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A Candidate Marketplace

While the stock market has seen a couple of bad months and it appears that economic growth has taken a (short) break, one thing has not changed . . . . . there is a very tight labor market. Actually, it seems to have gotten tighter. 


The popular statistic floated around for years is that 10,000 baby-boomers will retire each day until 2030. (The math puts it closer to 11,000.) With the delayering trend that started in the 1970’s and 1980’s, development of leaders with a breadth of experience has waned. While not purposeful, succession plans have not been fully developed – even in large companies. 

Fewer Candidates With More Options

As a retained search firm, our work is always exclusive. When we reach out to a candidate, we know that no one else is working on the opening. We commonly hear, however, that we are the third ‘similar’ call the candidate has received in the past few weeks. Candidates have choices including staying in place. While engagement scores are not overwhelmingly positive, they are much improved in recent years. Companies are recognizing the importance of retaining their key staff. 

The Message

The message for hiring is complex. 

  • Rule #1:  Never settle for an ‘okay’ candidate. Finding the right person is still mission critical for each position.
  • Rule #2:  When you see what you want, make the decision to pursue the person. If a candidate is talking with us as a search firm (and you as the prospective employer), they will take the next call as well. Waiting weeks to make a decision is no longer an option.  As we are known to say, “calendars kill candidates.”
  • Rule #3:  Do not be afraid to hire ahead of need. If you have multiple similar openings, consider talent-scouting, assuring you have a consistent presence in the marketplace. Don’t wait for turnover or the approval of an additional headcount. Make the move when talent is presented. 

The Conclusion

2019 (and for the next few years), even in times of economic uncertainty, will be the year of the candidate. 

More on how to attract candidates later – and it’s not about recruiting technology!