Recruiter Survey: Candidates Are Driving the Job Market

Who's driving the market MRI 2014It’s a job seekers’ market, but hiring managers haven’t yet fully adjusted to the change, with 40% of them taking almost a month to make an offer, only to find out in many cases that their candidate is turning them down.

Better than 8 in 10 of the MRINetwork recruiters participating in the semi-annual MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study said today’s employment market is candidate-driven, a 25 point jump from the 2012 study. That means the professional, executive and managerial candidates who are the majority of those recruited by MRI franchise offices can be  more demanding when it comes to the nature of the work they want, the companies they’re willing to work for, and the compensation and benefits they’ll accept.

In the MRI survey last fall, recruiters said 42% of their candidates who got an offer turned it down. In the current survey, recruiters reported that in almost a third (31%) of the turndowns, the reason is another offer. In yet another sign of the changing nature of the market, 26% said the candidates are rejecting offers because the comp and benefits aren’t what they expected. And current employers are fighting to hang on to top talent; 16% of the candidates accept counteroffers.

According to the survey, one recruiter, commenting on the hiring situation, said, “Candidates have more options than they have had in years. Yet clients still want to give low-ball offers.” Another noted, “Some clients are still not adjusting to this market change, and as a result are dragging the process along and losing good candidates.”

Who's driving the market MRI 2014A few surveys back, recruiters were far more balanced in who they thought was driving the market. In the 2011 survey 54% of the respondents saw a candidate-driven labor market vs. 46% who saw it the other way.

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Now, with the economy adding jobs at a pace unseen since before the recession, and an unemployment rate for the college-educated at 3.3%, there’s little doubt about the nature of the market. What’s more, the evidence is that the hiring environment is only going to continue to get more challenging for many types of professional and mid- to senior-level positions.

A recent CareerBuilder forecast predicted that nearly half of all companies would be adding headcount during the second half of this year. The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index likewise points to strong hiring. Now, 47% of MRI’s recruiters in the survey, say newly created positions are the primary reason for the job orders they have coming in.

Second to that are vacancies caused by resignations, prompting MRI to conclude, “Employment continues to accelerate and candidates are more willing to change jobs as a result of growing confidence in the job market. Employee fears regarding changing employers during the recession have subsided.”

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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