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The Need for Speed: Hiring in a Candidate-Driven Economy

The Need for Speed: Hiring in a Candidate-Driven Economy

It was true for 2017, and it remains true for 2018. We’re operating in a candidate-driven hiring economy. Indeed, while many factors are contributing to the strength of our current economy, the primary driver is the strength of the job market.  Even as more people enter the workforce, the economy continues to foster what we call a candidate-driven economy, or a “job-seeker’s market,” in which there are many more open positions than there are qualified workers to fill them.  As such, individuals looking for new employment opportunities continue to have more options available to them than at any point in recent memory.

While this phenomenon continues to be good news for the economy, it presents a challenge for employers looking to fill the many open jobs that exist within our industry.  In a job-seeker’s market, things happen quickly, and the best candidates aren’t available for very long due to the plethora of open positions.  New employment opportunities materialize constantly, and talented job-seekers move rapidly to fill them.  So how do organizations move quickly enough to target those talented candidates?  What steps should your company take to keep pace with the speed at which the job-seeker’s market is moving?

The answer is multi-faceted.  For instance, we’ve encouraged employers to ensure that their compensation packages are competitive and to anticipate counter-offers.  It’s also crucial that employers consider what other employee benefits individuals may be seeking, such as the ability to work remotely, student loan repayment plans, flex scheduling, etc. In such a rapidly-moving job market, however, often the most important skill an employer should possess is a very basic one:  speed.  While being careful not to sacrifice quality in the decision-making process, companies should be prepared to make quick decisions when they are recruiting talented individuals to fill open positions.  All too often, employers are far too hesitant to act when necessary at various stages of the recruiting process.  In this job market, hesitancy almost always results in a loss of the most qualified candidates.

Acting with speed is important in every aspect of the recruiting process, from establishing candidate qualifications to evaluating the target candidates to negotiating and finalizing a job offer.  For senior-level positions, employers should assume that the most talented individuals are usually being approached by several different organizations simultaneously.  Therefore, the ability to make decisions with agility and eliminate the temptation to over-think senior-level hires is critical.  This is especially true in the final recruiting stages, when the most risk comes into play.  When an employer has identified their preferred candidate, they MUST act quickly to extend a competitive offer, prepare to move fast when responding to counter-offers, and use rapid precision to lock in an agreement with their candidate of choice.  Rest assured, the competition is doing it, so you’d be better be prepared to do the same thing.

Moving at the same speed as the job-seeker’s market can be a very tough assignment for many companies.  So it’s important to partner with professionals who know how to move just as fast – and faster – than the current job market.  Here at Schaffer Associates, we know how to put your company in the lead in the race to find the most sought-after candidates.  We’ll keep the process moving forward in a way that ensures your competitive advantage in a fast-moving market.  Call us today – we’ll not only help you Hire Smart, we’ll help you hire fast!

 Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Schaffer Associates is a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future.