Storm Clouds Gathering for Recruiters?

Recruiters facing a "perfect storm"

The world has become less friendly to recruiters in recent months.

Surveys have singled out many and growing challenges facing those who search to find top talent in virtually any field.

Allegis Group, a $2B giant in the field, put it in memorable terms a few days ago in the new 2018 Global Workforce Trends report, the first paragraph of which reads:

“Today’s employers must contend with a perfect storm of talent supply and demand challenges. Unemployment rates hover near historic lows. New technologies raise the demand for new skills. Many older workers are retiring, and companies face new competitors in the race to acquire talent while retaining the workers they have.”

In addition to the Workforce Trends report, other surveys remind us of:

  • The perils of the gig economy – difficulties of hiring resulting from the decline of FTE and rise of independent and contracted workers (
  • The impact of disruptive technologies (Allegis Group)
  • Predictions of a worldwide talent shortage of more than 85 million people by 2030 (Korn Ferry- Future of Work)

And then there is the summary from Saba with the cheery title “Failure to Develop, Engage and Retain Talent” to remind you that things can only get worse.

Although conditions fluctuate with geography, indications are the challenges are not regional.  The Allegis survey was global and reached 700 talent acquisition professionals.  Among respondents, 80% have had problems acquiring critical talent due to changing global labour markets due to economic environment, demographic shifts, generational differences and more.

Nearly two-thirds of companies (65%) have had to adjust business strategy because they could not secure the right talent in a specific function or geographic area.

So given all this, times must be tough for the people who make their living recruiting top talent, right? Well, not so much.  In fact, far from being half empty, the opportunity glass seems to be half full.

Retained Search Firms Happy

Members of the global AESC – the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants – are unfailingly optimistic over the state of their profession.  In the Americas, all countries but Mexico are more optimistic with regards to 2018 business performance, in Asia all but China, and in Europe all members without exception.

Here at home, Cornerstone International Group (CIG) specializes in retained executive search and has member offices in 35 countries.   So far this year, business activity would seem to reflect the usual ups and downs of a global network with the market in the Americas being notably robust.

Why are they having an easy time of it when surveys say the talent market is getting tighter all the time?

“It’s actually not such a surprise,” says Larry Shoemaker, President of CIG. “For two reasons. One, it is getting more difficult to find the right people but employers have to find them, so the volume of hires doesn’t necessarily decline.  Two, when top talent gets harder to find, you look for the best searchers. You don’t leave things to chance.

“Retained executive search firms such as Cornerstone have more experience, very broad contacts and superior expertise.  We deliver when in-house recruiters struggle.  We are in the market every day and know where the appropriate candidates are and how to attract them.”

There is also the new challenge of finding agile talent, the kind that will stay longer with the hiring employer.  But that’s for another day.

To learn more about Cornerstone, click here to read our e-Book “Recruiting top Talent”






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