You may have heard it or even uttered the words yourself that "Good help is hard to find", and that seems to be the motto of many companies today. It's a common complaint, but one that arrives with the small footnote saying "We’re too choosy". It may not sound like something you would do as a recruiter, and you may be sure that you're certainly not being too pretentious about your future employees. You're not willing to lower your standards, and that is good.
Lazlo Bock, a head talent recruiter from Google, said that you should never compromise on the quality you're looking for in applicants. Never. The standard should be high because you want the best people on the job, but it's also up to you to find them and create the right conditions. Still, global unemployment is high, and it's bound to grow this year, so we're faced with an oxymoron. Employers are looking for talent, complaining that they can't find it while a large percent of the population remains unemployed.
However, before clinging to excuses or blaming the problem on others, consider these reasons why you still have a tough time finding talent in an apparently available market.
The Minimum Requirements Have Been Lifted
It's a truth of the unemployment market, one that has essentially taken over. Back in 1973, around 75% of jobs were filled with employees who had a high school diploma or even less than that. However, things have changed. Today, around 60% of jobs require a post-secondary education, and even more jobs will require a college degree by 2020. That's a major problem because more positions now have higher requirements even though they do not necessarily need that amount of expertise.
Your company may not be the problem, but it's part of the bigger picture. Consider adapting your recruiting strategy to the current job market and try to attract young applicants by offering them suitable positions for their level of expertise. The giant retailer Target, for instance, is well-known for offering internships, as well as scholarship options for their most dedicated employees.
Millennials Are Still Getting Up On Their Feet
The younger generation has been taught different habits that have an economic impact on the world. A majority of them are pursuing higher education and are no longer concerned with getting a job at the age of 18 years old. The chances are that they're still looking for their first job or focused on getting a new apartment at this point. It's difficult to find talent when their experience lacks, so do not go seeking for a veteran in the field. Instead, search for fast learners.
Re-Think Your Interview Process
If you're having trouble finding suitable talent, it may be because your interview process is not-so-good. On average, today's techniques require an average of 2 weeks from the moment of the initial test to the time of announcing the final result. Talented employees will not wait around that long. They have other offers, so they will not be sitting around the phone waiting for your call.
Consider your process because it may be the reason why your proposal gets ultimately turn down. Even more, take your recruiters into consideration, be it manager or the person from HR in charge of finding new talent. If a position is still open after 45 days, you're doing something wrong. It shifts the blame from "good help is hard to find" to "we didn't find someone well qualified who would also grovel for our low offer". If you shouldn't lower your standards, neither should they.
Maybe Your Offer Is Unreasonable
It is possible that the fault lies with you. In fact, most would say that the blame has long since shifted from candidates to the employers. The problem has gone so far that it has become a running joke such as "Looking for a candidate college-educated, must be 25 years old or below, with 15 years of experience". It's an exaggeration, but your offer, as well as your standards, must match the job. If you want to find talent, do not think they will apply for your entry position if they already have experience.
Make your offer reasonable regarding salary and include health benefits. If you want good workers, you need to offer them good conditions.
In an addendum to the last point, unrealistic standards of employers are also one of the reasons why they cannot find real talent for a particular job. Never lower your standards, but keep them realistic. A person of talent, who is self-aware of their capabilities and hard-working will not beg and grovel for your job opening. Do not expect them to, because they have other options. It's difficult to connect with an employer when they're looking down at you. Treat them with respect because you need to impress them as much as they need to impress you.
It's the 21st century, we're deep into the digital age, so there is a chance that your methods of searching for talent are limited. Use the internet to your advantage, try social media, make creative tests for applicants to go through, and try to diversify your techniques. We've long past the time to put up posters seeking employees or putting an ad on just one website. You will have a hard time finding talent using those outdated methods.
Find a variety of techniques that would work, even try getting your current employees to recommend someone for a suitable position. And, if they're good and end up being hired, offer that employee a bonus for the recommendation.
You're Still Blaming the System
It's one of the main reasons you have a hard time finding talent. Do not fall into the trap of endless excuses, stating that the government and education system are still at fault because you cannot find suitable candidates. It's the wrong approach. Think about it this way: even if you're right, you can't do anything about it. The world does not stop and wait for things to change. However, it's up to you how you deal with the situation.
Do you want to find talent? Don't look for the perfect applicant, look for potential. Think if they're willing to learn, how perceptive and intelligent they are, and dedicate some time to training them. If you can't find a talented employee, turn them into one yourself.