Latest MRINetwork Survey Finds Companies Are Making Key Hiring Mistakes

(Philadelphia, PA) – Despite a contracting labor market, many companies have been in growth mode throughout 2016, focusing on strategic hires to support their expansion. While employers want to increase their headcounts, new data from the 2016 MRINetwork Recruiter & Employer Sentiment Study, indicates that within the executive, managerial and professional sector, hiring authorities are frequently making key mistakes that are hampering not only their ability to hire, but also their employer brand. The employment landscape survey, which polled 239 MRINetwork recruiters worldwide, and a focus group of 54 global employers, reveals that lengthy hiring practices and misconceptions about what motivates top candidates to make a job move are causing companies to lose out on high performers in an already tight talent market.

According to the Study, recruiters (86 percent) and employers (62 percent) feel the labor market is candidate-driven in their industry sectors. In this environment, candidates confidently reject undesirable job offers, with recruiters and employers listing “accepted another offer” as the primary reason for offer objections. These offer rejections point to employers making two critical mistakes: (1) not streamlining hiring practices to avoid losing the best candidates to another offer and (2) not fully understanding the target candidates’ most important priorities, thereby losing those candidates to more competitive offers.    

Companies are frustrated with the lack of suitable talent, and 50 percent listed this is as their #1 challenge to hiring. While the skills shortage is real, recruiters complain that companies take too long to hire, even when they do meet ideal candidates. Employers are now extending offers between 3-6 weeks from the candidate’s first interview, a shift from 1-4 weeks that was observed in the second half of 2015.

Understanding what is attractive to job seekers is another area where companies are missing the mark. Compensation was the top pick among employers, while recruiters selected advancement opportunities most often. While compensation is important to candidates, recruiters say immediate and long-term advancement opportunities are what drive talent to join a new company, since improved compensation is implied with upward mobility. High performers are not just looking for evidence of current employees who advanced within the company, they also want to see that upward mobility is part of an organization’s culture.

As the hiring process lengthens, rejected job offers continue to rise, and companies are losing shortlisted candidates who decide to join other organizations. Over time this relationship between the time to hire and the availability of skilled candidates is not only holding managers back from holding, but also creating potentially long-term challenges with the employer brand. Interestingly enough, companies that participated in the Study, indicated that employee engagement and employer branding were among their top priorities, in support of key strategic hires.

Additional highlights and conclusions from the MRINetwork survey:

  • Employers and recruiters agree newly created positions are still the primary reason for job openings followed by vacancies from resignations.


  • Recruiters indicated vacancies from retirements are increasing, making this the third most selected reason for job openings (17 percent).


  • In addition to accepting other offers and low compensation packages, employers listed counteroffers as a top reasons for rejected offers.

Although the study results demonstrate the labor market is highly favorable toward top performers in the executive, managerial and professional space, recruitment and retention will continue to be challenging for overall hiring as the job market expands. Companies that want to attract and retain the best talent, will need to revisit their interviewing and talent management approaches, to create a strong employer brand.

About the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study: The 2016 MRINetwork Recruiter & Employer Sentiment Study was created from a web-based survey, conducted between May 3 -17, 2016, with a total of 239 recruiters responding. A focus group of 54 human resources professionals and hiring managers additionally provided insight. All survey data has been rounded to the nearest tenth. 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 10th edition of the study. Parties interested in viewing the most recent report can download the study and an employer flipbook on hiring mistakes 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 nearly 40 countries. Visit MRINetwork at For franchising opportunities, visit