Getting Ahead of the Talent Deficit: 5 Ways To Improve Your Staffing and Recruiting Efforts

04/13/2021Staff Writer
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There's a global talent deficit — and recruiters and hiring managers feel the pain. Jobs are waiting to be filled as organizations scale, restructure, and expand to new markets. Ever-evolving technologies and platforms add another layer of complexity in which many hiring managers simply can't find enough pre-certified candidates to fill their open roles.

With projections estimating over 85 million unfilled jobs worldwide by 2030, talent acquisition is a critical need. Why is it that organizations still struggle to find the right fit for every role, especially hires that will be high quality and retainable?

We know that it takes more than sharing a job listing online or relying solely on the power of networking to keep talent pipelines full of highly skilled, passionate candidates.

A proactive staffing and recruiting strategy is the most effective way to fill open roles with the market's best talent. In this post, we'll share five tips to help you build and refine your approach to attracting, evaluating, and retaining top talent.

1. Assess Your Current Workforce

You need to do more than simply check a box or fill a space with a body when hiring. Whether you're creating a brand new role, replacing a former employee, or expanding entire sectors of your business, the best way to set clear recruiting and staffing goals is to identify strengths and weaknesses in your past recruitment efforts and your current workforce retention.

Take time to evaluate your current workforce before you start recruiting. Work with your HR team to gather data you have on retention and read through qualitative notes or interview your team. Beyond basic questions about role and timeline, the best way to set yourself up for future success is to gain a clear sense of what's working and what's not in your current system. Think:

  • Where do we see the highest turnover rate? In one role? On a specific team? Is there a trend with employees staffed by a particular outside agency?
  • What do former employees say about their reasons for leaving? What do managers and leadership staff say about employee retention?
  • What pain points do current employees note about how a role was presented during the interview process vs. their actual experiences on the team? Do your job listings match up to the day-to-day operations associated with each position?

2. Staff For Future Needs

Tight turnover deadlines are an inevitable aspect of staffing and recruiting — you may feel pressured to fill roles quickly when an employee leaves the company. Ideally, your staffing and recruiting efforts should reach beyond putting out fires to include future strategy.

Along with assessing your current retention rates, you should consider long-term workforce development goals as you build a recruiting strategy. The key? Sourcing for anticipated roles before you need them filled. Last-minute recruiting often leads to quick turnover if new employees aren't engaged or can't get up to speed with your business. Effective workforce planning can help drive future expansions, new initiatives, and better team structure, so it's essential to consider the lasting effects of your recruiting efforts as you grow.

As you anticipate future needs by role and technical qualifications, be sure you also consider the intangibles. How do personality, work ethic, and life experience impact success in a particular position? If your favorite coworker is retiring, consider not only the work they do each day but how they approach it and what makes them such valuable team player. Do they...

  • Know how to mediate conflict in high-pressure situations?
  • Bring new perspectives to the table based on experience in another industry?
  • Get along well with their colleagues, direct reports, and executive leadership?

Remember, you're looking for a person to fill each role, not a list of technical qualifications. You'll want to get a full view of their skillset, beyond what's listed on their resume, to understand if they're the right fit for your organization.

Another Tip: Give yourself 4-6 weeks to source, interview, and evaluate candidates before their anticipated start date. This buffer time helps candidates and hiring managers to ensure that the role is a great fit and cuts down outside pressure from leadership teams in a hurry to fill open positions.

3. Stay Away From Automated Services

While resume screening is an extremely time-consuming part of recruiting, it's a necessary evil. It may be tempting to automate reviews with a resume parsing service, but this quick fix can easily come back to haunt you in the long run.

Parsing tools, even intuitive A.I.-powered ones, can't replace the human aspect of the hiring process. These tools rely on data and data alone to assess a candidate's fit for a job, ignoring relevant personal or professional experiences or even cutting out candidates for something as simple as using a standard tech acronym like "PO" instead of spelling out "Product Owner." Plus, they only scan for quantitative measures like years of experience and industry buzzwords, which makes it impossible for recruiters to get to know the real person behind the resume.

Simply put, these tools can eliminate outstanding candidates before you know they exist. They also promote ones that may know how to game the system. Beyond delivering a less-than-comprehensive view of each candidate, applicant tracking systems(ATS) and other parsing tools are easy to beat, and candidates may be more focused on pleasing the algorithm than they are on showcasing their experience or qualifications.

Instead of automating your resume screening process, look for ways to streamline other parts of your staffing and recruiting strategy with help from outsourcing agencies and the like. By finding ideal candidates in talent pools and outside sources, you'll cut down on the number of resumes you actually have to review. This approach solves resume overload and helps you capture better opportunities sooner.

4. Rethink How You Evaluate Talent

Beyond the tedium of review, resumes also don't offer genuine insight into each candidate. They're a rigid, quantitative way to measure talent — a strategy that's not successful as companies look for people who will enjoy long-term success on their teams.

Instead of ranking candidates based on keywords in a resume, years of experience, or work history alone, evaluate each candidate as a whole. Consider things like work ethic, flexibility, and real-world experience over professional expertise and technical skills.

You may discover that the perfect fit for your open role has an exceptional work ethic and project leadership experience but got passed over by an ATS because they don't have a Salesforce certification. Of course, candidates need certain skills to complete a job, but the unquantifiable qualities on top of those skills can truly make or break the deal. For example, a former construction contractor has likely mastered budgeting, time management, and conflict mediation, all valuable skills that could transition into a corporate management role with some upskilling and a new certification or two.

This holistic evaluation process opens up new talent sources, and upskilling makes it easy to get your new hires up to speed on various technical tools and platforms. It helps you fill your pipeline with best-fit leads, which means new hires will join your team with authentic passion and deliver a high standard of work across projects. It also gives you access to diverse candidates you may have previously missed due to resume qualifications, or industry fit, with real-world experiences and unique skills that will make them an invaluable part of your team.

5. Diversify Your Sourcing Strategy

As you scale and uncover new recruiting needs, goals, and strategies, you'll likely need external support to make your vision a reality. Big-box staffing agencies or generic job listing sites typically match candidates to hiring managers based on resumes or a high-level list of skills, but these connections aren't built to last.

Instead, boost your staffing and recruiting efforts with a pipeline support partner committed to meeting your organizational goals and connecting you with ideal candidates from diverse backgrounds and non-traditional talent pools.

CareerCircle offers the support you need to improve your recruiting strategy, build an equitable talent pipeline, and add exceptional employees to your workforce. Our specialized IT upskilling produces the workforce leaders of tomorrow, while holistic candidate-to-career matching ensures applicants are an excellent fit for your business.

Reach out to our team today to learn more about our talent marketplace and our commitment to creating equity in the workforce.