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Businesses struggling to fill management positions

Despite a growth in managerial job postings over the past year, there has been a significant drop in the number of applications for board-level jobs. With applicants in a post-recession era able to be more selective, recruiters must change their hiring methods if they want to tackle the continuing skills shortage within the industry.

Data from job search website CV-Library has found that applicants have become far more selective in their searches, with June marking a near 12 month low in applications. The 16.9% drop has contradicted an increase in vacancies of 14.4% over the past year, leading to a deficit of over 27%.

As a result, executive search firms need to take a more proactive approach to hiring managerial candidates or else businesses will continually struggle to fill board-level roles. Businesses are now relying more on hiring external management instead of developing talent from within their organisations. Although this provides them with access to a greater pool of talent, these potential applicants are needing more to be convinced.

On average in 2014, an employer could expect to receive roughly 20 applications for every board level vacancy. Skip forward a year and it’s less than 15. Considering there are more jobs to fill now than before, this worrying trend brings up two concerns. Either key business assignments will go unfilled or employers will end up settling for someone who isn’t really the right fit – both of which will provide a dilemma to a business down the line.

What’s needed is a more pro-active approach to the recruitment of senior and executive staff. Posting vacancies online is a good start, but with websites such as LinkedIn constantly gaining popularity, the onus is on the employer to look out for the best talent themselves. Applicants are savvy – many will lose interest if they read a run of the mill job description.

There’s a greater air of confidence amongst applicants now that the economic situation is more stable, and so recruiters need to understand that a two-way process is vital when finding the right staff. It may mean that an extra bit of legwork needs to be done by those recruiting, but applicants will appreciate the effort and be more likely to apply as a result.

The growth in managerial positions is a positive trend, no doubt, but more needs to be done by recruiters to persuade potential employees to apply for these roles. By engaging with them directly and assessing their skills for the role individually, the board-level sector may finally start to see a decline in this current skills shortage.

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