It’s hard to look up, let alone look ahead when it comes to talent acquisition. Whether you’re managing volume in a down economy or blindsided by a specific shortage of talent in a key market, it’s a balancing act to keep one eye on the ball and one on what everyone else is doing.
While many opinions differ on the existence of an actual talent gap— there's one thing we know for sure. There are lots of people who want to work, and lots of open jobs. So how do we fill the talent gap, for real?
First research your areas of focus. It’s not enough to know what kind of talent you need. You have to know what makes them successful in the role, what areas of the role are non-negotiables and where you can be flexible on qualifications. You also need to research where that talent spends their time—not just job boards, but niche sites, message boards, competitors’ offices and specific universities.
Second, don’t blame it all on the talent. It’s not just that the talent out there isn’t skilled enough. In some cases they may not be. But in many cases, it might be the way you’re searching, what you're looking for and/or a lack of understanding as to what matters most to the hiring manager. Audit and rethink your own processes instead just assuming the talent isn’t there.
Finally, pull back the curtain. It's time for reality in marketing. When it comes to your employer brand—don’t promise a beautiful, yellow brick road. Be honest about what’s tough about working for you. What are the downsides of the job? A more honest, realistic assessment of the employment opportunity may mean less volume, but it will certainly be more focused. And those not willing to put up with the downside will self-select out—saving you time and rehiring work later.