Big industry ideas will never work out in the real world unless a business places building an innovative team high on their list of priorities. Without the right people in place, decisions flounder, projects derail, and funds get wasted.
Talented professionals can pick and choose where they want to work, and they have the upper hand during interviews because they have a choice of top companies competing for their services. In fact, the more technical or sophisticated the business, the more challenging it is to hire the right people for key positions. It’s not easy to find world-class sales people or ace software engineers.
In fact, one dire example of what can go wrong when there is insufficient talent is clean tech startups from 2006 to 2008. Although green technologies were considered a hot industry for venture capitalists, startups entering the environmental industry performed poorly compared to startups in other industries. The enthusiasm for clean tech was driven by the threat of increasing oil prices. Since oil did not rise above $100 a barrel as anticipated, interest in developing cheaper alternative energy sources collapsed.
While there are no shortages of techniques on how to recruit top talent, unless there is a strong commitment it can be frustrating. Jennifer Schramm, a manager of workforce trends at SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), says, “According to HR professionals, it’s getting harder to find people for the jobs they are trying to fill and the top reasons are a low number of applicants, lack of needed work experience among those that do apply, competition from other employers and a lack of technical skills among job applicants.”
How to Improve Recruiting
Here are 3 tips on how to recruit top talent more effectively than relying on traditional recruitment practices:
1) Improve how you recruit:
You can’t use the same recruitment strategy to hire a software engineer with considerable experience working for Google as you would to hire a recent college graduate with a degree in computer science. The seasoned software engineer will have several choices, while the recent graduate will be thrilled just to get a start in their field. So, one way to stack the cards in your favor is to deploy the technological advantage of using a talent management software. This, as the name implies, is software for attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining the best employees.
2) Understand that demand far exceeds supply.
The more technical the position, the more difficult it will be to hire someone. There are a diverse number of political and socio-economic reasons for this scarcity. These include the US Immigration policy under the Trump administration of restricting Muslim immigrants from certain third-world countries into the US (even if they have science and math degrees from top universities in their country or are promising high school students coming to the US for a technology-based degree), the declining rate of high school graduates, and the declining rate of high school students interested in pursuing a STEM track (Science, Tech, Engineering & Math).
These factors piling on top of each other has resulted in a scarcity for technical talent. In fact, by 2020 there’s expected to be a shortage of 5 million educated workers. Understanding how demand far exceeds supply will help you to take realistic steps to fully commit to recruiting educated people, especially those with technical talent. Recruiting talent has to be an all-out effort to be successful.
3) Refine your recruiting efforts by measuring response rates.
It’s not enough just to put out advertising, hire recruiters, and network in the community to increase the number of applications. It’s also not enough to have a good system of evaluating resumes and asking good questions during interviews. It’s just as important to measure the progress of the recruiting systems you have in place to see if they are as effective in practice as they are on paper. You need to measure results. How many candidates apply? How many fail to show up for interviews? How many interviews need to be rescheduled? How many candidates turn down a job offer? This kind of feedback is essential for staying on track and not letting top talent slip through the cracks. Issues like poor interviewers, weak compensation and benefit offers, insufficient on-boarding procedures, and so on could be derailing your recruiting efforts.
By understanding the constraints behind effective recruiting, it will be possible for organizations to turn things around and find the talent they need to perform well in the marketplace.