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Why Hiring for Skills and Experience Only Takes You So Far in This Job Market Stacy Pursell

by Laiya Smith | Mar 15, 2018

The VET Recruiter
www.thevetrecruiter.com

There is a universal truth in the employment marketplace right now. That truth is this: hiring high quality candidates is more difficult.

The question that naturally follows this truth is, “Why is it more difficult?”

The problem with answering this question—and answering the larger dilemma of how to hire top talent consistently—is that it requires more than just a surface-level analysis of what has happened and is currently happening within the marketplace. For example, it’s easy to say, “Well, the reason it’s more difficult is because there aren’t enough of the high-caliber candidates that my organization needs!”

Yes, that is an answer to the question. However, it is NOT the only answer to the question. As a result, if you’re satisfied with only that answer, then it will be nearly impossible to combat the problem with a comprehensive solution.

An in-depth analysis

So before we discuss a comprehensive solution, let’s analyze the problem in a more in-depth fashion. In other words, let’s examine all of the reasons that hiring is more difficult under current market conditions.

Reason #1—There aren’t enough high-quality candidates.

Yes, we’ve already discussed this one, but it still bears mentioning on this list. In the marketplace right now, there is there is a lack of top talent, especially technical talent at many different levels. So it’s difficult to hire the right candidates when you’re having trouble finding them in the first place.

Reason #2—The high-quality candidates who are in the market have a LOT of options.

Organizations are looking to hire at many different levels right now and that means there are many employment opportunities that exist. So there is a lack of candidates and an abundance of opportunities, creating a lot of options for top talent.

Reason #3—The Baby Boomer Generation is retiring in droves.

Here are some eye-opening facts:

  • Baby Boomers make up roughly 30% of the current workforce.
  •  According to the Pew Research Center, over the next two decades, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 years old every day.
  • Most of the Baby Boomers in the United States will be phased out of the workforce during the next 15 years (if not sooner).

As you might have guessed, this reason is actually contributing to Reason #1, which was not enough high quality candidates. That’s because there are plenty of high-quality employees among the Baby Boomers and they’re retiring, taking their experience and expertise with them. That begs the obvious question: who is going to replace all of these people?

Reason #4—There are more Millennials in the market than any other generation.

There is no doubt that Millennials are different than other generations, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, they provide value as employees, just like the members of other generations provide value. However, the fact they’re different (and that there are so many of them) provide unique hiring challenges.

Reason #5—Millennials change jobs more often than any other generation in the workforce.

This represents one of those challenges. Millennials change jobs as frequently as every 18 months to two years, and believe it or not, they don’t consider that to be “job hopping.” They consider that to be job mobility and career advancement.

Reason #6—Bottom line: candidates are in “the driver’s seat.”

This is often an unpleasant reality for hiring managers to swallow, but it’s the truth. With the lack of overall talent and with so many options available to those who do have the talent that employers want, candidates are attempting to dictate terms.

When the real work begins

Now that we’ve explored the many reasons why it’s more difficult to hire in this current market, you can see why considering skills and experience is just one part of the process, albeit an important one. When you’re looking to fill an important and/or high-level position, you want somebody who has the requisite amount of skills and experience.

And as we’ve already discussed, finding those professionals is not easy in the first place. However, once you find them, the search is far from over. That’s when the real work begins. The reason is simple:

If you find a candidate who has the proper level of skill and the right amount of experience, but you don’t know what they desire or what motivates them, then there is little chance that you will successfully hire them.

The problem that some hiring managers have is they assume the candidate desires to work for their

organization and is motivated to do so. That is a mistaken assumption. The truth is that the candidate has a desire to see what options and opportunities are available to them. Your position is just one of many such options.

With all of this in mind, to hire successfully in this market, you must do the following things:

  • Uncover the desire of the candidates in your hiring process. You must discover what truly motivates them in both the job search that they’re conducting and also in their career.
  • Highlight and promote what your position and the organization offers and connect those things to what the candidate desires and what is motivating them. If you don’t make that connection, then you won’t hire the candidate.
  • Change their desire from one of seeing what options and opportunities are available to them to a desire to choose your opportunity because they now believe it is the best one for them.

And what if you uncover a candidate’s desires and motivation, and they do NOT line up with either the position or the organization? More to the point, what if they don’t fit in with the company culture? Then what you have is a potential mis-hire, a situation that you certainly want to avoid. Uncovering the desire and motivation of a candidate not only helps you to hire the right candidate, but it also prevents you from hiring the wrong candidate. And both are equally important.

Trying to hire for skills and experience alone only takes you so far in this market. It’s a good starting point, but it certainly should not encompass your entire hiring strategy. The desire and motivation of the candidates you’re considering are at least as important, and in light of current conditions, it could be said that they’re even more important.

So change your perspective, shift your focus, and make the connection between what top talent wants and what you can offer, both in the short term and for the long haul.

 

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