Latest Survey of MRINetwork Recruiters Reveals Candidates Continue to Drive the Job Market in the Executive and Managerial Sector

Retention is equally important as recruitment for employers.

(Philadelphia, PA ) – Improved confidence in the labor market and the availability of more jobs is causing top executive, professional and managerial candidates to change companies more freely, according to new data from the 2014 1st Half edition of the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study. The biannual recruitment practices survey reveals that more top What is causing job openings?performers in this sector, which has become increasingly candidate-driven over the last few years, are leaving to fill newly created roles and vacancies from resignations. The study, which polled 236 MRINetwork worldwide recruiters on recent 2014 hiring trends, found that 81 percent of respondents defined the talent market for the sector as candidate-driven, a 25 percentage point increase from the first half of 2012. These findings provide the incentive for employers to place equal emphasis on employee retention strategies as they do on their recruitment efforts.

In most industries and geographic regions, MRINetwork recruiters report that companies are in growth mode. This is consistent with the increase in employment over the last few months, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite a commitment to hiring top candidates, many employers are challenged with growing talent shortages due to skill gaps. According to the survey, 31 percent of recruiters listed an inability of hiring managers to find suitable candidates for open roles, the most common reason holding managers back from hiring. In this recruitment environment, top performers are at a strong advantage, with multiple job offers to consider and the ability to reject less desirable work agreements. Thirty-one percent of recruiters said the top reason that great candidates continue to refuse job offers is because they are accepting offers with other companies. Disappointing compensation is also on the rise, with 26 percent of recruiters listing this as the second most common reason that job offers are turned down.

Additional concern about rejected job offers is growing as companies continue to lose good candidates due to prolonged interviewing processes. The survey revealed that while most rejected job offers are taking place after two to three interviews, year-over-year data shows a steady increase in rejections after two interviews.

Surveyed recruiters report that almost half (43 percent) of candidates were hired through recruiter-assisted placements, typically after three interviews or less, while 59 percent of offers were presented within four weeks of the first interview. These statistics are in line with data from previous years of the survey, making it clear that hires are most successful when they follow a streamlined process.

Employers who want to remain viable and competitive are hiring to keep their businesses moving forward. Yet those that are doing so are also realizing they are at risk of losing their long-term employees, making retention strategies more critical than ever. As one recruiter responding to the survey noted, “The competition for leadership talent is brutal right now. There is tremendous pressure to attract new talent and hold on to those already employed.” Employer branding is becoming increasingly important, because top candidates are evaluating their experiences with organizations’ interviewing processes and how well the hiring teams sell the company, the role and career advancement opportunities. Adds another recruiter, “If a company appears to be disjointed in its branding, saying one thing but doing another, candidates will be turned off.”

Additional conclusions from the MRINetwork survey include:

  • Counteroffers are still a common reason for offers being turned down, in which candidates receive substantially more money and a promotion from their current employer.
  • Vacancies from retirements continue to lag at three percent, down two percentage points from the 1st half of 2013.
  • Twenty-six percent of recruiters indicated that meeting resistance to getting authorization to fill open position is the second most common reason holding managers back from hiring, despite rebounded sales.
  • Working more efficiently with less staff is becoming less and less of a viable reason to delay hiring. Only 14 percent of recruiters (down two percentage points from the 1st half of 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.

While the study results demonstrate that hiring trends are highly favorable towards top performers in the executive and managerial space, recruitment and retention will continue to be ongoing challenges for overall hiring as the economy recovers and the job market expands. Employer branding and streamlined hiring processes will be essential to avoid losing top candidates.


About the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study:
The 2014 1st Half MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study is based on a survey conducted between March 20 and April 4, 2014 via a web-based survey with a total of 236 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 6th edition of the study, which is conducted on a biannual 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 For franchising opportunities, visit