On the 12th Day of Christmas, Maven Recruiting Group Gave to Me: 12 Hiring Observations of 2018

During this reflective time of year, we encourage you to cozy up with some eggnog or maybe a peppermint mocha and join us as we recap 12 recruiting trends we saw in 2018.

1. Don’t expect a plethora of candidates (or gifts):

Rudolph isn’t the only one with the reins...and heads up, you’re not driving this sleigh either. This is a candidate-driven market, not an employer’s market. Sometimes we receive requests from clients who believe they need to talk to 10+ plus candidates before they make a hire. In a tight market like this, that’s just not a reasonable expectation (you’ll be lucky to see 5 candidates that fit the bill). So, if you’re fortunate enough to meet “Mr. /Ms. Right” right off the bat, don’t let an all-star candidate pass you by.  

2. You can have your milk & cookies too:

It helps to be calibrated on what you need prior to meeting candidates. Be specific and think about the intangibles – what does this new hire need to have in order to be “the chosen one”? Set up your expectations ahead of time, that way you can recognize a good thing when you meet him/her. These high-caliber candidates in a tight market like this one move faster than your cart zooming through the aisles on Black Friday!

3. Before the clock strikes midnight:

As you reflect on 2018, ask yourself if each stage of the interview process is adding value. If it’s not additive, chop it down like your own Christmas tree. We recommend two on-sites with key decision makers and, if needed, squeeze in a tangible assessment.  

4. Referrals aka the Secret Santas!

And we’ll let you take a guess at who has the best word-of-mouth, curated, defined networks? You’re right... recruiting agencies like Maven Recruiting Group who have spent years building lasting relationships with industry-specific professionals. Chances are, a referred candidate will shine brighter than an applicant who applies to several jobs via job boards. Think about it – most high-level candidates who are currently in a role don’t have the time to apply to jobs on their own, instead they work with recruiters they trust. Like us. :)

5. The New Year’s ball isn’t the only thing that should be dropped...  

Unless this is a long-distance relationship, we recommend doing away with phone interviews, especially if they’ve already been vetted by a recruiting firm you trust.  Phone interviews are a low-yield activity and in this market, we want nothing but high-impact steps.  

6. Whether you realize it or not, you’re in the hospitality industry -- bring on the milk & cookies:

Haven’t you heard? The new gift-giving trend has switched from stockings and Santa gifts to experiences... and the same goes for your hiring process.  If you're not thinking about your hiring process from the perspective of experience, you should be. Perceptions of your company and culture start from the minute a candidate steps out of the elevator, meets your receptionist and sits down to wait in the lobby.  

7. Naughty & Nice List? No more.

In 2018, California and San Francisco enabled laws so that companies are no longer allowed to discriminate against candidates for previous convictions. No coal in the stockings this year.  

8. Your employees want to partake in the “Fa-la-la-la-la," too!  

Before you plan your New Year’s Resolutions, take a moment to reflect on the now. Do your employees feel like they have a voice within your organization? How about opportunity for growth and impact? If not, make 2019 a year of adding value. Look for new and improved ways to offer good tidings to your employees... because if you don’t, another company will.  

9. No one’s shaking this year’s card for cash.

We bet you want to know the number one reason candidates are receptive to new roles... hint, hint: it’s not necessarily compensation. The majority of candidates we come into contact with who are receptive to new roles are looking more for intangibles than tangibles.  Things like a sense of empowerment and autonomy in their role, respect, appreciation, growth and learning, and overall recognition, which doesn’t have to be financial.  

10. Help your employees achieve their New Year’s Resolutions!

Do you have a total rewards plan that supports what your employees' value? Have a health-conscience bunch that just made New Years’ fitness goals, think about whether it makes sense to add a gym stipend or reimbursement to your offerings? Or team fitness classes?  Take a minute to consider whether your benefits package mirrors the interests and priorities of your staff and, if not, think about tweaking them. This doesn’t always mean more $$, sometimes it’s just redistributing resources you’re already contributing. Can’t go up on base? We’ve seen candidates take less money with a “Work from Home” policy in place.

11. Candidates want to give back too (and not just during this time of year):

Believe us when we say, “mission-driven” is the new Google. Every day, candidates are telling us they want to get behind something bigger. They want to join companies who produce meaningful work and be a part of teams who support the marginalized and get their hands in on projects that provide solutions to the world’s biggest socio-economic problems. As you gear up for the new year, think about the various ways your company can give back... and then use that as a selling point when making your next hire.

12. Christmas raise, anyone?

In the Bay Area administrative space specifically, we’re seeing higher base salaries. C-level Executive Assistants are being compensated an average of $120-140K+ depending on experience and administrative professionals with around 2-3 years of experience are at the $85-95K mark.  


We hope our recap of hiring trends in 2018 was insightful, motivating and entertaining. Wishing you a final season of reflection, celebration and success as you gear up for 2019. And if you’re looking to build our your administrative or HR team in the new year, a little elf told us that Maven Recruiting Group is the agency to call to make your hiring wishes come true.



Written by: Haley Garrison

Posted on

December 20, 2018


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