Tips for hiring in a candidate-driven market

As companies look to hire executive-level talent, many candidates they attempt to recruit have multiple opportunities in their pipeline.

“It’s extremely competitive,” says Sandy Darnell, Senior Vice President at Action Management Services. “They’re getting multiple calls, so companies whose process is too slow or too selective tend to lose out.”

In this market, it’s important for hiring companies to focus, have the right process, be flexible and keep it moving forward so that they can be the one to get the top candidate on their team. But with so much else on HR’s plates, that can be tough to accomplish without help.

Smart Business spoke with Darnell about today’s candidate-driven market and how it affects companies’ focus throughout the recruiting process.

How would you characterize today’s hiring experience?

Executive candidates are constantly being contacted about open positions, so they have a lot of opportunities. Because of this, some of the best candidates are asking for considerations such as hybrid or remote work arrangements and higher levels of compensation.

For their part, companies looking for executive-level talent are trying to fill these positions on their own but can have trouble finding the right talent. This market requires that companies connect directly with candidates as just posting a job ad and waiting for candidates to apply isn’t likely to get them the results they want.

Today, it’s necessary to have a clear recruiting process as time kills all deals. With candidates in such demand, it’s critical to get back to them in a timely manner about each step — from the initial interview to testing and final selection. That can be difficult for companies without someone dedicated to recruiting.

How does the hiring process affect outcomes?

Good candidates can be lost when the hiring company doesn’t communicate effectively, whether that’s internally to those involved in hiring or externally to keep candidates apprised. Success requires a clearly defined process and consistent communication to candidates so they know where they stand.

In this market, companies also need to be more flexible. Hiring companies should define the absolute must-haves for the position they’re trying to fill as well as ‘like to haves,’ and be willing to negotiate the latter. That could mean a willingness to provide additional perks or benefits, especially when the salary can’t be increased to meet the candidate’s counter. Companies could also consider offering a sign-on bonus or the potential for bonus increases. Companies willing to find creative ways to entice candidates are more likely to find success in this market. But those that are inflexible are finding their positions are more challenging to fill.

How can companies hire more effectively in this market?

HR staff are busy and smaller companies may not have a dedicated talent acquisition team, so it’s often difficult for them to dedicate the time needed in this environment to pursue top candidates. That’s when working with a recruiter often makes sense. Recruiters will do the research, outreach and screening, and then connect the company with the most qualified candidates for interviews.

HR staff can spend a great deal of their time going through resumes from multiple job boards and then trying to connect with the candidates only to find they aren’t available or aren’t the right fit. That can tie up internal resources. Instead, recruiters can work with a company to provide select candidates with the qualifications they’re looking for. But to do that, it’s critical for the companies to communicate effectively with their recruiter from day one on everything that they’re looking for and everything they have to offer. They should also provide feedback each time they interview a candidate so tweaks can be made where needed.

Recruiters, in this environment, are proving to be helpful because they’re able to take a very targeted, direct approach, pursuing many candidates to get the right talent in front of the company. For companies that don’t have the resources available to dedicate someone to calling hundreds of people to fill one position, recruiters can provide a critical service at a time when companies need it the most. ●

INSIGHTS Recruiting is brought to you by Action Management Services

Sandy Darnell

Senior Vice President

216.642.8777, ext. 214

Connect On Social Media
For more on how recruiters can help your talent search in this tight market,