Recent governmental reports show a general improvement in hiring and job creation, yet with still large numbers of Americans unemployed many think that the problem is more complicated than it seems.
For example, according to government statistics, there are currently more than 3.2 million open positions – the largest figure in roughly three years. Combined with the number of jobless professionals, the figures allude more so to a nationwide talent shortage than stagnant job creation.
Another recent survey by Towers Watson seconds this argument. The 2011 WorldatWork report found 59 percent of employers in North America faced challenges attracting critical-skill employees last year, up from 52 percent in 2010 and 28 percent in 2009. Difficulties in employee retention also worsened in recent years.
The trend points to a new imperative for executives, small business owners and human resource management. As the economy continues to rebound, HR leaders will need to employ competitive recruiting efforts and novel hiring strategies to attract key talent.
Best practices are subjective
Be sure to align practices with unique organizational considerations. Said another way, managers need to weigh their specific circumstances against industry standards. Often times, what works for one organization may be toxic to another, even among businesses in the same industry. Companies that leverage ability tests, structured interviews and monitored recruitment sources, for example, are statistically shown to be as effective in attracting talent than firms that don’t.
This means the imperative is in evaluating proven techniques with an understanding of local context. It may be frustrating to learn one must rely on independent research and strategy development instead of external input, but that’s the nature of the 21st century job market.
In-house training and development may render recruiting unnecessary. A lot of employers may prefer to recruit their talent, but many skills can be found among existing staff members. The key is merely in training them. Instead of complaining about a dearth of skilled workers and waiting for the country’s education system to catch up, employers may need to invest in their employees themselves.
Testing job candidates can be very informative
This especially true for highly skilled positions such as IT, finance, design and product development. Research suggests that well-designed automated assessments can be as effective in measuring criteria as face-to-face interviews and exams. Of course, the extent of this trend varies from industry to industry.
The internet is a vital resource
Every serious job candidate has an online presence these days, whether it’s a strong Google ranking, a few social media listings or a job search profile. However, employers and recruiters need to be careful about how they research candidates.
It may be tempting to Google applicants or research them through social networks, but there are questions about its fairness. For one, there is the risk of appearing invasive. There is also the possibility of basing decisions on unethically obtained information.
Of course, one’s web presence is by and large their responsibility and companies cannot be expected to ignore such data. In fact, such activity already occurs throughout the business community. That being said, it’s important to establish some sort of framework for researching and utilizing personal information found via the web.
What methods do you use for recruiting in today’s job market?