Setting Recruiting Expectations in 2018

A new year is a new time to set your company’s recruiting expectations high.

By all indications, 2018 is poised to be a challenging year for U.S. companies seeking to add talented professionals to their workforce. The combination of a record-breaking increase in stock valuation (up roughly 26% in 2017, already up about 4% this year), along with the windfall in newly-available cash flow provided by the tax plan approved in December (about 14% of taxable income for most firms), has positioned U.S. companies to invest an unprecedented amount of capital into their businesses.

recruiting expectations

Truly savvy organizations will choose to invest some of this capital into their most valuable corporate resource – employees, specifically striving to enhance the firm’s overall talent pool. Companies with the foresight and moxie to proactively deepen their talent pool have become a rarity in recent years, largely due to increased pressure from investors to deliver ever-higher corporate earnings. As a result, C-suites have chosen to value “this quarter’s numbers” at the expense of building organizational capability needed to execute key business strategies, leading to diminished talent pools in many cases.

During 2018, however, companies will have an opportunity to reverse this trend, with plenty of available capital to invest in talent, combined with need to add business capability in response to growing market demand for the company’s goods and services. The implications of these expected corporate actions on the national workforce are significant – and all point in the same challenging direction.

In virtually every realistic scenario, corporate actions are likely to lead to:

  • an increased demand for talented candidates
  • a reduction in the amount of talent available in the labor market
  • upward pressure on salaries and other compensation
  • significantly more difficulty in staffing key positions in all organizations

As a result, it appears that 2018 will present a very challenging labor market to U.S. companies, with conditions tightening further as the year progresses and market effects compound the challenge.

With that in mind, how should corporations and HR teams prepare to manage through the difficult market conditions expected this year?

Short answer: Prepare now, plan aggressively, act decisively.

The following approaches may prove useful as companies prepare to face the 2018 labor market:

  1. Reevaluate corporate staffing requirements and reforecast now. Review with leadership, obtain necessary approvals, and develop a recruiting plan that delivers talent needed, when needed.
  2. Evaluate your HR team’s capability to deliver the staffing plan. Recruiting capacity, hiring activity, onboarding capabilities – consider adding to the recruiting team as part of the overall staffing plan.
  3. Evaluate retention risks carefully. The hot external labor market will put increased pressure on your existing workforce to leave the company as market salaries increase. Develop plans to address.
  4. Prioritize staffing requirements with leadership to ensure that you’re focusing on key positions.
  5. Streamline recruiting, selection and hiring processes: Boost recruiting capacity, begin the recruiting cycle earlier in anticipation of market conditions, and move candidates quickly through the hiring process so that you don’t lose top talent to faster-moving competitors.

One of the most effective ways to immediately increase your recruiting capacity, reduce the time to fill and increase the quality of hire is by partnering with a top-tier Executive Search firm. This allows you to focus on preparing your team and your company to successfully navigate the challenging labor market conditions expected to develop and tighten still further during 2018.

Top firms work with HR and hiring managers to quickly develop a target candidate profile, begin sourcing top talent from your competitors, screening for fit with the position and company, and present well-qualified candidates in a very short time frame – much more quickly than traditional recruiting methods.

That’s what we do at Becker Wright, and we’re great at it – our many accolades speak for themselves.

By targeting and recruiting top performers from your competitors, we can deepen your team’s talent pool and position your team and your company to deliver business results that exceed expectations. Let’s work together to get ahead of the tightening 2018 labor market, stay on target with your staffing plan, and leverage your company’s capability by hiring the very best talent available.

Contact us today to find out how we can turn your industry’s top talent into your next new hires!