How To Hire and Recruit in a Candidate Driven Market


What is a candidate-driven market? It’s good news for job seekers. Basically, a candidate-driven market means waves of hiring surges are bringing competition back to the job market. 

A candidate-driven market means now is a great time to be looking for work as there are more jobs for talented people, but also means a tough time for hiring and retaining happy employees. A high demand for specific skills paired with the longer amount of time companies take to fill open roles is good news for job seekers, but not so great news for those doing the hiring.

Inc Magazine says “the most difficult step these days is finding employees — any employees at all. We’re in the midst of one of the most difficult hiring markets of all time.”

What Does This Mean for Employers?

Essentially, a candidate-driven market means there’s more competition for employers. While talent competition increases, so does the willingness of workers to leave their current position for new jobs with better salary, bigger benefit packages, more opportunity for advancement, or all three.

This is in stark contrast to the employer-driven years of long interview processes and large candidate pools, Superior Group points out. “Now, rather than waiting for weeks, candidates have the option to find better, more competitive offers at organisations that are not undervaluing their skill sets and that are willing to pay market-value.”

In fact, an MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study showed  1% of recruiters said that candidates rejected offers based on better opportunities elsewhere, while hiring managers were deliberating.

How Can You Help Your Company Through This?

Employers, HR departments, and Hiring Managers need to focus on creating a better candidate experience for hiring while c-suite personnel need to focus on retaining the talent they have.

We’ll focus on recruiting.

How to Recruit the Best Talent

First thing is first: how do you find the best potential employees?

We need to all admit the war for talent is real! Now more than ever, it’s important to be leveraging your employer brand, focusing on proactive vs. reactive hiring, and thinking about creating a positive candidate experience.

How do you do that? Start with your recruiting team.

In her Talent Economy sponsored Talent10X talk, “Recruiting at Scale”, Gina Contella of Reverb suggested the following four ways to identify potentially great talent:

  • Ask them about their experience and aspirations.
  • Find out their motivations to change jobs or move roles.
  • Determine what values and work culture aspirations they have.
  • Figure out if those values and aspirations fit within your organization’s culture.

For example, the four qualities Reverb looks for in a new hire are people who are:

  • Entrepreneurial
  • Inventive
  • Transparent
  • Collaborative

But you need to know your company culture quite well to be able to recruit this way. If you don’t hire for matches in company culture, it may be time to fix your process.

How to Fix Your Hiring Process

These three things are a good starting place for fixing your hiring process and attracting top-notch talent in a candidate-driven market.

  • Focus on Culture
  • Make sure your pay is competitive
  • Improve your speed

Focus on culture

Job candidates now no longer focus only on pay when looking to accept an offer or apply for a job. All companies have a “culture,” and candidates are now attuned to researching individual companies to determine the right fit for themselves, points out Superior Group.

But what IS culture? Culture expert and Director of Talent at Sprout Social Jim Conti says:

Culture lives and exists around you everyday. Culture is NOT your game room, free snacks, or standing desks. When you take those things away what are you left with? Culture is how you communicate, how you treat each other, and what you value. Culture needs to be lived and breathed everyday.

How do you communicate this outside of the interview? Most candidates can look at your web and social pages to gauge the personality and overall work/life balance they will experience if they accept a position, so make sure your social sites like Glassdoor and Facebook are filled out completely and double-check your mission statement to attract the right candidates, then focus on interviewing for a good culture fit.

Asking the right questions can go a long way for finding a good employee/culture fit. Include questions in your interview process like:

  • What kind of management style will bring out our best work?
  • What are your expectations of your management team?
  • Can you describe a time when you went out of your way to impress a customer?
  • What kind of work environment would make you unhappy?

Make Sure Your Pay is Competitive

When it comes to compensation: know there is no such thing as a “typical rate.” And second, know that you need to be competitive to attract top talent.

Don’t assume there is an industry standard hourly rate for. You can’t compare on price alone. Rates are reflective of experience, values, individual processes, and more.

Improve Your Speed

Every touch point a job candidate has with your company should be as efficient and speedy as possible. Make sure you actually complete your company’s application process as if you were a job candidate (from starting on your job board with a mobile device through submitting an application, resume, and scheduling an interview) to see where the kinks are.

Then, once your process is smooth, be ready to move. Artisan Senior Account Manager Karen Smith says,

Hire with a sense of urgency, A lot of top talent are interviewing for multiple roles, so if you find a person you like and want to hire — snap them up fast. Time kills every deal. 

Your Career Intel seconds this opinion: “Companies that drag their feet, let too much time elapse between interviews, and require too many meetings before making an offer give the competition the benefit of time.” The early bird does in fact get the worm. “When employers make their hiring decisions efficiently, early offers may tempt candidates to make a deal.”


We sourced this article by Kirsten Agnello-Dean from Artisan Talent ( on the 20th February 2018.