If you are not hiring as many good people as you’d like to, your company probably has the wrong talent strategy in place. Most companies design their talent strategy on the false assumption that there is a surplus of talent available. There is not. In a talent scarce market, you need to ATTRACT talent in, not WEED talent out.
You are assuming there is a surplus if:
- Your job descriptions and focus are emphasizing must have skills, experience and personality traits.
- Your company doesn’t measure the hiring managers ability to attract and retain top talent.
- The measure of hiring success is how fast or how cheaply it can be done.
Approach your talent strategy with an understanding that there is a shortage of “active” talent.
If you focus purely on the cost per hire and being more efficient at hiring the same type of people you have always hired, you will not elevate your level of talent hired. In a talent scarce market, you need to target the entire market place (i.e. reach passive candidates) and focus on ATTRACTING top talent. To do that you need to raise the bar and improve the strategy.
Where to start?
You can start by:
- Eliminating skills and experience laden job descriptions which are at best ill defined lateral transfers. These turn off the best people. Instead the job needs to be described as a series of performance objectives, that the best people see as a possible advancement in their career. For example, instead of saying “Must have 5 years of UX design experience and a BS degree in computer science.” It is better to say, “Lead the development of our new CRM interface.”
- Move to a consultative recruitment strategy. For the best people getting a new job is not a transactional process. It takes them more time to fully evaluate the benefits of a new career. The big benefit is that when a job is a career move, compensation becomes less important.
- Focus on a performance based interview process, based on evidence of accomplishment. This is essential to assess the person’s ability and motivation to do the actual work that needs to be done.
- Be clear on what your company and the opportunity have to offer. A career move needs to offer MORE than just a monetary increase. It needs to offer:
- Job stretch (opportunity to challenge, stretch their skills.)
- Job growth (opportunity of advancement, increase in responsibilities.)
- Increase in job satisfaction (the ability to do work that is more intrinsically satisfying for that individual.)
Focus your efforts around attracting the passive candidate.
I’d encourage you to be proactive in your efforts to reach passive candidates and be bold in your hiring. Hire someone that has shown you evidence of performance and achievement but does not meet all the criteria. Give them a chance to stretch, be challenged and in turn be more satisfied. If you do this, I’m confident you will elevate the level of talent you not only hire, but retain.