Latest Survey of MRINetwork Recruiters Reveals Candidate-Driven Market to Present Retention Challenges in 2015
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Latest Survey of MRINetwork Recruiters Reveals Candidate-Driven Market to Present Retention Challenges in 2015

December 24, 2014 // // Philadelphia, PA - Consistent growth in the labor market is providing top executive, managerial and professional candidates with the incentive to pursue other job opportunities, causing mounting retention challenges for employers, according to new data from the 2014 2nd Half edition of the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study. The biannual employment landscape survey, which polled 333 MRINetwork worldwide recruiters from 40 countries on recent 2014 hiring trends, reveals the candidate-driven market which has experienced a consistent uptick since 2011, is here to stay, and the rate at which top performers are rejecting job offers continues to grow. This data suggests that employers will need to review their recruitment and retention strategies in 2015, from the top down, to remain attractive to employees and potential new hires.

According to the survey, 83 percent of respondents defined the talent market for the executive, managerial and professional sector as candidate-driven, a 29 percentage point increase from the second half of 2011. As one recruiter noted, "It is definitely and without a doubt a candidate-driven market, however many employers are still laboring under the same processes as they did when it was an employer-driven market."

Despite this reality, many companies still have not caught on, and continue to lose great candidates due to lengthy hiring practices, below-market compensation and an inability to sell the company brand, the role and true advancement opportunities. "Candidates now have choices and employers need to make the interview process go smoothly and quickly," said a survey respondent.

Factors propelling the candidate-driven market include the availability of more job opportunities and growing talent shortages due to skill gaps. Top performers have a strong advantage, with multiple job offers to consider and the ability to reject less desirable work opportunities.

When asked about the reasons for job moves, 49 percent of respondents said the primary motivating factor for candidates is greater opportunities for advancement, followed by improved compensation. Salary is particularly important for talented employees who were hired at bargain rates during the recession. These individuals will be moving on: The majority of MRINetwork recruiters (83 percent) said they have interacted recently with these under-compensated and under-employed candidates who are anxious to improve their earning capacity. Salary and benefit packages will need to be adjusted to retain these candidates.

Based on year-over-year data, the main reasons job offers continue to be rejected is because great candidates are accepting offers with other companies and are being presented with disappointing compensation. The time between the first interview and the rejected offer is also shrinking, with a six percentage point increase from the second half of 2013, for candidates that rejected offers within two weeks of the first interview.

Additional highlights and conclusions from the MRINetwork survey:

  • Twenty-four percent of recruiters indicated that failure to recognize great candidates are no longer willing to accept low salaries, is the most common reason keeping managers from hiring.
  • Internal and external branding will continue to be important as companies face growing pressure to sell their value proposition to employees and candidates. "They are operating with the mindset that there are an abundance of candidates, all willing to jump through hoops to get a job at their company, and that is just not true anymore," said an MRINetwork recruiter.
  • A streamlined hiring process will be imperative to avoid losing top candidates in 2015 and beyond. One recruiter noted, "Every candidate we speak with is actively looking and has several irons in the fire."

Although the study results demonstrate that hiring trends are highly favorable towards top performers in the executive, managerial and professional space, recruitment and retention will continue to present ongoing challenges for overall hiring as the job market expands. A fundamental shift is taking place in the way in which candidates expect to be recruited, and companies need to get on board with these changes to bring in and hold on to the talent they seek.

About the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study

The 2014 2nd Half MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study is based on a survey conducted between November 10-19, 2014 via a web-based survey with a total of 333 recruiters responding. The survey has a 6.1 percent margin of error with a 90 percent confidence.

The survey was conducted by MRINetwork and compiled by Nysha King (215.282.8821 | of MRINetwork. This was the 7th edition of the study, which is conducted on a biannual basis. Parties interested in viewing the most recent report can download the study at

About MRINetwork®

Management Recruiters International, Inc., branded as MRINetwork®, is one of the largest executive search and recruitment organizations in the world. A subsidiary of CDI Corp. (NYSE:CDI), a global provider of engineering & technology solutions and professional staffing services, MRINetwork has approximately 600 offices in 40 countries. Visit MRINetwork at For franchising opportunities, visit


Media Contact:

Nysha King
Media Relations Specialist
O. 215-282-8821



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