a call with Steve or Book in a call with Paul

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Published by Steve Halsall

Steve is the founder of Red Tiger Consulting. He has worked in Location Planning for over 20 years – both on the consultancy side and client side. His passion is building successful teams that evolve their capability (skills, software and data) to meet the ever changing requirements of analysis. In his spare time he is mainly kept busy with his two children, falling in and out of love with Liverpool FC and at some point he wants to re-start his golfing ‘career’.


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