As a professional recruiter, people ask me all the time how the job market is. We constantly hear things like tight, flat, robust, competitive, etc., but make no mistake, there’s a war for talent going on that requires much more than a single word can convey.
Today’s job market, in my humble opinion, can be summed up in three parts; It’s competitive; there are choices, and truth can be relative and elusive.
In today’s world, without competitive advantage, it’s difficult to thrive in any business. Therefore, employers are looking for special leaders who can provide a needed spark that will give them that competitive advantage. And, at the same time, leaders are looking for special companies that are thriving and where they can have an impact.
Both have become VERY selective to the point that it’s becoming even more challenging to make a match. I’ve seen this play out in my search practice several times since the 2009 downturn and it’s requiring us to search, almost literally, for that needle in the haystack.
In the short to mid-term, employers need to keep in mind it’s a candidate market right now…so plan accordingly.
Now that we’re seeing a recovery in the jobless rate in the U.S. and with so many companies also recovering from the recession, albeit modestly, both sides now have choices. And since the talent pool for many industries is finite, the pendulum seems to have swung further toward the employee rather than the employer.
In other words, employers are having to work much harder to attract the right talent at the mid-to-upper level management ranks because those individuals are now well employed, in demand and THEY KNOW IT… they have choices and companies have to be creative to attract them.
And since the economic situation is still tenuous at best, most companies are doing more with less and budgets are tight. Therefore, employers have to figure out non-monetary ways to be creative and make their organization more attractive than their competition.
Truth Can Be Relative and Elusive
It troubles me to talk about this but it’s apparently become a new reality in our culture that recruiters and employers will have to deal with. Some candidates have become so desperate or simply lack the moral integrity that telling a lie to get ahead has become a more common practice.
This ethical relativism or what is defined as “right or wrong” has crept into our culture and has become the norm as research shows the percentage of people who lie on resumes now exceeds 50%. It’s such an unfortunate reality that seems to be getting worse.
We’ve recently had two scenarios where potential candidates for fairly senior level positions falsified their credentials. Thankfully we had background checks conducted using our good friends at Validity Screening that sniffed this out before the candidates were brought on board to our client.
But the point I’m trying to make to employers is beware. I’ve only had two of these in 10 years, but both happened in the last 12 months so the trend appears to be worsening.
Of course, there are other factors involved when it comes to attracting quality talent, but these have been front and center in my practice.
I’m curious to know what you’ve been seeing. Leave a comment and let us know!