Job Market is Overwhelmingly Candidate-Driven for Executives and Management Professionals as Revealed in Latest Survey of MRINetwork Recruiters

(Philadelphia, PA ) – New statistics from the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study, a twice-a-year recruitment practices survey, reveal 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. The survey, which polled 170 MRINetwork recruiters on recent 2013 hiring trends, found that 79 percent of respondents defined the talent market for the professional sector as candidate-driven – a 12-point year-over-year increase.

Companies are realizing that to remain viable and competitive, they have to recruit the best candidates quickly before other job offers are extended. Surveyed recruiters report that almost half (43 percent) of candidates were hired through recruiter-assisted placements, typically after three interviews or less, while 55 percent of offers were presented within four weeks of the first interview. While these statistics represent a small increase (with offers being presented to 55 percent of applicants vs. 50 percent from the 2nd half of 2012), it is clear that hiring decisions remain candidate-driven.

“Second quarter data reports the U.S. GDP increased by 2.5 percent in 2013, ahead of earlier projections for 1.5 percent growth by year’s end, demonstrating a slow but consistent growth trend. Employers who want to remain viable and competitive are hiring to keep their businesses moving forward. 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,” says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. “It is becoming increasing 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 1st 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 three percent, down two percent from the 1st 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.

According to Romaine, “There is a growing trend of employers recognizing the unemployment numbers do not reflect what is happening in the executive, professional and managerial arena. This sector has become largely candidate-driven and the expectation is that this will be a reality for the next 10 years. Companies that are aware of this trend are taking measures to become more proactive in reducing lengthy hiring practices that can cause them to lose quality talent. As the economy recovers, businesses that recognize the importance of hiring exceptional management candidates quickly will be better positioned to move their companies forward.”

About the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study: The MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study is based on a survey conducted between June 19 and July 1, 2013 via a web-based survey with a total of 170 recruiters responding. The survey has a 6.1 percent margin of error with a 90 percent confidence.

The survey was conducted by MRINetwork and compiled by Nysha King (215.282.8821 | of MRINetwork. This was the 5th edition of the study, which is conducted on a bi-annual basis. Parties interested in viewing the most recent report can download the study at

About MRINetwork®: Management Recruiters International, Inc., branded as MRINetwork®, is one of the largest executive search and recruitment organizations in the world. A subsidiary of CDI Corp. (NYSE:CDI), a global provider of engineering & technology solutions and professional staffing services, MRINetwork has approximately 600 offices in 35 countries. Visit MRINetwork at www.mrinetwork.comFor franchising opportunities, visit