Are the Natives Growing Restless in the Executive Job Search Jungle?


This week’s Herman Group Trend Alert warns employers that a candidate uprising is waiting to happen and that employers’ rampant lack of sensitivity in the hiring process is going to come back to haunt them, and soon.

In the late 1990’s when a shortage of qualified workers created a seller’s market for employment seekers, executives and managers could pretty much pick and choose the right opportunity and incentives were high — often including signing bonuses, great perks and benefits. Since the atmosphere was very much one of courtship, hiring managers and human resource departments would go the extra mile to be courteous and communicative with candidates. Companies with bad reputations for treatment of applicants found them staying away in droves.

Then came the new millennium and a buyer’s market, and employers quickly forgot the common courtesies. Many routinely failed to acknowledge receipt of resumes, thank candidates for interviewing with them, or even bother to let them know when a decision has been made to hire someone else.

With recruiters recently complaining about serious difficulties in finding qualified candidates, critical shortages in many skill areas, and employee turnover rising, the tables are clearly turning. In the executive office, concern is high about recruiting and keeping qualified talent. Boorish employers will soon find themselves watching their more courteous competitors snatching away the plum candidates, from entry level through the executive suite. It seems that a little brush-up on Emily Post would be prudent for recruitiers, hiring managers, and others competing for today’s candidates.