It’s a Candidate-Driven Market That is Only Getting More Competitive

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Jul 9, 2015
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Perm and temp placements will continue strong through the end of the year and may even increase, as more companies are reporting plans to add headcount.

Forecasts from CareerBuilder and Manpower show more employers plan to add staff — permanent, full-time, temp and contract — by the end of the year than was the case last year or even at the beginning of 2015. The Palmer Forecast calls for a nearly 5% increase in temp hiring through the end of September.

The bad news for agency recruiters is that placing candidates is only going to get harder.

MRI Network’s latest Recruiter Sentiment Study leaves no doubt who recruiters think is driving the market. It’s the candidates.

In just three years, the percentage of MRI’s recruiters saying it’s a candidate-driven market shot up from 56% in 2012 to 90% today.

Employers though, are still not getting the message, the surveyed recruiters say. While 63% of offers are now being made within four  weeks of the first interview (up from 59% at the end of 2014), almost half of MRI’s recruiters say the biggest obstacle to making the placement are offers that are too low.

When a candidate turns down an offer, 25% of the time it’s because of money and benefits. And even with speedier offers, 37% of turndowns are because the candidate has accepted another job.

The hiring forecasts for the current quarter and through the end of the year make a strong case the employment market will become more competitive.

CB 2015 midyear forecastThe CareerBuilder mid-year forecast out this morning says 34% of the employers it surveyed expect to add temporary or contract workers by the end of the year. Almost half — 49% — say they plan to add full-time, permanent workers. In both cases, the percentages are ahead of last year’s mid-year outlook. And the percentage of employers planning to add permanent, full-timers is well ahead of the 36% who planned to add staff at the beginning of this year.

Last quarter, CareerBuilder’s survey predicted 32% of employers would add staff by the end of June. The latest survey shows 39% actually did.

Manpower’s Employment Survey for Q3 found 24% of employers planning to add staff. That’s the highest quarterly percentage since the recession, and two points higher than last year. When adjusted for seasonal variations, Manpower says third quarter hiring will look a lot like the just ended second quarter.

The Palmer Forecast for the third quarter forecasts a 4.9% increase over last year in demand for temp workers. The forecast released yesterday says temp growth increased 5.6% last quarter over the same quarter in 2014. Since the beginning of the year, temp agencies have upped their hiring by an average of 8,600 workers monthly.

The increasing pace of hiring can be clearly seen in The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index. It now stands at 129.11, the highest reading in almost 15 years.

“The growth in the Employment Trends Index accelerated in Q2, suggesting strong job growth through the summer,” said Gad Levanon, Managing Director of Macroeconomic and Labor Market Research at The Conference Board. “The combination of solid job growth and nearly flat labor force growth should lower the unemployment rate to 5 percent by year end.”

His comments were echoed by CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson who said the survey of hiring managers and HR managers shows, “There’s a favorable dynamic happening in the labor market today. Companies are feeling more financially secure and increasing their headcount.”

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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