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The Tight Talent Market: Hiring Managers Tell All

Tight Talent Market Hiring

With the end of 2021 in sight, 24 Seven surveyed over 500 professionals in the Marketing, Creative, and Technology sectors to capture trends in the current, highly competitive hiring market. Hiring managers report facing numerous challenges, the overarching one being that the power dynamic has shifted in favor of the job candidate. Other difficulties to overcome include a recent increase in resignations, sourcing talent, and an increased need to negotiate job offers.

The Great Resignation Amplifies Hiring Challenges

A plurality of hiring managers participating in the study report a greater number of resignations in the last six months. In an increasingly tight talent market, seven in ten hiring managers are finding it hard to fill open roles. This means that negotiating employment packages has picked up, with salary leading the list of bargaining chips. Where work is performed and compensation other than salary round out the top three negotiation points.

Job Candidates Emboldened

Sometimes, even agreed-upon offers aren’t enough for candidates to buy into the employment proposition. Some hiring managers said that they’ve had candidates walk away from offers they had previously accepted. Another four in ten hiring managers report that candidates have ghosted them at some point during the hiring process. Survey respondents who have experienced this audacious candidate behavior believe it’s because job seekers are currently in the power position.

Managers Optimistic Despite Market Competitiveness

Two-thirds of hiring managers say that hiring is up from a year ago at their company, with over half adding new roles and filling existing ones. Of the hiring challenges companies face, sourcing talent, offer acceptance, interviewing candidates, and negotiating offers rank among the most confounding, in that order. Yet optimism prevails in the face of these obstacles, as 60% of hiring managers are reasonably confident that they will fill open roles on time. After all, one company’s resignation is another company’s new employee.

Marketing Talent Continues to See High Demand

Hiring Managers ranked Design & Digital Marketing as the functional areas seeing the highest talent demand. Customer Service, Project Management, Sales, and Account Management followed in that order. As companies continue to invest in digital strategies, it makes sense that we continue to see the need to recruit top Creative, Digital, and Marketing talent.

A Time for New Talent Strategies & Reshuffled Priorities 

The competitive market requires companies to get creative and flexible when sourcing, attracting and recruiting talent. Seventy percent of hiring managers are considering talent outside of their industry to fill open roles, and sixty-three percent are willing to hire more junior talent and up-skilling them through training.

Most companies have reprioritized candidate must-haves, shifting from past titles, experience, and professional or academic pedigree to skill and competency. One-third of hiring managers also said that the geographic location of talent doesn’t matter anymore because every role can be a remote working role.

Finally, almost three-fourths of companies have turned to freelancers to close talent gaps in this competitive market. One-third say they increased their reliance on gig workers at this time. As freelance recruiters, this trend was not surprising.

To gain additional insights on how to improve talent attraction and retention, click here for the 2021 Hiring Manager Job Market Pulse Report.