It’s been a candidate market for years now. Companies across many industries have struggled to recruit top candidates to their organizations. Competition has been fierce, and the advantage was firmly in the hands of the candidates.

But with the latest economic uncertainty, inflation concerns, hiring freezes and layoffs in some industries, the tables have started to turn, right?

executive search toronto is it still a candidates market


Our recruiters are not so sure the tables have turned fully, but it’s more balanced now. While one may assume the current market conditions would greatly favour employers, it hasn’t to the degree you would expect. The employer-candidate relationship is more complex than ever. It’s just not the same as in the past. So, we are now in a situation where candidates have a little less leverage and employers have a little more clout than in previous years. We’re on more equal footing.

Here are some reasons why there is a greater balance:

The Great Resignation has evolved to the ‘Great Stay’ & ‘Quiet Quitting.’

Remember the great resignation? When employees were up and quitting their job without another offer. With fewer options in 2023, fewer employees are up and leaving.

Inflation and economic realities now have employees less likely to up and quit without a new role on the horizon. They are more likely to stay put or engage in  quiet quitting.

Companies are also actively increasing salaries to offset inflation and reduce churn. Employers are focusing more on retention and giving employees a reason to stay, especially in light of the economic uncertainty.

Demographics have (and continue to) drive demand

Demographics is playing a significant role in the employment market. Even though there are fewer jobs available, there continue to be fewer workers. Why? 

Boomers (and some Gen-X) continue to retire faster than the existing marketplace can pull them up. There simply aren’t enough workers to replace those who are retiring. Many boomers are also returning to the workforce after a brief break, or simply deferring retirement for economic or purpose reasons.  This is reducing the low supply / high demand leverage that GenX and Millennials had in previous years, reducing the leverage they once had.

These factors, while they haven’t turned the tables, have certainly created a more balanced playing field for candidates and employers.


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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across Canada and internationally. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Construction & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Bruce Powell Executive Search

Bruce Powell

Bruce co-founded IQ PARTNERS in 2001 and currently operates as Managing Partner. His personal background includes hands-on management experience in sales, marketing and marketing services. He has built management teams for a wide variety of marketing, communications, media and technology companies. He has also participated in several M&A transactions for service-based companies and is frequently called upon as a resource in the planning and negotiation of such deals.

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