Despite a contracting labour market, many companies have been in growth mode throughout 2016, focusing on strategic hires to support their expansion.
While employers want to increase their headcounts, new data from the 2016 MRINetwork Recruiter & Employer Sentiment Study, indicates that within the executive, managerial and professional sector, hiring authorities are frequently making key hiring mistakes that are hampering not only their ability to hire, but also their employer brand.
The employment landscape survey, which polled 239 MRINetwork recruiters worldwide, and a focus group of 54 global employers, reveals that lengthy hiring practices and misconceptions about what motivates top candidates to make a job move are causing companies to lose out on high performers in an already tight talent market.
According to the Study, recruiters (86 percent) and employers (62 percent) feel the labour market is candidate-driven in their industry sectors. In this environment, candidates confidently reject undesirable job offers, with recruiters and employers listing “accepted another offer” as the primary reason for offer objections.
These offer rejections point to employers making two critical mistakes: (1) not streamlining hiring practices to avoid losing the best candidates to another offer and (2) not fully understanding the target candidates’ most important priorities, thereby losing those candidates to more competitive offers.
Companies are frustrated with the lack of suitable talent, and 50 percent listed this is as their #1 challenge to hiring. While the skills shortage is real, recruiters complain that companies take too long to hire, even when they do meet ideal candidates.
Employers are now extending offers between 3-6 weeks from the candidate’s first interview, a shift from 1-4 weeks that was observed in the second half of 2015.
Understanding what is attractive to job seekers is another area where companies are missing the mark. Compensation was the top pick among employers, while recruiters selected advancement opportunities most often.
While compensation is important to candidates, recruiters say immediate and long-term advancement opportunities are what drive talent to join a new company, since improved compensation is implied with upward mobility.
High performers are not just looking for evidence of current employees who advanced within the company; they also want to see that upward mobility is part of an organization’s culture.
Companies can demonstrate that upward mobility is a part of their culture by implementing career pathing – a process by which managers and their direct reports map out a long-term plan for the employee’s incremental progression to new roles in the company.
This can be an effective strategy to engage and retain top performers, empowering them to drive their own careers.
As the hiring process lengthens, rejected job offers continue to rise, and companies are losing shortlisted candidates who decide to join other organizations. Over time this relationship between the time to hire and the availability of skilled candidates is not only holding managers back but also creating potentially long-term challenges with the employer brand.
Interestingly enough, companies that participated in the study, indicated that employee engagement and employer branding were among their top priorities, in support of key strategic hires.
Additional highlights and conclusions from the MRINetwork survey are:
While the study results demonstrate that the labour market is highly favourable towards top performers in the executive, managerial and professional space, recruitment and retention will continue to remain a challenge for overall hiring as the job market expands.
Companies that want to attract and retain the best talent will need to revisit their interviewing and talent management approaches, to create a strong employer brand.
As companies prioritize key strategic hires, blended workforces that include permanent hires and highly-skilled contract employees are becoming more common. Direct-hire employees are no longer the only option for filling strategic roles.
The 2016 MRINetwork Recruiter & Employer Sentiment Study was created from a web-based survey, conducted between May 3 -17, 2016, with a total of 239 recruiters responding. A focus group of 54 human resources professionals and hiring managers additionally provided insight.