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Will An Increase in Jobs Make Finding Talent More Difficult?

Careerbuilder’s Midyear U.S. Jobs forecast shows that employers will hire more full time, part-time and contract workers in the remaining six months of this year as compared to 2013.

Sounds like good news for job seekers, but as a hiring manager consider that more open jobs means more competitors vying for top talent.  With so many global companies already up in arms over a so-called talent shortage, how much more difficult will securing top talent be now that job seekers have more job options?

Take a look at the graph below indicating the average number of days positions remain open by industry.  Compare 2009 to 2013!  In many instances the time to fill an open position increased by 38% or more and in some industries like construction or manufacturing, the increase surpassed 100%.  The increase in duration continued to worsen for the first part of 2014 and with more hiring expected for the remaining six months we can expect this trend to continue.

graph - time to fill a job









Or can we?  I have written a great deal about the alleged talent shortage and as someone with experience in search, I have seen first hand overly choosy hiring managers pass over good candidates.  Now that top talent may become scarcer as job candidates explore increased options, one might assume securing top talent will grow even more difficult.  But I’m not sure this will be so.

Let me give you an example of why this might not be the case.  Let’s say I have only three cable TV channels, FX, TNT and AMC.  On these three channels are playing The Matrix, Shawshank Redemption and Ghostbusters.  I enjoy all three of these movies and so if I wanted to kill time, they would be satisfactory, but I have seen them numerous times.  Give me more channels however and I begin searching around for additional programming.  Keep in mind that the FX, TNT and AMC movies are just fine, but rather than commit to one I will waste fifteen to twenty minutes clicking in and out of programs which don’t satisfy my needs until I circle back and settle on one of the original three movies.

And so goes the hiring process.  Depending on whose research you read, each open job position receives anywhere between 150-250 job applications.  That’s a lot of channels!  I have seen hiring managers, after weeks of searching, dismiss good candidates and prolong their hiring process by weeks because they want to see “what else is on.”  They leave their positions open in hopes the mythical perfect candidate walks through their doors.

More open positions should mean more competition for talent and employers must change their mindset and grab good candidates before someone else snatches them up.  No longer will they have time to surf through all the channels idly.  Now not only will their options be more limited but they will have less time to make the decision.  Eventually the numbers in the graph above will have to decrease.

So yes, I agree that an increase in employment may make finding talent more difficult but I also feel that an increase in employment may make deciding on talent easier.


About The Author

Ryder Cullison

Ryder has more than 10 years of experience working with retained search clients as a search professional. As a pioneer of Interview4 he has great knowledge of video interviewing. He writes about all things hiring and looks forward to engaging with his audience on topics of leadership, recruiting, candidate screening, and employee satisfaction. Follow him on Twitter: @hireintelligent and @cullison1

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