The Power Has Shifted to the Candidate, So Current Recruiting Practices Will Stop Working

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By John Sullivan

If you are frustrated because your recruiting approaches are no longer producing great results, you will be happy to know that there is a logical reason behind it. I estimate that 90 percent of recruiting leaders and hiring managers have yet to realize that the power in the recruiting relationship, which for years has favored employers, has shifted over to the jobseekers.

The technical term for this change is a shift from an employer-driven market to a candidate-driven market. And The Recruiter Sentiment Survey by the MRINetwork has revealed that 83 percent of the surveyed recruiters have realized that the power has now shifted to the candidate.

Knowing the reasons for shift is less important for recruiting leaders and hiring managers than recognizing that when jobseekers hold the power in the relationship, your current array of recruiting tools and approaches will literally stop working.

Another interesting phenomenon happens after the power shifts.

That phenomena is that your firm’s hiring managers will begin a seemingly endless round of complaints about how candidates have “an attitude” and how there is a shortage of talent or a skills shortage. If you’ve already heard those complaints at your organization, realize that there are actually more available candidates today. But those quality candidates are now acting differently (i.e. poorly in the eyes of hiring managers) because they have already realized that the power equation has shifted in their favor. As a result, these candidates will no longer tolerate weak employer brands, painfully slow application processes, death by interview, and a distasteful candidate experience.

You can complain all you want about the shift in power, but individual firms simply can’t change the power relationship. The only thing you can do is to radically change your recruiting strategies, tools ,and approaches, so that they now better fit the new level of power that candidates now hold.

Now that the power shifted, candidates who only a short time ago would easily tolerate slow hiring, no feedback and hiring manager arrogance will simply now drop out of the hiring process or gladly accept an offer from another firm.


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