Now more than halfway through 2023, we’re seeing a lot of what was forecasted by places like LinkedIn coming true—the roles of recruiters are extremely important and budgets are a big focus. But there are also some unexpected developments that our team has noticed here at Artisan. We asked our recruiting team some questions to understand the nuances of their experience of the current hiring market.
Budgets and rates are lower, cautiousness is everywhere
"Dollars are so precious right now,” says Karen Smith, our Director of Talent Strategy. “Part of me wonders if [hiring managers] think ‘there’s a spotlight on me. I’m going to get in trouble for spending.’ [There’s] a lot of internal pressure for them in the company.” And what results is both lower budgets and rates for talent, meaning many hiring managers are looking for junior creatives or finding freelancers for affordability's sake. Hiring from within as well as shopping around with recruitment agencies are two other strategies that Karen has witnessed coming from companies lately. She also pointed to the economy and the classic groupthink tactic of ‘In uncertain times, follow what everyone else is doing.’ “If everyone else is cautious, well then, we should be,” she said of the current hiring mindset. Companies that can challenge this mindset may set themselves apart from their peers.
There is no shortage of work, but interviewing takes time.
Undoubtedly this complicates finding the right person for the job(s) for two reasons. (1) Timelines have to line up between you and the talent, and there is always the worry that the person you were about to hire is suddenly offered a job elsewhere. (2) Hiring managers are already swamped, having to pick up the slack of any open role(s). There is so little time to spend in constant contact with a recruiter that many managers might have to put the role on hold until they have time to conduct interviews. Plus, right now so many people are out of work that some may resort to lying about skill levels just to keep food on the table. Hiring managers know how long the vetting process takes, which means starting the search ASAP. But following up and sticking with the process every day is another job in and of itself. Be realistic and honest with your recruiter through the process—because they truly get what you’re going through.
New, more complex jobs are bringing in fewer candidates
"Everyone wants more for less right now,” Karen said. What this desire often translates into is a job description that doubles up roles in hopes of hiring a two-for-one talent. The reality is that the unicorn you’re looking for either isn’t available, very expensive, or they don’t actually exist! Smith’s advice to hiring managers is to prioritize their most important needs first and hire for these crucial skills. If you’re, say, hiring for a Front-End Developer, but also want the person to manage a full team as well as keep all systems up-to-date, well, you’re probably going to spend years trying to find them. Whereas if the most pressing need for you is that you need a Front-End Developer to keep the lights on, secondary skills like management experience can be your “nice-to-haves.”
Hiring managers must get creative while considering talent
And we come to the major advice we have for everyone involved—hiring managers need to prioritize what they need and be flexible about who comes through. When setting budgets, rates, and desired skills, identify your strict parameters and then get creative with your vision for what this person can look like. Perhaps you actually need a freelancer instead of a full-timer or a junior-level creative will be just fine in the role with a little training. List out all the possibilities so you can see where flexibility can happen for this role.
And when in doubt, lean on recruiters for advice. It’s what we’re here for!