Hiring Managers

Facing the Sobering Truth of a Candidate-Driven Market


While corporate recruiters and third-party recruiters like KLA are quite different, and often compete against each other, we do have some things in common. For the most part, those things are the problems we face in recruiting. The leading organization for third-party recruiters in the US, Top Echelon, recently compiled feedback from a survey of over 1,000 independent recruiters and the findings and conclusions are quite interesting.

The number one complaint that third-party recruiters hear from their clients is that there are not enough qualified candidates to pick from. The number one complaint that independent recruiters have with their clients is that their expectations are unrealistic. A closer look at the second, third, and fourth complaints that each has with the other reveals that they’re all just subsets of those major issues. For example, companies complain that candidates have unrealistic salary expectations, and recruiters complain that companies expect candidates to make a move with very little increase.

All of these are effects of the same underlying cause: We are in the greatest candidate-driven market anyone can remember. We have been since around 2014 but it has ramped up significantly in the last year or two. That is why companies are not seeing enough qualified candidates in their ‘price range’. Raises were paltry beginning with the recession and for many years after, but markets have a way of correcting, and if you do not accept this reality and find a way to get out in front of it, you’ll be run over.

Offers are being turned down because companies take too long to make them, or they simply do not offer enough incentive to make a change. Incentive includes money but also many other things like culture and opportunity to make a significant contribution. Likewise, counter offers are being made and accepted in higher numbers than anyone in the industry can remember. It’s simply the reality of a candidate-driven market; good for the top talent open to new opportunities, a challenge for companies who cannot see it for what it is.

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