Today’s Recruiting Economy: Where the Supply-Side Rules
There’s no question that, having long emerged from the Great Recession, our industry is now operating in a recruiting economy. There’s an important point that should go without saying but which some employers unfortunately fail to consider when they’re looking for new talent: operating in a recruiting economy necessarily means that talented, qualified candidates are the ones in control. And no, we’re not talking about candidates for President. We’re talking about those individuals who are best-equipped to take your organization to the next level, who have senior experience, and who are in higher demand than ever before in our industry. By and large, they’re the ones holding all the cards. Given this supply-side driven equation, employers will need to conform their recruiting strategies accordingly (and quickly) if they have any hope of maintaining the competitive edge in terms of talent acquisition.
How did we get here in the first place? How did this recruiting economy develop, and more specifically, how did it become so completely controlled by those individuals your company wants to recruit? It’s relatively simple. In short, supply of high quality talent isn’t keeping up with the market’s current demand for it. For a number of reasons, such as low unemployment and the uptick in the qualified labor shortage, there simply aren’t enough qualified, talented, and experienced individuals on the job market. So if employers want to hire qualified talent (which they all do!), they’ll most likely have to persuade an individual to leave a great job and company. As such, employers will have to learn to be competitive.
Importantly, employers must keep in mind that candidates are completely aware of the job market’s current conditions. They know that they hold all the cards, so many employers will find potential new hires asking for bigger salaries, better relocation treatment, competitive vacation packages, more flexibility in telecommuting, title changes, more responsibility, and innumerable other professional perks. And to some degree, employers will have to adjust in order to attract and retain the talent their organizations need. When attempting to recruit highly sought after talent from his or her current position, employers can’t expect much success by offering, for example, sub-par salaries or fewer weeks’ vacation than the individual is currently receiving. Candidates are much more likely to turn down new offers if they don’t feel that a potential employer is willing to invest heavily in them by offering them a “better deal.” Simply stated, candidates are wise to the fact that they can be bold in what they ask of their potential new employer because there are so few qualified candidates available.
The bottom line? Candidates are going to ask a lot of employers, and they will walk away from a job offer if the offer isn’t overly competitive. Employers have to understand the candidate-driven economy we are operating in and adjust appropriately. This means offering not only higher compensation and benefits, but bringing candidates into your organization with a path of upward mobility. Talented individuals aren’t merely looking to make more money or have longer vacations, however. They also want an opportunity to grow professionally, increase their responsibility, spend their time in an engaging and flexible work environment, and move up the professional ladder.
Gone are the days of hiring like we are “just coming out of the Recession.” This is a talented candidate’s world and if your company wants to hire any of them, you’ll need to partner with an organization like Schaffer Associates that knows what it takes to put employers back in control of the recruiting process. Call us today.
Schaffer Associates is an executive search firm specializing in talent acquisition for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As premier executive recruiters with expert focus on your industry, we help you HIRE SMART.