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As predicted, jobs have returned — especially for highly-skilled quantitative and marketing research professionals. Business is up and big companies, consulting firms, advertising agencies, research groups, even start ups are scrambling to build and rebuild staff. This is creating an uptick in turnover not seen in nearly two years, and the momentum is growing …

Raises and bonuses have resurfaced. Early in the year, we saw cut backs and salary freezes began to lift, and, as you may have read in the 5/3/10 issue of the Wall Street Journal, many companies are now going even further in an effort to stem the rising tide of attrition. In addition to restored salaries, the Journal cited an acceleration of raises and even special bonuses being awarded to retain key employees. Also, I am hearing that 401K match benefits are being restored.

Candidates are testing the market. Understandably, over the last two years most people were reluctant to jeopardize secure employment and put any thoughts of a job change on hold. As the economic outlook has begun to stabilize, there is a pent up sense of career stagnation that analysts believe (and we know) will result in a surge of job changes over the next 12 months.

Disconnect between hiring authorities and candidates. Dire headlines around a sluggish recovery and continued general unemployment have given hiring authorities an unrealistic sense of negotiating advantage. It is important to note that the unemployment rate for professionals topped out at 5.0% and is headed down — nowhere near the rate suffered by the general population. Our professional candidates, on the other hand, are hoping to make up for lost time in career progression, and are expecting significant increases as sign-on incentives.

Hiring is speeding up and candidates are getting multiple offers. Savvy hiring managers have been quick to note the increased pace of the recruiting cycle. No longer do they have the luxury of a prolonged interviewing schedule. Top professionals are again receiving multiple offers and it is critical for companies to manage their recruiting efforts efficiently to attract the best candidates.

Typical post-recession recovery. We’ve seen it before. This pattern of a hiring burst and rapid acceleration in employee attrition is very much the norm after a recessionary period. And because this recession was particularly sharp and deep, I expect we will experience an upward recovery in the job market for professionals greater even than what we saw in 1991 and 2002.

Negotiating the rushing waters of economic recovery takes a cool head and a steady hand. The executive recruiters at Burtch Works are ready to assist you, with an experienced, knowledgeable staff who have the tools and contacts to address your needs. Our reach is nationwide – we know the best and the brightest in the field and have a client roster that is second to none. Please stay in touch!

 

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