It’s a seller’s marketBy Nick Stephens
How the world has changed
Twelve months’ ago the life sciences executive search market was driven by employers, the market was recovering from three years of flat/declining demand.
Search firms were delivering shortlists in 6-8 weeks but hiring companies could and did take their time (on average 25.1 weeks after the shortlisting meeting) making a decision on who to offer a job to.
Slow post shortlist decisions did not harm clients because candidates would ‘hang on’ for news with an average of six weeks gap before the first candidate lost interest or took a different role in preference to the role in question.
But now the market is hotter than it has ever been before. The best candidates are being approached for multiple roles and being very well looked after by their current employers.
Today the first, and often the best, candidates withdraw from shortlists within seven days if they have heard nothing from the client.
Everyone’s aim in each executive search is to secure the best available candidate for the client on-time. Search Firms can ‘control’ the candidate pool pre shortlist but after shortlist almost all of the control shifts to the client.
Sense of urgency
There are many ways to minimise candidate withdrawals and to maximise the chances of success and all of these also shorten time lines and bring the new executive up-to-speed as quickly as possible.
We’ll be talking about them with our clients at every briefing meeting.