The War for Talent

This morning, as I was performing my morning ritual … perusing some of my favorite blogs as I sipped my first cup of coffee of the day, I was reading David Perry’s Guerilla Marketing blog.

David referenced an article by Sarah Needleman at The Wall Street Journal entitled “Tough Times Don’t Mean Tough Luck on Salary.”

Since there has been an ongoing conversation about the “war for talent,” or lack thereof, on My Linked In Power Forum, I found this article very interesting. A few excerpts that support the existence of a “war” include …

“If you have the kind of skills that are in short supply and are critical to a business’s bottom line, employers are often willing to pay ‘above and beyond the market average,’ says Ravin Jesuthasan, global practice leader at Towers Perrin, a Stamford, Conn.-based consulting firm.

Employers are also increasingly sweetening job offers for high-demand candidates, with benefits previously reserved for workers already in the company, such as flexible schedules and work-from-home arrangements, says Kenan Abosch, leader of the compensation consulting practice at Hewitt Associates Inc., a provider of human-resources services based in Lincolnshire, Ill. ‘If a company has someone they’re really hot to get, because it’s a pivotal role, they’ll go the extra mile,’ he explains."

If your skill sets are not extraordinary … meaning every one of your competitors brings the same thing (usually responsibilities) to a prospective company, you have been relegated to commodity status and there definitely is not a big battle for these candidates.

However, with a clear, compelling, and highly–coveted marketable value proposition, you may very well find yourself in the midst of a war with several great offers on the table … even in this tight economy.

2008 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report

Execunet has released the findings from its 2008 Job Market Intelligence Report, with some very interesting results. According to the report,

––“Increasing demand in the High Tech, Healthcare, Energy, and Business Services sectors, combined with a shortage of qualified talent and sustained economic growth overseas, is driving better than expected job growth at the executive level.”

––“Thanks in part to an aging workforce and global economic growth, the demand for executive talent continues to increase while the threat of a recession looms.”

––“more than 70% of search firm and corporate human resource professionals believe there is a shortage of executive talent, and two-thirds (67%) say the war for executive talent has intensified over the last year amid increasing economic uncertainty.”

––“Nearly all (86%) corporate human resource executives and 61% of search firms report that they do not routinely post positions with a total compensation of $200,000 and above on public websites.”

––“Recruiters don’t deny that age can be an issue, but 71% of search consultants say their clients are less focused on age than they were in prior years; and 57% of corporate HR executives say that when over 50, the candidate’s age is not a negative factor in hiring decisions.”

And very telling is the quote from Execunet’s CEO and Founder, Dave Opton …

“Unfortunately, many of the opportunities created this year will remain out of reach to those who fail to read beyond the headlines,” ….  “However, given the current pace of change, the consequences of ignoring opportunities to enhance your network and failing to closely monitor the marketplace are clearly rising.”