Many employers are facing what is perceived to be a “talent shortage” – many applicants, but few qualified candidates. Even though this perceived talent shortage may be real, here are some other reasons why your organization may not be able to find the right hire.
You have too many job requirements.
Making your qualification requirements too detailed and specific can narrow your applicant pool and doesn’t necessarily ensure that you’ll hire a top performer. Many employers make the mistake of assuming that more experience, education, and specific skills mean a better performer, but fit and personality factors should also play a role. Requesting too many requirements could eliminate candidates that can do the job well and have growth potential. A classic example of individuals affected by narrow job requirements are recent college graduates, who may not necessarily have the skills or experience you are requiring, but may be top performers.
You have misconceptions about unemployed, disabled, and older workers.
Consider whether your organization is inadvertently discriminating against the unemployed, disabled, older workers by acting on misconceptions that these types of individuals are worse performers or less-than-ideal employees. Being unemployed, disabled, or older should not automatically eliminate applicants from being considered for employment. Not only will these misconceptions limit your applicant pool and cause you to miss a potential great hire, but they could eventually lead you to court. Plus, there are a number of successful companies that have tapped into these applicant pools and found top-quality hires.
Your sourcing is too limited.
If your organization is relying solely on job board postings to acquire talent, its sourcing strategy is probably too narrow and thereby ineffective. While job boards are still a common source used by employers to source talent, organizations need to tap both active and passive job candidates – those that are actively seeking new employment and those that are open to new job opportunities but aren’t actively searching. Many employers have turned to social media, networking, and “niche” recruiting to attract specialized talent and tap into these passive candidates.
You aren’t using your network.
A network is, by far, the best way to attract quality hires. Tap into your entire organizational network – including employees, customers, professional connections and relationships – for their recommendations on potential candidates. They are usually thrilled to help and provide meaningful suggestions. Plus, referrals are one of the most effective ways to attract quality hires and are one of the least expensive sourcing strategies.
You aren’t willing to train and develop the skills you need.
It’s much easier to find an individual that has the ability and desire to learn then it is to find an employee with every skill you need, especially for hard-to-fill technical positions. Consider whether your organization is open to training and developing some of the skills you need but can't find. This option may save you significant time and recruiting costs and allows you to focus on less trainable attributes like culture fit during the hiring process.
Your candidate experience could improve.
Once you’ve found a qualified candidate, how does your organization treat and follow-up with them throughout the hiring process? Chances are, your responsiveness, flexibility, and communication with potential job candidates could improve. Remember that job candidates are just like customers and employees. They’re evaluating your organization and will tell others about their experiences. Make sure those experiences are positive.
You may not be setting your organization apart from the rest.
Finally, has your organization revealed to its applicants how it is it different from other companies? Perhaps it offers stability or advancement opportunities that other employers can’t provide. Maybe it is growing rapidly, has a unique family-friendly culture, or was recognized as a great place to work nationally or regionally. If you don’t talk about your strengths or promote why your organization is a great place to work, applicants won’t know what they are missing by not accepting a job at your organization. Gaining recognition as a great place to work, such as through the NorthCoast 99 program (www.northcoast99.org), and leveraging this to attract applicants, can boost your organization’s reputation and is often the best place to start when it comes to improving your ability to attract talent. It also shows that you care about being an employer of choice and strive to be a good workplace.
Talented employees are undoubtedly a sought-after commodity, but many employers have found that these strategies help them attract the very best talent. If your organization is facing its own “talent shortage,” keep these suggestions in mind.
For more information on how to earn recognition as a NorthCoast 99 winner and one of the best places to work in Northeast Ohio please visit www.northcoast99.org.