The 3.7% Demand Market: Tread Lightly

“Holy Razor-thin Unemployment, Batman!”

Yup, you’re currently swimming in the deepest Candidate Demand Market that any of us has ever seen.  These are heady times for those in the job market: New career options galore.  Job offers abound.  Base pay and bonus plans rising.

Therefore, it’s a scary-as-hell time for employers:  Aging, open job recs. A shallower and shallower candidate pool. Compensation demands soaring.

So…. What to do if you’re on either side of this employment equation?

> Candidates:  Don’t get cocky.   Greed kills.

Become familiar with Aesop’s Fable of the dog and its reflection:  “He who covets all, loses all”.    Companies are under pressure to fill key roles, and if you get greedy, they’ll move quickly to their Plan B.

Because losing an offer includes more than just a lost opportunity when you open your mouth to take a bite of something seemingly bigger and better.  Most industries are smaller that you think: Backing out of an offer after the interview and hiring process not only damages your name with the offering company, but possibly your reputation across your industry as well.

> Employers:  Embrace reality.

At 3.7%, candidates at all levels of the spectrum have the power – and the options.

They will have multiple employment possibilities, higher offers, and less urgency to accept your position.  Which means…..Don’t drag your feet with the timing of your interviews and offer delivery.  Because your competition is hustling – so should you.

Also, DEFINITELY don’t go low with your first offer.  In this market, you’ll lose out to competitive employers who want your candidate too.

Most importantly (and CRITICALLY!), take a hard look at your internal compensation bands:  This will help you retain your current people (paying them what the current market demands) – and it will ease the pressure on you to offer new candidates below-market packages.

There’s a common sense to all of this, which seems easy to see when you’re looking at the employment market through a dispassionate lens. But, when you’re a candidate – or an employer, neck-deep in hiring (and getting hired), awareness can get lost in the fog of the process.

And along with it – a great hire.

Or a great new job.

Bruce Martin
About the author: 

Bruce Martin is the President of Broad & Pattison, Inc., the leading management recruiting and executive search firm serving the U.S. automotive industry.  His career includes executive assignments with DaimlerChrysler, GE Capital and Adecco, NA.

Mr. Martin is a member of the Board of Directors for Community Career Center, a NFP based in Naperville, IL.  Follow Bruce on Twitter and LinkedIn