It occurred to me today that we are just about ONE week from 2015. Where did the fourth quarter of 2014 even go? I know those of you that follow my blog have probably thought I fell right off the face of Earth, right? Well fortunately, I did not. I could give you a long list of reasons why taking time out for a blog post wasn't possible the last few weeks, but I'd rather focus on how much I've missed it, and simply say that I'm doing my best to get back to a weekly frequency for posting again. Let's talk 2015!

Have you noticed that we are once again fully immersed in a candidate-driven market? I have to tell you, 2015 is almost here and it will be "The Year of the Candidate". I hope you have thought through how you will change gears to take advantage of this in your recruiting business. It is going to be a great time to be a recruiter if you have used some of the tips I've had for you this past year. Remember when I told you to become a "Master of Talent" in this post from April 2014? Yeah. That might come in handy for 2015.

If you've been a recruiter for more than 10 years, you are probably more familiar with this shift from an employer-driven market to a candidate-driven one because you've been through it before. There have certainly been strong indicators that the market was shifting since 2011 but in 2015, there is no doubt that employers who are not shifting their recruiting methodology in response to it will be at a real disadvantage this year. Here's what I think you can expect this year:

Motivated passive candidates.

During the recession, many of the best candidates would openly admit that they were just happy to be working and felt a strong responsibility to stay the coarse with their current company. They may not have shared their pain or points of discontentment with salary or mobility in their current role. Now is the time to revisit those candidates because they will begin to make moves to find something ideal for their career path. 

Employers calling you!

As candidates begin to expect more from an employer, employers will need to have more ambassadors selling their company to the best and the brightest. It is very likely that the same hiring managers who avoided your calls for a few years will be scouring their contact list to find your name now. Think back to the prospects you gave up on and re-visit contact with them. There is still time to get a New Year's greeting card out. 

Closing becoming critical.

As candidates begin to feel more control and have multiple offers to choose from, closing your candidate on their salary expectations and real interest throughout the screening and hiring process is essential to success. Remember, you only get paid if the candidate takes the job. This is not the time for "tire kickers." They do nothing but make you look bad to an employer serious about finding an employee they can retain. Close hard on their goals, and close often. Take good notes and hold the candidate to what they told you they were looking for.

Better placement fees.

In the end, good recruiters will find that "The Year of the Candidate" will be a time to make more money. This is because the value of your product is up. Employers enjoyed several years of bargain salaries on top candidates but now that the best candidates are in higher demand, you as their agent, will reap the rewards.

What changes have you noticed in your business with the shift to a candidate-driven market? Are you planning new initiatives for 2015 to support this trend? My advice is stay true to your commitment of only working with the best and brightest. Stop wasting time on candidates that are less than stellar and focus on relationships with those who are. The employer still pays you, but the quality of the candidates you  work with and the influence you have to sell them on your clients company will be more important than it has been in years.  Be honest to those that don't meet your criteria and create a pipeline of exceptional performers that your clients are willing to pay top dollar for.


Amy McDonald works in an executive role with several employment websites including She has been working in the human resources and recruiting industry for over 20 years. Amy has worked with hundreds of recruitment professionals throughout her career, training best practices in sourcing candidates and refining the recruitment process. In her spare time, Amy also participates as a contributor for recruitment information with BIZCATALYST360. – See more at:

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