Flip side of this quirky job market


We’ve all seen, heard, and heeded the warnings about the talent shortage anticipated for 2013.  If you need to hire a tradesperson, such as a skilled CNC machinist, when you find a great candidate, you’d better have an employment offer ready within a day or two.  If you need to hire a BSME or BSEE for product design and you find a qualified individual, you need to be involved in offer negotiations within 2 business days ~ or less.  The talent shortage is real in 2013!

But nobody is talking about the flip side of this quirky job market: the talent surplus for certain positions.  For example, administrative professionals and administrative support employees are not in short supply.  Skilled office jobs are still scarce.  So individuals with this career path are still in fiercely competitive “pools” when applying for the job you have advertised.

That said, it’s definitely a mistake to assume that you have plenty of time to meander through the search process and all of these great prospective employees will still be available to you a week from now or a month from now.  Here’s what happened to my client, ABC Company, hiring for an administrative coordinator position.

ABC called me on January 3rd, requesting help with this “urgent” staffing need.  I reached out to two excellent candidates already active; both were interested.  I forwarded resumes for these two top-notch prospects on January 4th.  In the process of searching our database, I realized that there were two additional applicants who might be qualified, but hadn’t yet been prescreened or interviewed here.  I contacted them; we interviewed on (Monday) January 7th.  Resumes were sent immediately to the client, once our prescreening was complete.

The client company conducted their first interviews of these candidates on January 9th and 10th.  Almost a week had elapsed since I’d forwarded the first pair of resumes.  From the company’s perspective, it was the start of the year and a busy time for their staff.  So it made sense that there would be this delay.

Then they decided to bring back three individuals for second interviews.  But the timing of the second meetings was delayed because one of the managers was gone on a 10-day vacation.  So it was actually two weeks between the first interviews and the second interviews with this company.

Can you guess what occurred in the intervening two weeks?

During the first week of delay, the company’s number one choice in candidates accepted another offer from a company she had found on her own.  The money was comparable.  The commute was slightly shorter.  The position wasn’t as challenging, but she didn’t feel she could turn down an offer.

During the second week of the holding pattern while we waited on the manager’s return, the company’s number two choice accepted another offer from a company she found on her own.  The money was slightly higher.  The commute was a little longer.  The position wasn’t as challenging, but she didn’t feel she could turn down an offer.

We are now in the midst of the third week, with second interviews occurring.  Already, in this week-long period of second interviews, ABC’s number four choice has withdrawn from consideration because she accepted an offer from another company!  By taking a period of almost a month for this interviewing process, ABC Company has lost three of its top four candidates.

If you think that you can move slowly when you find terrific prospective employees, just because the talent pool is still robust for this kind of position, you’d better think again!  Precisely because the talent pool is heavy and competitive for positions like administration and administrative support, these candidates aren’t hesitating when they finally receive an offer.  They’re not pausing to see what other options they can weigh against that offer.  They’re grabbing the job offer that’s right in front of them, even if it’s not ideal.

For your hiring in 2013, we recommend that you treat the talent overage just like the talent shortage.  When you find a strong candidate, be prepared to move speedily to the final stages of your hiring process.  Contact Frank’s Employment for your professional staffing needs.

Republished with permission (including modest content and format edits). Originally published by Elyse on our employer blog in 2013.

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