Hiring Yesterday, Today, and For Tomorrow

Yes Today Tom 210Ahhhh the good old days. Job seekers would send their resumes either by mail or post them online, you would select the best two to three candidates out of the 200 and call them in for an interview. Sometimes the choice was difficult because most all the resumes were good, and the three candidates you bring in to interview are stellar .Finally you make your decision, you hire the best of the best, they prove to be a great hire, stay with your organization for 15 or 20 years and become an top executive.  Well, you can toss that outdated VCR in the trash. Some readers will need to Google “VCR”. What’s different today?

That was Yesterday, What About Today?

Today organizations struggle to find, hire, and keep good talent. The question is, “Why is that the case?” Yes, we are in a crisis, but we have been in many a crisis over the decades. One solution some organizations focus on is laying people off, freezing hiring, and dismantling recruiting departments. Are those the best choices?  Knee jerk reactions seldom are the best choice.

In comparison, in the late forties, according to Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, when top engineers lost their jobs due to closing military labs, many organizations were following the scenario you read above. While Hewlett-Packard, a fledgling company at the time, make the decision to invest in the hiring of these top engineers. Their philosophy was how could they afford NOT to hire this low hanging fruit! Today that is just the situation.

Low Hanging Fruit

Right now, the market is being flooded with top talent because of our current situation and the decisions that a few organizations are making concerning their hiring status. Your organization, no doubt, is feeling the pinch, some worse than others depending on your industry. This is always the ebb and flow of an economic crisis – one industry’s crisis is another industry’s boom. The trick is to look for transferable skills.

This may take some extra digging on your part as a recruiter or hiring manager, but it goes with the job. If you hear, or know of someone, who is an excellent candidate in terms of work ethic, dependability, people skills, and other “treasures” that you cannot necessarily train for, but don’t currently work in your industry, take a deeper look at their skill set. Some better places to begin might be the industries experiencing the deepest impact such as hospitality and the airlines. Yes, it may take some additional training once they are on board, but expenses you are saving in terms of a shorter recruiting cycle and longer retention will pay off.

Because of the ability for employees to accomplish their work from anywhere, location concerns are now almost a nonissue. For this reason, many candidates, both those who do have jobs as well as those who don’t, are at least more willing to listen to offers that they may not have had the opportunity to consider in the past. Do you need to up your negotiation skills, your ability to influence others, or the perks your organization offers to attract this potential talent?

 Attracting Top Talent

Speaking of upping your game, perhaps your organization can come up with creative ways to help make your place of work more appealing. Ideas can be in the form of a signup bonus, a small one for part-time work and a larger one for full-time work. Up your reward on your referral program to help generate incentive in that area. Just make sure you already have amazing talent that is doing the referring. You can also up your game in the benefits you offer. Here is a link to a short video about that. Inside the video are links to some documents you can download for ideas on benefits and perks that can help set you apart from the competition.

Hiring for Tomorrow

There’s no place like home in terms of looking for good talent. Remember, you are not only hiring for now, but building your bench for the future. Think about your succession plan. People already on your payroll know and understand your culture, your customers, and your mission. Not only can they earn promotions in their current career paths, but there may be some employees better suited for and eager to change to a new path within the organization.

Keeping your hiring system healthy now will pay off for tomorrow. Recruiters need to continue building relationships with previous contacts and maintain touch points. When business ramps up again, it could come fast and furious and staring from ground zero will prove difficult. Don’t let your competition scoop up all that good talent before you can even make the first phone call. A source by SHRM suggests that an analysis by Harvard Business School illustrates that organizations that stay on top of recruiting also recover more quickly.

While there are many changes in hiring from the past, there are still many opportunities available today to continue to build a solid foundation for your bench for tomorrow.

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