The Candidate Market Is Here to Stay. Are You Ready?

April 1st, 2015 | Articles, Hiring Resources | No Comments »

Candidate Market Hiring

Have you tried filling an open position lately? Did it take longer than usual? The average fill time is now 25 working days.

Though other factors have pushed out that chronology, the incremental shift from an employer to a candidate market has changed the hiring game.

Post-Recession Resurgence

This tidal shift is a recent one. Look back to 2009 and a national reluctance to hire unwittingly created a talent surplus. Any business confident enough to hire (remember, the Recession was still in effect) would have the pick of the litter amid active and passive candidates.

Recovery came slowly, but with it came a renewed confidence in the need to fill open positions, which went from being scarce to abundant. With that, the luxury of choice switched over to candidates.

Our Lopsided Supply & Demand

The current supply and demand is all the proof needed of a candidate’s market. CareerBuilder data shows this disparity between supply and demand over a 3 month period.

Consider, for example, Software Developer positions:

Region                                          Supply                                  Demand

Boston:                                3,230 candidates              21,834 job openings

Los Angeles:                       5,324 candidates              17,017 job openings

Chicago:                               7,121 candidates              18,022 job openings

Indianapolis:                      855 candidates                  2,181 job openings

What about IT Security Specialists? You see similar gaps:

Boston:                                3,547 candidates              18,269 job openings

Los Angeles:                       9,722 candidates              24,336 job openings

Chicago:                               12,131 candidates            24,170 job openings

Indianapolis:                      1,943 candidates              4,592 job openings

The individual gap between supply and demand varies between positions and regions, but on the whole, it’s pretty sizable. So, what do successful employers do to beat the competition to the best candidates?

Learn Local Price Points

We all know there’s not a static price for a given skill or expertise. Depending on location, talent saturation, and the demand for the position, it can vary greatly. To offer appealing wages in a candidate’s market, businesses need up-to-the-minute measurements of competitive salaries. Ultimately, the candidate market is a pay to play world.

Businesses can get at this info through a variety of sources. offers customizable reports on competitive salary ranges using data from other employers. Job boards like Dice often release reports indicating technical salary ranges for a given position.

For a personal touch, recruiters are the ideal option. Direct interactions with businesses and candidates expose them to competitive salaries for a broad spectrum of IT disciplines and skills – everything from the niche to the common-place.

Companies that cannot meet salary expectations are not completely out of luck. There are plenty of employee benefits (medical coverage, telecommuting, summer hours, company outings, etc.) that can sweeten the deal and win out against a larger financial offer.

Move Fast & Efficiently

In a candidate market, the employer with the fastest turn time is often the winner. Think about it: when someone has decided to leave a job, they want to move to greener pastures fast. Most candidates aren’t willing to risk a guaranteed opportunity for uncertainty.

Successful hiring in a candidate market requires a few cornerstones. One, the hiring manager needs to have a firm grasp of the position. Flip-flopping requirements lose and scare away plenty of strong candidates. Two, the hiring process needs to be smooth and quick. Hiring practices that include multiple screenings and a drawn out decision process have a much higher fall off rate than quick and efficient reviews.

The Ultimate Trick to Standing Out

In the end, employers that quickly fill open positions think of the candidate. They know the positions available on the market, are willing to provide a competitive compensation, and don’t dilly-dally.

Whether in a candidate or an employer-centric market, they are willing to do what’s necessary to acquire talent to reinvigorate their brands. And if you have that same resolve, you will too.

by James Walsh