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More Reasons You Still Haven’t Found the Right Person for Your Team

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Part 3:  Supply and Demand, plus Snowflakes in the Bermuda Triangle

By Kathy Marshall, Director of Quality
And Tom Brennan, Senior Writer

Series: Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Ways:  10 Reasons Why You Still Haven’t Found the Right Person for Your Team

See:  Part 1, Part 2

I have been writing about finding A+ talent in today’s highly competitive job market, and about avoiding pitfalls that can trip up an otherwise strong recruitment process. Consider: unemployment is at 5.9% in the U.S., after soaring as high as 10% in October 2009. That’s good news for the American people and the economy, of course. But it means the pool of available talent is very, very small. Chances are, to get the A+ players you want, you’ll have to court them away from a job they already have or other jobs that they are considering. Avoiding these Bad Ways will help.

Bad Way #6: Too much demand, not enough supply

Hiring managers (HMs) need realistic expectations. Of course you want to maintain high standards, but it’s important to recognize that talent acquisition is a market-driven activity. Failing to take the market into account can blow the talent search ship off course and into the Bermuda Triangle of recruitment — where searches go to stall and flounder.

A little supply and demand research can provide valuable insights. For example, at Decision Toolbox (DT) we pull a Supply and Demand Report from CareerBuilder for every search. You can search on multiple parameters like skill set, education, salary, market/industry, location, and others. Typically it’s an eye-opener, with demand far exceeding supply. I recommend you use other sources as well, to corroborate, but the point is to set sail with some good maps.

Plotting a course around the Bermuda Triangle

Armed with information, you can think strategically. Salary, location and experience are the points of the triangle. Navigating around these points help you from falling into the Bermuda Triangle. If you can flex those points, you will increase your chances of attracting and engaging that A+ candidate. Location, at times, cannot be changed. If your research indicates that you aren’t likely to find an A+ player in your salary budget, you might try this.

Focus on finding a candidate with the top two absolutely essential requirements as well as a track record of learning and excelling. Yes, you’ll have to provide some training. However, as DT Founder Jay Barnett explained in a recent white paper, offering the opportunity to learn and grow has huge advantages. For one thing, it’s a great selling point. For another, the employees you train often become your most loyal team members.

Another related issue is internal equity. You want to top-grade, but you’re concerned about your existing team. The plain truth here is that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. If you want to bring in skills that your team doesn’t have now, you’ll need to pay at or above market price depending on your competitive landscape.

Bad Way #7: Waiting for the perfect snowflake

Just as every snowflake is unique, everyone’s idea of the perfect candidate is a little different. But if you insist on holding out for the perfect snowflake, you might end up waiting for something that never arrives . . . and now you’ve drifted into the Bermuda Triangle again. Meanwhile, that empty seat is costing you in terms of time, revenue, and productivity.

Time to get strategic again. Recruiting isn’t the same as shopping for a plug-and-play device with all the features you need. It’s about human potential. Try this: assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current team and, instead of focusing on your five must-have features, focus on finding a candidate who has a strength that would bolster your team. Again, you may need to train this person in other areas, but you’ll actually enhance the whole team by providing cross training and knowledge sharing opportunities.

You’ve probably figured out that either suggestion will work in either scenario. A+ people need to feel challenged, and they need to feel they are contributing. By loosening your requirements and offering professional development — along with the chance to help others develop — you can create an engaged and motivated team.

Next in this series: to gain consensus or not to gain consensus? That is the question . . . and often the source of your headache.


For more information on Decision Toolbox, check out the DT infographic here.

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