MANAGEMENT RECRUITERS OF Vancouver, LLC
December 2010 Volume IV Issue 12
Top Candidates Are Moving, but Employers Fear They Won’t Find Them
Increasingly, hiring managers are finding themselves in a strange quandary, feeling like the drowning man dying of thirst. Headlines every day are shouting of high unemployment, long lines at work centers, and avalanches of resumes after every job posting. Yet, finding top candidates remains as hard as ever.
In a recent survey conducted by several MRINetwork offices, three out of four respondents said they were still having a hard time finding the right candidates. One hiring manager said, “We have too many positions open and not enough support to fill all of them in a timely manner.”
Another manager, looking further in the future noted, “Lots of retirements are coming up, and not a lot of people are ready. When the economy recovers, many employees will retire, but there’s a small pool of leadership talent available – we have a dilemma coming up.”
Despite the efforts to fill vacancies, managers note that they are looking beyond just filling empty seats. Less than five percent of respondents said they are only focusing their hiring on replacement candidates.
“This is a time in the economic cycle when employers are able to really pick up the type of impact players who will drive their organization,” says Jack Downing, managing partner of WorldBridge Partners - Chicago, an MRINetwork affiliate. “Companies are taking this opportunity to top grade their talent, and just generally increase the capabilities in their companies even if positions aren’t open.”
The portability of candidates, though, is a double-edged sword and managers are frightfully aware of it. Before the recession, it is estimated that 30 percent of top talent were looking for new opportunities, today as much as 70 percent are.
“It is difficult for us to achieve the goals we have set for our company without talented people in place,” said one manager.
According to the Labor Department, the quit rate, the ratio of people who voluntarily leave their job in any given month compared to the total U.S. workforce, has been steadily increasing since bottoming out late last year. As it grows, it indicates both the willingness and ability of employees to change jobs.
One method respondents cited to save their best employees, strange as it may sound, is to hire someone else. Even with raises, bonuses, and promotions, overloaded employees become frustrated, eroding the corporate culture and leading to inevitable departures. Bringing in new talent early to ease that burden can raise morale and help retain the top talent that already exists.
As one respondent put it, “Without the right people in place, we spend a lot of time training, teaching, coaching, disciplining, hiring, and terminating. The right people make most of that go away, as well as increasing employee engagement and improving culture because the people fit well together.”
“It’s no real surprise that 99 percent of companies list talent acquisition as one of their top five priorities,” notes Downing. “What is surprising is how many holes employers see in their hiring processes, yet leave them unfilled.”
Only 10 percent of respondents believed they have outstanding talent acquisition processes in place. “We should have a more dedicated effort toward recruitment and keep on track,” says one manager. “We lose people in the process.”
Notable International Events
• Ireland became the second EU member country to receive a bailout during the recession, accepting €85 billion. While the country agreed to steep austerity measures, Ireland was able to keep its competitive 12.5 percent corporate tax rate, which has been credited for much of the country’s success in attracting new businesses.
• A month after the Reserve Bank of Australia began raising interest rates, the country seems to have slipped into negative GDP growth with sharp decreases seen in profits for construction and financial services-based companies, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.