The Talent Crunch:
Getting The Best
As the professional landscape goes through a dramatic
change with all the Baby-Boomers retiring and leaving
the workforce, there is a dramatic change in the
talent pool. Over the next few years, while unemployment
is at record lows (sub 4%), it will become increasingly
important to attract the best possible employees.
There are many ways to make positions more attractive
to bright young college students, but the question
remains: What are the most plausible ways to entice
these people without raising salaries?
Many believe that benefits will take the brunt of
that responsibility, while others think performance-based
bonuses and incentives will. The only problem with
these ideas is that it still costs money to give
There is one solution to this problem, and that
is to offer "flexibility" to your employees.
Many employers are finding that giving their employees
flexible schedules and flexible work options (such
as working from home twice a day) are drawing many
people that would otherwise shy away from a position
within that company. The allure of only having a
3-day-a-week commute can be very attractive and has
become a growing non-monetary benefit that is easy
for employers to offer. This not only helps attract
better talent, but also allows for a shared workspace
where another employee can use the telecommuter's
desk while they are working from a remote location.
The same concept also applies to the flexible work
This simple benefit can not only bring in better
talent at a lower cost to the employer, but it can
also contribute to the enhanced productivity of having
multiple workers contributing from the same piece
of real estate.
How to Hire the Best:
How to find and hire the best available talent
One of the biggest challenges in hiring a professional
to join your organization is weeding through the dozens
of applicants that come to your attention. There are
many ways to help thin the flood of applicants. Some
tricks you can use to figure out who is serious and
who is just "floating out a resume" is to
ask and require applicants to jump through some hoops
such as writing an introduction explaining why they
would be a good fit for the position, or how they would
benefit the company with their particular skill set.
You can establish a simple form of testing that requires
applicants to visit a website and answer several questions
about their past, or regarding their work and talents
that could be beneficial to the company. While these
won't deter all weak applicants, it will definitely
thin the group of hopefuls and allow for less legwork
on your part.
Another option is to outsource the project to an outside
agency: a recruiting firm. Although they can be expensive,
recruiting firms free up a great deal of man-hours
for you and other members of your team to do other
things that are more in line with your job description.
The advantages are that most recruiters will shelter
you from the non-desirables who have no business applying
for a job they are not suitable for. Along with the
screening and man-hours, most recruiting firms offer
a guarantee with their candidates and will be inclined
to go the extra mile to ensure that you have the right
candidate in the position. This guarantee is for your
benefit just as much as it is for your peace of mind.
There is nothing more unattractive to a recruiter than
having to go back and do a search all over again (with
no additional fee) once they have already done the
So if you're looking to save some trouble and make
the "right" hiring choice, you need to be
proactive and have candidates jump through hoops, or
take advantage of the services you can acquire from
a variety of professional recruiting firms.
Free Your Career:
Are You Locked To Your Degree?
Do you need a business degree to work at a business?
Must you major in Journalism or English to work at
a newspaper? What about computers? Do you need a Computer
Sience degree to program computers? The answer is pretty
The biggest factor in your college degree is in the
fact that you have one. Most employers we deal with
do ask for a college degree, but rarely specify a course
The few times they are specified, it is because this
person will be working in a highly specialized field
Some degrees can be more useful than others, especially
when the top requirment from employers these days are
communication skills, but you can work in any major
and still posses such skills.
Aside from communications, there are many other qualities
that hiring companies look for. The list of most sought
after qualities are honesty, intergity, and interpersonal
skills. Such skills do not require a particular major
to have any sort of mastery.
The best bet for any jobseeker is to be a complete
player. If you have your degree in business, you could
benefit from some writing courses, or public speaking,
while art majors would do well to take some business
classes, with math. This will get you started out in
the right direction, since its the basic skills you
gain from college that are so appealing, not the course
of study. Remember, there is no teacher like experience,
so don't concern yourself with whether or not you've
taken the right classes and gotten the right degree,
but celebrate the fact that you went to college and
demonstrated the true talents employers seek, such
as determination, teamwork, communication skills, honesty,
and integrity. Those are the true talents people seek
out in one another.