Over the course of 2013, MRINetwork has been reporting on the trends that its recruiters from approximately 500 worldwide offices see every day in the executive, managerial and professional job market. With the November unemployment numbers falling to the lowest rate in the last five years, and the New Year just around the corner, it’s important to take note of what we’ve learned in 2013 and provide competitive recruitment strategies for 2014 and beyond.

The most recent MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study revealed some important findings that will impact recruitment strategies through 2020:

  • Almost 80 percent of respondents defined the talent market for executives and professionals as candidate-driven, a 12-point year-over-year increase.
  • Top candidates, also known as ‘A’ players are being heavily courted. They are interviewing with multiple companies and have several offers to consider.
  • Rejected job offers are on the rise with 42 percent of candidates refusing job offers as a result of accepting an employment offer from another company. This is up from 33 percent in the first half of 2013.
  • Employers that use lengthy interviewing processes are increasingly losing their top picks to competitors.
  • Counteroffers remain a reality among top performers. Prospective employers should be prepared to offer an aggressive salary and benefits package that the current employer is not likely to beat.

2014 will include many new changes that will impact the job market including the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and modifications to current federal and state labor laws.

FFP January 2014The following are suggestions for remaining competitive in the hiring landscape over the next few years:

  1. Find ways to streamline the hiring process to avoid losing top picks. This will be one of the most important recruitment strategies employers can implement over the next few years. “Our sector has become largely candidate-driven and the expectation is that this will be a reality for the foreseeable future,” says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. “As the economy recovers, businesses that recognize the importance of hiring exceptional management candidates quickly will be better positioned to move their companies forward.”
  2. Consider what your interviewing process says about your company. With a shrinking talent pool and increased competition for top candidates, employers have to not only sell the company well, but also conduct an interviewing process that presents the company and its corporate culture in the best light possible.
  3. Incorporate employer branding into recruitment strategies to entice star talent. Companies should be reviewing, from the top down, the pros and cons of working for their organization to effectively market to top candidates.
  4. Strive to become an employer of choice. Retention of happy, top performers is the most critical strategy for companies to become employers of choice. This is where the status of being a choice employer begins – promotion of the company’s values through the ambassadorship of employees.
  5. Focus on candidates that are potential company leaders, not perfect fits with job descriptions. “The most successful companies realize that recruitment is not about finding candidates that perfectly match job descriptions,” adds Romaine. “It is about matching talent that has the experience, skills, maturity and cultural fit to impact the company and lead it into the future.”

Competition for top candidates is fierce given the candidate-driven market and shortage of qualified, highly-skilled talent in the executive, managerial and professional space. Employers that acknowledge this and develop recruitment strategies to address this reality will be equipped to compete for top performers that can lead their companies into the future.

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