It’s A Candidates Market Once More

It’s A Candidates Market Once More

In recruitment, we tend to label the market as candidate or client driven, among other things. In tough economic times, when jobs are scarce, the employers call the shots. Pay cuts interrupt the landscape, widespread redundancies slim work forces and more muscle for less money is the new rage. Interview shortlists become longlists with clients shopping at leisure for the best fit candidate – naturally delighting in the queues of eager applicants at their front door.

The economy shrinks.

And, like a coiled spring, when squeezed and the pressure of downward economic circumstances abates – it springs back, hoovering up activity, work and candidates.

Bam! Demand rages and its back to a candidates’ market once more. Employers look bewildered at their Reception areas full of empty chairs where prospective candidates once sat in keen anticipation. Their inboxes are empty of applications. The questions begin to be asked. Is it our employee brand? Have our partner agencies abandoned us? Is it the competition?

A candidates market begins when everyone rushes back out to fill the voids created in their organisation by new work, and opportunity which begins to pour in during better economic times. This work needs servicing, opportunity cost is banging on executives’ doors and people are anxious not to miss out. Growth is inevitable and there is no growth without people.

So, once again, candidates are in demand. Emails are flying with possible opportunities from agency recruiters, internal recruiters, hiring managers …from everyone! and it happens with non job seekers too. There is a rush.

The market springs into action and agencies, once bombarded with pleas from candidates about opportunities, now are pursued by employers. Clients, wondering if we are doing our job, ask “where are the good candidates we were showered with before??”

There is a lag between all of this happening and employers realising its happening. Their previous attitudes and expectations to hiring are becoming outdated. Their expectation that candidates will move for little to no increase in salary, fill clunky online forms to begin a process and go through five rounds - is now an impediment to fixing hiring problems as their competitors adapt more quickly.

Hiring practices have to change, as well as expectations of what can be achieved from the hiring process when the supply of talent dries up; its simple supply / demand logic. Talent is moving rapidly now, having being pent up for so long with salary cuts and low wage inflation. It is the time of the candidate - a candidate’s market.

Welcome to the now.



About the Author

Brian McFadden

Brian Mc Fadden is a Director with 20 years experience in recruitment. He recruits in IT and also for senior positions at CEO and Director level. Get in touch at

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