Candidate Demands: What Now?

We are living through a tight labor market, one that isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. There are currently plenty of job openings around the country, but there are not enough people to fill those vacancies—most recent reports say there are about 2 jobs or every 1 unemployed person. Job openings across the country remain steady, and despite everything you hear and read on the news, our clients are telling us they are continuing to hire. 

The more competitive the market, the more leverage candidates have when looking for another job. It starts to weigh on leadership as they are looking to add someone new–whether that’s replacing employees they’ve lost due to churn, or they are looking to fill new positions and find new skill sets.

Leaders are feeling the skills gap, and inflationary pressures on their profits are being felt on salary and wages. What are hiring managers to do? Do they have to keep meeting employee demands? Do these demands outweigh the needs of the business? After all, it’s a two-way street. 

Here are three approaches we’re seeing in the market as leaders are responding to the demands being made by candidates. 

Companies that ‘meet candidates where they are’ win.

We have plenty of examples of more nimble clients who are keeping up with the current marketplace. They understand that there are key talents that are needed, and so to find the right talent to fill vacancies and find the right leaders worth following that possess these skills, you have to be more aggressive and willing to meet candidates where they are. That means being competitive with things like compensation and flexible work schedules, and taking necessary steps to do anything you can to attract top talent.

Larger, more traditional organizations hold firm.

We’ve also seen some of the larger, more traditional organizations hold firm to what they believe is the right way to run their business—that means sticking to a traditional mindset of working in an office, relocating for a new role or holding pretty firm to their compensation limits. We’ve seen a mixed bag. 

The alternative is that you hire somebody who actually always wanted to work from home, and then they get to your office and realize this isn’t what they wanted. That’s why we’re seeing higher quit rates—this has to do with the employee demands and the competitive nature of the marketplace. 

You can stick to your values, but understand you might not win in this market.

A company’s values will be tested through this. We also want our clients to be true to their values, and we want them to stand for something and live by that. Some companies have values that don’t quite line up with the market and what it is demanding. 

They stay firm to compensation levels, job requirements, and working in person, and they aren’t willing to budge on these tenets. Many of them have that mindset, but they are losing out right now.  We encourage our clients to reimagine whenever possible to win in this market.