Business and HR leaders are concerned about this skills shortage (and here we are talking about the skills required by US businesses and the skills US workers have) and among HR professionals, 75% of recruiters deal with this skills gap among candidates who apply for job openings. With implications and impact on the overall economy, the talent shortage is a serious challenge for organizations intensified by new technologies they use.
Let’s talk about numbers. According to the 2019 State of the Workplace report, there were 7 million jobs open in December 2018, with only 6.3 million unemployed people looking for work. “over 50% of respondents feel that skills shortages have worsened or greatly worsened in their organizations in the last two years.”
Missing skills. The trade skills (Carpentry, plumbing, welding, machining, etc.) are the top technical skills missing, and among soft skills missing, we find problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, and creativity.
“83% of respondents have had trouble recruiting suitable candidates in the past 12 months.” Why? To make a point, in this following infographic we list the top reasons why organizations are struggling to hire the right candidate for the job: competition from other employees, candidates that do not have the needed work experience, nor technical skills, mismatched salary, benefits are not competitive for the market, and so on.
Although it is a burden for many employers and recruiters out there, it can create an opportunity for a company to identify the missing skill, figure how to obtain them, and get a sense of how to position their workforce for the future of work.
Fortunately, there are several ways in which the skills gap can be reduced. How do you bridge the skills gap? Where there’s a problem, there’s a solution. Follow us and stay tuned for the second part of the graphic, where we look at what can be done.
We present 4 key points about how your organization and recruiters can stand out with candidates:
1. Feedback. Offering constant feedback. Once you have received an application, as a recruiter there is only one thing candidates expect, and sometimes keeps them waiting forever. There are at least two scenarios: When candidates are not a good fit and recruiters forget about their resumes. From thousands of applications on the table or desktop software, the recruiter’s job is to find the perfect match for the position. But what about all the other candidates? Those who don’t make the cut and thus don’t move forward, also deserve an answer. When you’ve already had an interview with a candidate, they will be waiting for an answer. If you tell them that they should hear from you, and to wait for your call or email, but won’t give them a specific date but rather a vague timeframe (i.e. “in the next few weeks”). When nothing happens weeks later and the position might have been filled, the other candidate’s know nothing. They might be in the process for more than the job with your company, so that leaves them with uncertainty, especially when they have hopes! In both situations, the recruiter’s feedback and response are what shows your candidates that you treat them as people, and not as pieces of paper.
We encourage candidates to pay attention to those hiring companies that keep them posted even when they have to give bad news. That is a result of a good culture that focuses on people and the importance of long-term impact within and outside the organization.
2. Being a good listener. It will bring many benefits both to the job seeker and the client. When a recruiter listens to what the other parties have to say, he will understand what their needs are. It is said that good communication starts with listening. Communication is not just about how much we talk and what we say. When a recruiter starts working with a new hiring manager, she must not advise, diagnose, or assume anything before having understood their context, plans, and expectations. Use probing questions, quantify expectations as much as possible, verbalize objectives and ask for confirmation of the same understanding. A good listener will be able to reflect on what is being said and restate the message using the same or very similar words. For instance, this is especially useful to discuss the meaning of terms that might have slightly different definition in a client’s organization (i.e. sourced candidate as in prospective – “we have their resumes and they contain the basic qualifications”, or as in “we have their resumes, they qualify on paper, and we’ve talked to the candidates and they’ve already confirmed interest”). Be ready to invite the hiring manager to speak as much as they can about the position beyond the words of the job description by asking open-ended questions, listening, and asking additional probing questions when needed.
3. Marketing and sales skills. A professional recruiter will always know how to market and promote the services, knowledge, job opportunities and expertise in an effective way so that both clients and candidates are entirely satisfied with the process and outcome. Hence why understanding the key mechanism of marketing and sales is important: match a need with a solution where everyone has something to win. Recruiters must sharpen their selling skills if they hope to have any relevant results. A recruiter will stand out if she manages to develop a partnership with the client rather than just being a simple vendor.
Most recruiters will approach the recruiting process as merely transactional. They are provided with a job requisition, they post the job ad on known job boards, they search the database for matches and so on and so forth. In other words a simple equation with a few variables and a result. Instead of this shallow approach, recruiters can first start by asking one simple question: “what makes an employee successful in the client’s organization?” In other words: what are those traits that helped new hires to be productive, to grow int he role, to be fully committed and engaged? Same goes for vetting candidates. Recruiters should never settle for a resume or vague interview questions and answer. Validate their skills and experience through probing questions, assessments and add the depth of information that hiring managers need for sounds hiring decisions.
This is why whether talking about the client organization or candidates, there’s no one size fits all. Rather, recruiters need to craft their recruiting strategy and approach to candidates in a way that validates and compares both a role’s requirements and candidates’ complex profiles. Give context to each role by emphasizing the story that goes with it, including aspects such as vision, culture, challenges, opportunities, professional and personal development, etc.. Inspire people and bring emotion. That will help candidates you are interacting with, to think about all the facets of the position you are presenting to them, so the can decide whether they are a fit or not.
4. Relationship building. We must not forget that recruiting at its foundation is about being able to connect with others. Recruiters should be natural connectors of people. That is why a recruiter must be active on social media and in real life. They interact with many people and should easily connect with everyone. The easiest way to connect with people is by building trust, which only comes with speaking the truth and being straight forward, and non-confrontational. Don’t oversell your ability to recruit to your clients, and don’t oversell a job to your candidate’s. Keeping that balance helps to develop the right relationship on both ends of an outstanding recruitment process: a consultant for both clients and candidates.
In the end, it comes down to an organization’s not-so-hidden agenda when hiring people: “How do we develop the right recruiting strategy so that both candidates and ourselves win?” At SourceMatch, we take joy and satisfaction in assisting our clients with this process that creates value long term, not just short term!
Talent, what a tricky little thing! It is hard to find, hard to manage, let alone to retain, but truth be told, a company can’t thrive without it. Companies that are capable to hire talented people are more likely to achieve high success rates that in turn translate into financial gains. In other words, talent is money. Therefore, in the world of HR, talent is put on a pedestal and is viewed as a diamond. Chiseled or in the rough, diamonds are a precious sign of prosperity. It is exactly the same with talent and recruiters know it: if they place talent in the company, that company will prosper beyond its means. And this is why at SourceMatch we refined the ways we search for talent because we understand the impact and value it can have for our clients.
So, talent is important for growth. But the acquisition of high performers takes significant effort and expertise. Imagine you hire a very talented professional and you find yourself in a scenario resembling that joke with the gamer arriving in hell: after he wreaks havoc and destroys everything, he keeps asking where the next level is. Talent combined with pride will not lead to growth, it will create chaos. Or think about how important it is to hire people that do not only have potential but also have a sense of loyalty. You most definitely want to hire people who strive to grow in the environment you offer them. These professionals are not only great team players but when they outgrow their role, they ensure continuity by coaching others on their own development. Identifying personality traits that lead to growth-generating behavior isn’t easy. The recruiting process needs to be tweaked in such a manner that it will generate the best fit for your company. Therefore, many companies after encountering all sorts of hurdles in the recruiting process choose to either outsource it or bring in a partner to assist and advise them. Whether they specialize in recruiting consulting or head-hunting, these partners work with a diverse number of client organizations, using and improving their best practices. Unless they do, they become irrelevant for the purpose of their business existence.
Having said that, we should all agree: companies can have significant benefits by working with recruiting companies. We are talking about the experts of the field who are hacking growth through recruiting. Efficient recruiting companies will help you scale up the recruiting process to generate the same level of quality candidates as before despite the increasing number of positions to fill. They will shed light on how to best show candidates what your organization’s values are. They can help you define aspects of HR you didn’t even know existed. For instance, let’s say that you embark on a hiring initiative and three months later you find yourself desperate to find a fit for a crucial position in your company. You are in the midst of organizational growth and you’re not able to move forward because you don’t have the right people in the right positions. And then you come up with the brilliant idea to bring in a partner to assist with the recruiting efforts. The recruiting company has inbuilt HR automation technology used to process information about the labor market faster. Its recruiters are able to build a list of prospective candidates in a fraction of the time you would on your own. Moreover, they create pipelines that allow them to swift through candidates ending up with those that are suitable for you. The right recruiting partner will act as an extension of your team, expanding your efforts and amplifying what has worked, improving what has not and so on.
There are many skills and there are multiple personalities. And to understand how these intertwine with each other is part of a recruiter’s role. When you identify a candidate for your company and give them a job, you expect them to grow with you. But if their personality and skills are not a match then it can be in your detriment. Our team is trained to recognize what matches your requirements beyond just the job description. But these requirements aren’t just related to candidates’ technical experience and need to also encompass behavioral traits and cultural fit. This is why we’ve developed what we call a “360-degrees look at who the candidates are”. At SourceMatch, we use this approach to assist clients with their hiring needs, so that their decision making is based on reliable information. When you want to grow in the right direction you want to have the depth of knowledge to make the right decisions. SourceMatch has developed its recruiting process so that we focus on what truly matters to our clients, which will be different from organization to organization. That means that we reach the best candidates at the right time within the shortest timeframe while making the client’s job significantly more effective. For instance, one of our clients was looking to fill two positions for a Project Manager role. After several months after we placed the candidates, they came back. They said they would like to continue our collaboration, as the candidates we placed were top performers. We knew how to look for those ingredients that would make someone great not only from a hard skills perspective but more importantly, from a soft skills standpoint.
Someone once had a thought: “Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.” It was Steve Jobs, the creator of the mighty Apple. He was on to something and we believe that it applies to all organizations. Engaging with a recruiting company such as SourceMatch is useful because it provides your business and talent acquisition team with a partner. When companies decide to partner with SourceMatch, they instantly have access to a team that’s committed to their growth by identifying the right talent. Searching and hiring talent isn’t about a transaction but about a relationship. Our purpose is to identify the professionals that you need in order to advance your development strategy. As of that moment, it all comes down to integrating them into your organization, vision and especially making it crystal clear how their work contributes to it.
In today’s market, having access to resources can make a difference in a company’s ability to compete. But more than any other, human resources are crucial in the development of those companies that have a clear strategy for growth, innovation, and impact in their market segments.
Why are recruitment statistics important? Besides the fact that they keep us informed and help us guide our recruiting efforts, they can be powerful tools to improve.
In this statistics representation, we showed in numbers how easy/ hard it is to fill a position in the year 2018. Do you know what passive job seekers are? The following data will be of much help if you do a little research on how to direct your efforts when searching for talent. And the last item in our figures is related to the number of companies that promotes talent within the organization.
U.S. employers encounter difficulties when they want to fill new job openings. The statistics tell us that 50% of U.S. Employers reported that it is taking them longer to fill jobs today compared to any other period of time. This trend in human resource speaks about who has the upper hand when it comes to recruiting.
Job seekers hold the strongest influence on the job market. Some decide to pursue jobs based on long-term personal objectives and other will hop from one job to another based on salary alone. In their search of the best talent, recruiters also need to consider candidates who are not actively searching for a job. According to the statistics, 73% of candidates are passive job seekers.
This turns out to be difficult for recruiters because passive candidates are not looking for new job opportunities since there’s typically a good reason: they are competent workers and they are happy with their current role. Convincing them to hop jobs might be difficult. But there are also more optimistic statistics. For example, 79% of organizations are focusing their efforts towards building and promoting their own talent from within, meanwhile only half are recruiting from the external labor pools. Hiring from within their own organizations comes with numerous benefits for employers because it saves up on time and not to mention money. This is an ideal way for organizations to retain talent and to grow organically.
Starting with the recruiter, the hiring manager, and any other decision makers in an organization, the greatest challenge in Talent Acquisition is related to people. Specifically, maintaining a clear understanding of why you are hiring and a human approach to the whole organizational brand, market presence efforts, and recruiting process. Not doing that, will lead both organizations and candidates to a mere transactional interaction that a) attracts the wrong candidates and b) gives the organization the wrong idea about the recruiting process’ quality. So how do companies lose grip on what really matters in searching and hiring for talent? 1. Focus on speed and KPIs only – it’s easy to look at numbers and say – we are doing good, but that’s just one side of performance in talent acquisition. A healthy process includes assessing behavioral traits and the candidate’s behavior in certain situations, assessment of skills in terms of real-life examples and situations (and correlated outcomes) when these were acquired or exhibited, and an evaluation of the basic values that are required to have a good cultural fit. Ultimately, the validation of all of these after 3, 6 or 12 months is what improves talent acquisition. You want to check in on how well you have been selecting candidates, and whether your expectations, observations, and predictions have materialized. Things such as dedication, initiative, and cultural adjustment take time to prove. Pay extra attention to how new hires (last 9 months) react to pressure, high risk or failure.
2. Superficial screening based on skills only – while skills are an important part in figuring out whether a candidate is a good fit for the organization, it’s insufficient. A candidate’s personality, resulting behavior, potential, expectations, ambitions and motivators, the capability to add value through different perspectives, etc., are all important. In essence, evaluating a candidate is more than mere math. Of course, it’s very useful to quantify all of the above through various assessments scores and different interviewers, but not at the expense of a complete understanding of who the candidate is and what they can bring to your organization.
“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” – Benjamin Franklin
Some new hires might not have a lot to show for in terms of previous quantifiable results and performance. They bring all of their positive attitudes, determination, curiosity, and resilience to the table. When all interview conclusions and assessment scores indicate a high-potential candidate, despite the lack of experience, be straightforward with candidates about your concern. Let them know that you recognize their value, but that results are an essential part of long term success and fit in the organization.
3. The influx of data, easiness of access to dozens of resumes databases, and growth, by any means, are some other causes of poorly structured talent acquisition. Talent acquisition, beyond recruitment, is meant to create a clear representation in the market of who the organization is, and who it’s trying to attract. In other words, the organization’s brand and what a successful candidate looks like. Failing to paint the right picture in both these areas can significantly affect retention and performance.
If that’s the case you might think all companies might be prone to bad hiring decisions. You would be right! Organizations who intentionally pursue excellence in the recruiting process will attract the best talent in the labor market. It’s the only way to stand out in the crowd of poor talent acquisition practices.
It all needs to start with planning the recruitment process end to end.
When an opening is created – understand how it will fit the overall organization, departments or team it’s part of; how it contributes to a company’s or project’s goals; is it meant to be a long term position, and if so what career advancement will it offer; based on past experience with similar positions, there are factors that lead to success or the opposite way – know these before you look for people, etc.
How does the job description describe the requirements, complexity, and opportunity of the position? Do you have a clear description of the organizational environment with advantages as well as limitations (i.e. startup vs corporate)? Include factors you know will help new hires succeed. Some may not find themselves in the Job description, and if you’ve done your homework putting well it together, that’s exactly what you want.
Do you provide candidates reaching the interview stage an even deeper understanding of the company’s vision, mission and goals? Candidates (future employees for some) like to have clarity as to what they’re getting themselves in. Anything else and you are pursuing a transactional approach to recruiting. When you have clarity about the growth objectives of the company and can portray it clearly, candidates won’t have to wonder what’s their role in the “greater scheme of things”
“To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.” – Oscar Wilde
Be human about it all – treat people with dignity and respect. Every single time. The more you do it, the more natural it will be. That implies the golden rule doing to others as you would expect others to do toward you. If you expect some kind of feedback after an interview, so do your candidates. Do you care to improve how well you control your emotions and anxiety when interviewing? So do they. Include genuine advice to help them for their next interview. If you are hiring someone while making a concession regarding the requirements, you have to be transparent about it so they know what is it that led to your decision.
Don’t take shortcuts. Shortcuts become huge further in the recruiting process. Anytime your talent acquisition team takes shortcuts, the organization ends up with a mismatch between people, jobs, and growth potential. That can cost your organization up to 2.5 times annual salaries for each poorly made new hire.
Are your recruiting efforts ineffective and inefficient? Have you gone through bad hires, money and time-consuming talent acquisition processes? Adapt your current hiring strategy based on the latest trends.
If you want to hire the right people, make sure their experience with your brand is a positive one. Statistics show that job seekers consider the reputation of a company when applying to job offers. This means that offering good wages/packages won’t be enough to bring them to the table and especially if you want to attract the best people on the market.
Attract people that are talented and qualified by taking care of the employer branding.