The Quest For Talent: 10 Tips Before Beginning Your Next Search

Christopher Morris, an Account Executive in our Indianapolis office, shares his tips for finding your next great employee.

So, you’re looking for a qualified candidate boasting more than ten years of experience, familiar with multiple specific software programs, who resides within a 25-mile radius of your location, comprehends the full life cycle of production for your widget or service (with the exact same program/machinery/software/methodology, etc.), works well independently and with a team, and who acclimates well to your company culture. Given this unrealistic expectation, are you honestly surprised by the lack of candidates matching your requirements?

Employers have not encountered the current candidate driven market and qualified labor shortage in at least twenty years. Many hiring managers, HR personnel, and even executives were not anywhere near the stature of their current positions two decades ago, and most of the current hiring personnel have never experienced a labor shortage of this magnitude. The skills gap is projected to widen even further over the next two decades. The “post and pray” method is no longer a smart option for sourcing, vetting, and hiring qualified candidates. This begs the question—how is your company adapting to the qualified candidate labor shortage?

With the scaling back of non-business friendly regulations, decreased corporate tax rates, and the revitalization of several industries, the market has responded with a very high level of job creation. If you are a company fortunate enough to expand operating capacity though the hiring of new employees, I can assume the environment still differs from the kind you experienced five or ten years ago. If your market experience is more challenging, why does your company recruit using the same methodology as when qualified candidates were pounding down your door? Companies proactively addressing this dynamic are attracting and on-boarding the talent you want and need in order to hit required production levels.

Change is difficult. Here are 10 things to consider before you attempt to find your next great candidate.

  1. When was the job description last revamped?
  2. Who am I actively competing with for talent?
  3. Is our salary range in-line with current market rates?
  4. Does it take longer than one month to fulfill our hiring process?
  5. Do redundant steps exist in our process?
  6. Do we present our culture in a realistic manner or is it full of clichéd taglines?
  7. Can training bridge the knowledge gap at a low-cost threshold?
  8. Does having one to five years less experience legitimately disqualify a candidate from producing good results?
  9. Do we employ assessments? Do they present an accurate representation of the candidate?
  10. Have we effectively outlined the opportunity for growth using a written plan and easily identified benchmarks?

When searching for experienced and qualified talent, you’ll now need to work harder for it. The war for talent does not just impact your recruiting efforts. It’s important to remember that your competition is attempting to draft your top players for their team, so the burden is on you to utilize the best retention model to retain those top performers.