The market for top executive talent is red hot.  Recruitment candidates have an overwhelming amount of power in the current market. Gartner found that 90% of S&P companies have been recruiting for the same 39 positions. Qualified candidates have considerable choice, leaving firms with considerably limited options. This level of competition requires an adaptive strategic sourcing plan to overcome the newfound difficulties in hiring quality candidates.


Creatively Meet Organizational Needs 

In a tight labor market, a masterful sourcing plan considers the needs of the firm and works creatively with leveling, role naming and compensation to provide market advantage for particular skill sets that are being sought out. Hiring for needs will expand labor market opportunities and unlock new channels of sourcing. Working closely with hiring managers to clarify which skills or traits are required versus those that are preferred is essential in this process.


Access Stored Knowledge 

Keep a database of previous candidates the company has reviewed to benefit from stored knowledge and work already performed. Highlight those that have the qualifications that are being considered. These candidates can be reconsidered for the current positions that are being filled. Use this as a starting point in the search for qualified candidates as this will save time and energy in the search. However, there are often reasons why these candidates were not chosen during their previous bid for employment. Examine these reasons and ensure that already identified talent is considered in your process.


Leverage Market Resources 

While past candidates are an effective starting point in sourcing appropriate candidates, it is also important to supplement with other relevant sourcing channels. In addition to professional networks, social networks, and job boards, leveraging market resources to gain strategic advantage is helpful.  Partnering with vendors can help develop a strong pipeline, which is necessary to benchmark internal talent and discern quality.


Be Expedient

According to Forbes, one of the biggest mistakes managers can make is taking too long during the hiring process. Candidates do not need to wait to hear back in a candidate-driven market. With so many firms competing for hires, candidates do not wait long before receiving other offers of employment. One survey found that approximately 25% of candidates declined an offer due to the employer taking too long. The phrase, time kills all deals, should guide the awareness and urgency of the process.  The right external partner can assist with this expediency and the success of the overall process.



BrainWorks is a prominent boutique executive search firm offering a 29-year track record of successfully sourcing and placing top talent. By harnessing proven strategies, collaborating with stakeholders and leveraging a diverse and talented candidate network, BrainWorks helps businesses find, attract, and ultimately hire talented professionals that create differentiated results. To learn more about how Brainworks can help you, contact us.


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