War on Talent

War on Talent

Written by Michelle Clayton, Director for Solü Technology Partners

Hey Hiring Manager, I’m watching you lose the war on talent.

Your inbox may be flooded with resumes that you’re trying desperately to get to, but the candidate you need has just accepted another position as you were “getting to those resumes”.

Does this keep you up at night?

I know sifting through resumes, scheduling phone screens, conducting face-to-face interviews, looping back with interviewer number 2, and catching up with interviewer number 5 is not your primary focus.   The candidate selection process is another daunting item on your already task saturated to-do list. I know that, and so does your recruiting team.

As you plan to “get to” any single step in the candidate selection process, consider this:

  • A company down the block can offer a stronger compensation package for a very similar role
  • The company across the street has a more robust benefit package
  • Your company’s hiring process averages 3-4 weeks
  • Your competitor’s hiring process averages 3-4 days

While those scenarios are not absolutes; they are most definitely viable possibilities. 

Don’t underestimate the value you bring to a job seeker by providing a high-quality candidate experience. In fact, being mindful of the interaction you and your organization has with a candidate can be a huge differentiator amongst companies fighting for the same talent.   

When looking to hire, ask yourself:  Am I executing in a manner that would compel someone to want to work here? Work WITH and FOR me?

If it’s taking weeks to review resumes, schedule interviews and worst of all to make a hiring decision…you are unintentionally sending a dismal message to the talent community.

 “I’m too busy to hire” While that may be a true statement, it is also nonsensical.   How do you get “less busy” unless you fill vacant roles?

The organizational cost of vacant roles has a significant impact on company financials. Elongating the hiring process for any reason costs your company real dollars. Sometimes there are valid business reasons that drive an excessive time to fill. I don’t believe most CEO’s would agree that “I was getting to it” is one of those valid business reasons.

The hiring process can be stressing to your workload. Some recalibration of your hiring approach can provide some much-needed relief.

Truthful Qualification:

“Do I really need someone in a seat within the next 4-5 Weeks”?

If the answer is no: Don’t open the role. 

  • It is extremely difficult to keep a candidate identified in week 1 interested, available and highly engaged in week 12.  
  • You don’t have the bandwidth for 12 weeks of resume review, interviewing and managing all the candidate feedback and communications.  

If the Answer is Yes: Be prepared to execute deliberately and swiftly.

“Do candidates really need to have all of the ‘Required Skills’ listed in the Job Description to do this job successfully”?

If the answer is no: Remove them from the list.

If the answer is yes: Ask yourself, “Of the required skills, what learning and training can my team and I provide?”.

In many instances, a Job Description will list a library of skills that would speak to a very small percent of a talent pool with your primary desired skill set. By accepting only candidates that are 100% match, you are missing out on some potentially great hires. Willingness to invest in people through continued skills development makes your organization a great place to work!

“How many candidates do I need to interview before feeling confident in making a hiring decision”?

That can be a tricky one, but the goal should be as few as possible. In fact, one interview to one hire is high functioning, highly optimized recruiting and hiring process.

Remember, we’re trying to preserve your time and your sanity. Armed with a strong recruiting team, either internal or an external partner, this goal can be achieved.

Maintain Reasonable Expectations:

Market by Market, one fact in recruiting will always be true: The available talent pool is the available talent pool and that’s the talent pool you have to choose from. Perfect candidates don’t grow on trees waiting to be picked.  Your recruiter doesn’t have a way to create candidate perfection out of thin air.

Not making a hiring decision, or waiting to make one, does not change the market’s talent community.    When your internal recruiter, recruiting partners or consulting firms present you a slate of candidates, that slate is a data slice that represents…you guessed it, the available talent pool in your market.

Job seekers are savvier than ever before, and they know their market worth.  It’s not a reasonable expectation to believe you will fill your open role with the top 1% of the available talent at a compensation level 10% below market.  

Leverage the Subject Matter Experts

Your personal core competencies might not be centered around recruiting and hiring, but it is an area of expertise for your recruiting and staffing partners.     By honestly evaluating your needs, having reasonable expectations, and educating your recruiters to what is a “Hire-able Fit” vs a “Perfect Fit”, you will not have to scour through piles of resumes.  You will be positioned to hire from the first slate. You have your time back, time to fill goes down, employee morale goes up, and the cost of vacancy is greatly reduced.  

Don’t lose the War on Talent.