What a ‘Candidate-Driven Market’ Means For Designers

Blogpost by Bejan Douraghy. He is the founder of Artisan Talent, an award winning staffing agency that has been inspiring better lives and matching talent since 1988, with offices in Chicago, New York City, Indianapolis, Washington D.C., Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Have you heard the phrase “candidate-driven market” lately? Not sure what it means for your career? Relax, it’s good news!

It means now is a great time to be looking for work as there are more jobs for talented creatives. A high demand for specific skills paired with the longer amount of time companies take to fill open roles is good news for job seekers. Even Inc. is reporting “the most difficult step these days is finding employees – any employees at all. We’re in the midst of one of the most difficult hiring markets of all time.”


What does all this mean for you?

These five things are true for designers in a candidate-driven hiring market.

• There Are More Jobs: Simply put, you have more choices in jobs now than you did three years ago. Businesses that had to cut back during the recession of 2008 are finally hiring again, and new tech adds more and more jobs every day. Creatives can now be more selective when it comes to what types of roles and which companies they apply to.

• Negotiations Are In Your Favor: A candidate-driven job market means you, the job seeker, can negotiate a better pay and benefits package. Companies are becoming more sensitive to the wants of job seekers when it comes to their compensation packages. As jibe.com points out, if you have skills that are in short supply (bilingual speakers or work with A.I., for example), or you work in an industry that has boomed post-recession, there is heightened competition among employers … which means better benefits for the right candidate.

• Bridges Are More Easily Burned: Thinking this market can help you get a huge salary bump and unlimited time off for less work? Not necessarily. It’s important to remember to empathize with potential employers and not get too greedy. Playing offers against each other or demanding too much can end up burning some bridges. Make sure you’re staying within the market range for your role, level of experience, and geographic location. Consult a salary guide to see what competitive compensation looks like for your career.

Speaking of location …

• Freelancers Can Choose Their Location:  It used to be that companies would settle down in their area and make talented job seekers come to them. Now, companies are starting to move to markets where their type of talent is living. Looking for a tech gig? You no longer have to go to Silicon Valley — you can check out Chicago. Want to live the start up life? Try Denver instead.

• Staffing Agencies Are The Place To Be:  More job vacancies means more job postings and more interviews, but not necessarily more quality talent…it’s a lot for HR departments to handle! As more specialized roles need to be filled, companies aren’t having time to source for talent on their own, so they’re turning to staffing agencies to help them fill the roles. If you haven’t submitted your portfolio to one of the major digital and creative staffing agencies (like Artisan Talent hint, hint), now is the time!

Bottom line? Companies need talent and you have it. So it’s time to embrace the sophisticated job seeker within you.