As a recruiter, I get a front-row seat to the hiring market. This allows me to gain perspective from both candidates and the hiring companies. Undoubtedly, the landscape has changed. It has been interesting to watch the dynamics between companies and candidates unfold. In recent years, we have discussed that we were experiencing a “candidate-driven market,” but from my viewpoint, that phrase now has a new meaning. Candidates are in the driver’s seat, and here are five trends that are making hiring difficult.
I think every hiring manager and human resource professional can remember looking through resumes in the not-so-distant past and seeing applicants with multiple positions in their work history and only one or two years with each employer. Switching from employer to employer is a strategy often attributed to Millennials looking to gain experience and lucrative opportunities. This strategy was commonly known as job-hopping, but not any longer! Older Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are bucking past trends, including postponing marriage, homeownership, and family and diving into all three with gusto. With newfound responsibility – priorities change. This paradigm shift has propelled job security as a top priority. Thus, many of these candidates are reluctant to change, especially if they are happy with their current employer.
No desire to relocate
The past year and a half have been interesting, to say the least. For the first half of 2020, hiring pretty much screeched to a halt as employers and candidates alike tried to understand and navigate the new landscape of the job market. By the second half of the year, people were starting to figure it out. Maybe not seeing the value in the past, companies quickly embraced virtual interviewing, and candidates happily jumped in with them. With interviewing back in full swing and opportunities flowing, one thing stands out: relocation has become a challenge for many organizations. Candidates are digging in their heels and are not wanting to relocate. They have a house, kids in school, and spouses with their own careers; it is a long list, and each factor ties into job security.
While for many, security is the priority, there is still a substantial population of candidates looking for perceived prestige and respect in the form of a title. Companies got smart a long time ago and realized that they just need to provide title upgrades to keep good employees. A managerial title often overrode the lust for more money. This tradeoff has backfired a bit. The title “Manager” has become diluted to the employer, but not the employee. These candidates are now wanting to advance in their careers and are very selective about the type of opportunity they will pursue. They do not want to make a lateral move. With so many positions including the word “Manager” out there, getting to the next level is a waiting game. As a result, it has become challenging for employers looking to hire lower-level leadership.
“Show me the money!” was a statement made famous in the movie Jerry Maguire. This statement is true today with candidates. I am seeing a big disconnect between companies and candidates when it comes to money. Some large organizations realized earlier that along with a job title – money can keep employees happy, and with security so crucial for many, it has worked. They don’t call them the “Golden Handcuffs” for nothing. This appetite for larger salaries has caused a disconnect in the market. Smaller organizations who deal in commodities with lower or fluctuating value have a hard time competing for top talent. I am finding that the candidate they want would have to make a lateral financial move to take the position. Throw relocation into the mix, and it is a recipe that falls flat for employers.
You found that candidate who is in the money and willing to relocate! Congratulations! You get them into the interviewing process. However, due to calendar delays with the hiring team, it has been a month and a half since the candidate first applied. Talent who is willing to relocate, take a lateral move, or miraculously are in your salary range is no longer on the market long. It is almost a guarantee that they have multiple companies vying for them. In today’s market, companies are hurting themselves with long interviewing processes.
There is a fine line between companies taking time to ensure that a candidate is the right fit and acting quickly enough to get them on your team (and off the market). All it takes is one day for that perfect candidate to accept another offer. Companies with an inefficient hiring process will have a tough time filling their positions.
Need help overcoming these hiring trends?
With so many hurdles to overcome, consulting a staffing firm, such as Johnson Search Group, is a smart move. With over 35 years of experience, our team has become trusted partners. We help organizations across North America find those perfect candidates in today’s competitive market. So, give us a call, and let us go to work for you!