Acquiring Talent in a Seller's Market

As the economic recovery continues to gain momentum, the competition for talent is heating up. Companies that grew accustomed to having all of the leverage when it came to filling positions over the past five years need to recognize that it’s become more and more of a seller’s market for talent.

Dice Holdings recently surveyed more than 1,000 hiring managers and recruiters across industries about trends they’re seeing in the job market. About 55% of the survey respondents plan to increase hiring in the first half of 2014 compared with the second half of 2013.

The improving job market is also causing candidates to become more selective about job offers. Of the survey respondents:

• 26% saw an increase in the number of candidates who rejected job offers
• 39% said voluntary departures at their companies increased since last year
• 34% saw an increase in counteroffers for job candidates

Hiring managers need to respond to this increasingly optimistic environment if they want to keep getting the best talent.

In the aftermath of the recession, many companies looked to cut expenses by eliminating perks such as 401(k) matching and continuing education reimbursement. Now that job candidates have more options in front of them, companies need to think about getting more aggressive in enhancing their benefits packages.

Companies also need to be prepared to respond when a candidate receives a counteroffer from his or her current employer. In a strengthening job market, companies are fighting harder to keep their best people. Responding to counteroffers will once again become an important part of a hiring manager’s job.

The economy is gaining momentum and the job market is heating up. Companies need to recognize these changing conditions if they want to keep winning the top talent.


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Ellen Mullarkey

Ellen Mullarkey

Ellen Mullarkey is a Vice President of Business Development with Messina Group. Ellen joined Messina more than 25 years ago after graduating from the University of Iowa. She has been instrumental in establishing and expanding Messina’s staffing divisions. Ellen is a past president and long-term board member of Hephzibah Children’s Association. In addition to being actively involved in River Forest Youth Baseball and Softball, Ellen has served as the tenured volleyball coach for St. Luke School, is a member of the St. Luke Women's Club and actively volunteers at PADS homeless shelter.

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