2021 and the effects on hiring & retaining talent

I have been in the recruiting business since 2004, and 2021 was by far the craziest year I have ever seen for our business.

The job market flipped almost overnight from employee-driven to an extremely candidate-driven market.

Since March of 2020, millions of people disappeared from the workforce due to early baby boomer retirees (on top of the already inflated baby boomer retirement rate), middle-aged people no longer participating, less immigration, and unfortunately even COVID deaths. This has had a cascading effect across the labor market.

This will not end anytime soon. Baby boomers, the youngest of which are 57 years old, will continue to retire in numbers our economy has never experienced, and a lot of jobs are increasingly being replaced through automation. This is leading us to expect a sustained shortage of professional & executive talent in the labor market for the foreseeable future.

What can you do about it?
Candidate Experience

More than ever, you need to ensure your company is offering a first-class experience to candidates. If you have not done so already, someone in your organization needs to take ownership of the candidate experience process and implement that as quickly as possible.

Interview Timelines

If your process still takes more than 2-3 weeks, it’s time to reevaluate your process. The labor shortage is not going away and the more progressive companies have already adjusted their timelines.


Play defense with your current team members with proactive salary adjustments and be prepared to pay higher salaries for new talent. What worked pre-pandemic does not work now. Find out what is happening in your market and adjust accordingly.

Talent Acquisition Strategy

Do your internal and/or external recruiting partners have the right strategy to attract passive candidates? This will be extremely critical moving forward.

Most Importantly, Treat Your People Right

Assume that every one of your team members has lots of career options at the moment, because they do.

Are you prepared for the new candidate driven job market?