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US - Survey: Executive, managerial talent market increasingly candidate-driven

September 24 2013

The hiring of executive and managerial talent is largely candidate-driven, forcing companies to simplify their hiring processes to extend job offers to top talent faster, according to the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study of 170 MRINetwork recruiters. The twice-a-year recruitment practices survey found that 79 percent of respondents defined the talent market for the professional sector as candidate-driven, a 12-point year-over-year increase. Only 21 percent said the market is employer-driven.

“While many previously may have thought that the recession presented an employer-driven job market, companies are steadily recognizing that lengthy hiring practices can cause them to lose the best candidates,” said Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. “It is becoming increasingly clear that companies are better equipped to grow their businesses when they act quickly on exceptional talent.”

Additional conclusions from the MRINetwork survey include: 

  • Top candidates, also known as "A" players, are being heavily courted. They are interviewing with multiple companies and have several offers to consider.
  • 49 percent of candidates refused job offers as a result of accepting an offer with another company, up 16 percent from the first half of 2013. 
  • Job openings are primarily a result of newly created positions, pointing to a growing number of employers that want to expand their companies.
  • The second most common reason for job openings is resignations, demonstrating that qualified candidates are being recruited out of existing roles and into new companies.
  • Counteroffers remain a reality among top performers. Prospective employers should be prepared to offer a salary and benefits package that the current employer is not likely to beat.
  • Vacancies from retirements continue to lag at 3 percent, down 2 percent from the first half of the year.
  • The percentage of recruiters that said employers are not hiring despite rebounding sales decreased to 27 percent — a 6 percent drop from 33 percent in 2012. These hiring delays were largely due to hiring managers being unable to get authorization to fill vacancies. This is encouraging news because it shows an upward trend towards companies removing the “authorization” barrier in the hiring process.
  • Working more efficiently with less staff is becoming less and less of a viable reason to delay hiring. Only 16 percent of recruiters — down two points from 2012 — say that staffing levels have not recovered to pre-recession numbers, because efficiencies found during the recession have allowed companies to do the same with fewer staff.


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G. J. Johnson09/28/2013 12:03 pm

If candidates drive the process, does that mean the candidates will be treated with more regard? Too often I heard people comment that they withdrew their candidacy because of the laissez faire attitude of the hiring managers. A simple call, postcard, letter or something to let the candidate know they are valued would help. But when a hiring manager says "If you don't hear from me it means the position was no longer available" the applicant/candidate has no reason to feel they are more than a speck on a page. Rude, impolite and unprofessional.

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