We are in a raging candidates’ market right now.
That much should be evident. It’s certainly evident to recruiters who are working in this market. However, is it evident to employers? And if it is evident, to what extent is it evident?
Let’s face it: client education is a problem for recruiters during every good economy and every candidates’ market. Most of the time, the reason is that hiring managers and company officials can’t make the proper mental shift.
What is that mental shift? Well, if you had to sum it up to a hiring manager in a short, concise, and rather blunt fashion, you would whisper the following gently into their ear:
“What top candidates want right now is more important than what you want.”
Pretty harsh, right? Who wants to hear something like that? I certainly don’t. I imagine you don’t, either. But what if that was the reality of the situation and knowing that reality made your life better in the long run? Wouldn’t you want to hear it then?
Maybe. But I still wouldn’t count on it.
The statistics hampering effective hiring
Herein lies the dilemma in which many recruiters find themselves. After all, consider the following statistics, which you’ve probably seen or read about during the past several weeks and months:
- Earlier this year, there were a record number of job openings in the United States (6.7 million).
- In early June, it was reported that there are more job openings in the country than there are unemployed people to fill them.
- A record number of people quit their job in May (3.56 million).
The “Understatement of the Year” is that top talent is scarce. However, there are still some hiring managers who believe that candidates have more to prove to them than they have to prove to candidates. This is a mistake. At the very least, hiring managers have as much to prove to top candidates as those candidates have to prove to hiring managers.
In other words, you can NOT have a “take it or leave it” attitude with top candidates in this market. They will leave it. And another organization will offer what they want. And then those candidates will take that instead.
Basically, it’s the difference between “being in the driver’s seat” and not “being in the driver’s seat.” Everybody wants to be “in the driver’s seat,” but not everybody can be. So when hiring managers are not in that seat, they do not like it. (And I certainly don’t blame them.)
And when you do not like something, you do not fully embrace it. In fact, you sometimes do quite the opposite: you deny it. You deny the reality of the situation because you want reality to reflect what you want it to be.
It’s not easy to admit that what somebody else wants is more important than what you want—even if it’s just at the professional level and not the personal level.
The legacy of the Great Recession
During the Great Recession, hiring managers were “in the driver’s seat.” And that was if their organization was hiring at all. If they did have a position to fill, they were used to what they wanted being more important than what the candidates who were applying for the position wanted.
The Great Recession started 10 years ago. It might as well have been 100 years ago.
If employers want to hire effectively in this market, then hiring managers must admit the reality of their current situation. They are not “in the driver’s seat.” As a general rule, what top candidates want is more important than what they want or their organization wants.
Hiring managers have to accept this reality, and they must also embrace it and make peace with it. It is a crucial mental shift that’s necessary for not only candidate sourcing, but also for engaging the top talent available in this current candidates’ market and recruiting that talent.
That is how effective hiring is done.