Don Charlton

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Sixty-seven percent of executives—from the C-suite to HR and department heads—have a “whatever it takes” attitude about landing the best candidate.

Today we are releasing our inaugural 2015 Hiring Outlook Report, conducted with The Starr Conspiracy Intelligence Unit. The report uncovers hiring and retention strategies from companies across the country—along with some unconventional measures they’re willing to take to land and retain high performers.

Hot Pursuit of the Elusive A-Player

According to the U.S. Labor Department’s July Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, the number of job openings yet again rose to a series high of 5.8 million and we’re experiencing a declining unemployment rate, which currently hovers at 5.1 percent. With more available jobs and fewer unemployed workers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for companies to recruit and retain top-quality candidates.

With attractive alternatives luring companies’ best talent, the pressure is on for hiring managers to not just find, but keep, their most impactful employees. This is what we discovered in Jazz’s 2015 Hiring Outlook Report:

  • Nearly 70 percent of executives trust their guts when it comes to hiring and are willing to stake their reputation on making a hire who may not look the part, but whom they believe is the right candidate.
  • 54 percent of executives would pass on a safe hire to take a risk on a potentially transcendent performer.
  • Although more than half of employers believe they are excellent at interviewing (58 percent) and assessing (54 percent) candidates, nearly half (48 percent) still say they currently have weak talent links in their organization.

Talent is the key driver of business success. We live in a winner-take-all marketplace; if you want a top performer, you have to look beyond the job description and carefully evaluate organizational culture and team fit.

Companies Adopt a “Whatever it Takes” Attitude to Land Top-Notch Candidates

It’s true: candidates are in the driver’s seat. We found that 67 percent of executives—from the C-suite to HR and department heads—have a “whatever it takes” attitude about landing the best candidate.

To compete in the talent wars, company executives are willing to make bold moves to attract the best candidates:

  • 60 percent of C-level executives and 47 percent of HR/recruiting managers would poach from the competition.
  • 32 percent of executives and HR/recruiting managers would allow a candidate to customize their job title once hired, as would 49 percent of C-level executives.
  • 39 percent of C-level executives and 25 percent of HR/recruiting managers would post a fake job review on a review site to boost rankings.

View from the Top: Rosy Tint to C-Suite Perspective on Hiring and Growth

Jazz’s study revealed a disconnect between the C-suite and “boots-on-the-ground” employees when it comes to hiring: 90 percent of C-level leaders believe their organizations are ready to hire top performers, while only 70 percent of mid-level leaders believe the same.

C-level leaders also tend to give candidates the benefit of the doubt, and are far more likely than functional leadership to take a chance on an unconventional hire, with 42 percent willing to compromise on hiring standards and settle for less—a stark contrast to the 15 percent of functional leaders who would do the same.

The C-suite also tends toward a more favorable view of its own organization’s personnel diversity. Seventy-nine percent of C-level executives believe their organization makes highly objective and bias-free hiring decisions, compared with 66 percent of HR/recruiting managers. They are also more likely to view their own organization as ethnically and racially diverse (86 percent and 79 percent respectively) than mid-level leaders (66 percent and 64 percent respectively).

C-Suite Ready to Go the Extra Mile for Worker Satisfaction

To retain top performers, C-level executives are especially open to adopting unconventional policies that can increase employee satisfaction  when compared to their colleagues:

  • 54 percent of C-level executives would be willing to provide generous work from home flexibility, compared to 51 percent of HR/recruiting managers and 36 percent of department heads.
  • 53 percent would offer a four-day work week, compared to 40 percent of HR/recruiting managers and 19 percent of department heads.
  • 47 percent would get rid of titles and/or adopt the holacracy management approach, versus 34 percent of HR/recruiting managers and 17 percent of department heads.
  • 46 percent would provide unlimited PTO, compared to 34 percent of HR/recruiting managers and 15 percent of department heads.
  • 44 percent would provide or subsidize pet daycare, compared to 29 percent of HR/recruiting managers and 14 percent of department heads.


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