5 Ways to Adapt to the Candidate-Driven Market


There has been a shift in the jobs market since the beginning of 2014, and it is time to get to the root of the change. While talent acquisition throughout the recession years had been controlled entirely by hiring managers’ abilities to be selective in their processes; that may no longer be the case. With the surge in hiring throughout 2014 and into the early quarters of 2015, companies are signaling that they need talent—and candidates know it.

The employer-driven market has become the candidate-driven market. Over the past few years, waves of hiring surges have brought competition back into the hiring process. During the next decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 15.6 million jobs will be added to the U.S. market. This spike in hiring will open new positions and allow current employees to seek out opportunities that weren’t there during the down years of the recession.

While competition heats up for talent, workers have shown a willingness to leave their current positions for opportunities that offer better salary, benefits, and more options for advancement. This is in stark contrast to the employer-driven years of long interview processes with large candidate pools. Now, rather than waiting for weeks, candidates have the option to find better, more competitive offers at organizations that are not undervaluing their skillsets and that are willing to pay market-value.

According to the MRINetwork’s Recruiter Sentiment Study, 31% of recruiters said that candidates rejected offers based on better opportunities elsewhere, while hiring managers were deliberating.

Companies need to realize that they are no longer buyers, but sellers—sellers of their companies and their brands.

How to Attract Candidates

Talent acquisition professionals need to reconfigure their established processes in order to accommodate the new transition in the job market. By routinely assessing and retooling hiring processes to account for the differences in sourcing passive and poised job seekers, organizations can assure that processes remain current and—more importantly—effective.

The Processes

Shift your processes from an active focus, to a job seeker perspective. The tools that allowed employers to recruit active seekers are not going to be as effective in the candidate-driven market. Convincing talent to join your organization is about selling your company as better than the competition.

Hiring managers can also explore engaging strategic partnerships with RPO providers who specialize in recruiting top talent.

Work Opportunity

Aligning the type of work a candidate or an employee wants to pursue is integral to talent attraction. If the required work offers limited opportunity for growth, or feels meaningless and unimportant, employees feel disconnected. By fostering an environment of empowerment and growth, candidates and employees will enjoy their work, and want to work for you.

The Culture

Candidates no longer seek jobs primarily based on pay, but on the company’s culture and reputation.  All companies have a “culture,” and candidates are attuned to researching individual companies to determine the right fit. Most candidates can look at your web and social pages to gauge the personality and overall work/life experience that they will experience if they accept a position.

Salary and Benefits

Let’s face it; the prime motivator for a candidate to take a job is the monetary compensation offered. However, candidates are also beginning to look at the amount of benefits they would receive with the offer, with particular attention to paid time off, holidays, and health benefits. If these aspects aren’t aligned with their needs, they have good reason to walk away.

In Closing

As power shifts from employers to job seekers in recruitment, it is imperative that organizations adapt new recruiting strategies to lure top talent. Companies that display the best culture, along with competitive salary and benefits packages will be able to lure quality to their organizations. If the numbers are any indicator, it will be the hiring managers who adapt that will yield dividends, while those who remain in the recession mindset will be left to play catch up.