Where has all the talent gone?!
While hiring is only one part of building your team, hiring the right candidates to add to your team is a vital step in building a high performing team. In my role, I have had the incredible opportunity to work with many hiring managers within and outside of Hanapin. The drumbeat is that everyone is hurting for skilled talent. Ask any hiring manager what type of experience their perfect hire would have, and you’ll likely hear the highly coveted “2 to 3 years of experience.” 2 to 3 years of experience is just enough to have built skills in your industry and know what you want out of a job, but just little enough to not have too many bad habits from your other job(s). However, we’ve all been new to the workforce…who took a chance on you when you didn’t have “the required experience?” Did that person change your career trajectory?
What if we thought about hiring differently?
The reality is that we are no longer operating in an employer’s market. We are living in a candidate’s market where the candidates are in control. This is why many employers feel they are in a bind for skilled talent. Candidates want to join companies who align with their values and provide meaningful work. They are not going to settle for a company or job that doesn’t provide that. So before you start to blame HR for not filling open positions or candidates for not having enough experience, you may want to take a hard look at the employee experience you’re selling to candidates. This experience is your employer brand that candidates know – whether you want them to or not. If you’re not sure where to start learning about your employee’s experience with your company, check out what your team is already saying on Glassdoor.
Additionally, the majority of the jobs we have today are drastically different from the jobs we had available even a few years ago. How can we expect candidates to have deep knowledge in an industry or platform that is new? For example, when I am hiring PPC talent I need to be realistic that there is a limited number of candidates who have in-depth PPC experience. This is part of the reason we are dedicated to growing the number of folks in our industry by hiring candidates with little to no experience in PPC and training them to be world-class PPC account managers. Does this take time? Yep. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
I encourage you to think deeply about your “needs” versus “wants” as you are building your team. Perhaps you are better off training what you need internally versus expecting a candidate to apply that has your team’s exact experience (spoiler – this is unlikely!).
Always be recruiting
So how are you ever supposed to build your team if there are all these obstacles to hiring? The answer is two-fold. First, you need to make sure you have a great team and culture for new team members to join, which is no easy feat. Do a culture audit with your leadership team and ensure you have the right structure in place, so you can attract and retain the right team members to grow your business.
Second, you should always be recruiting to build your pipeline of talented candidates. Every interaction you or your team members have with others is representative of your brand, so can you be intentional about how you engage with the industry and your community? Not all companies are treated equal, and you should be ready to highlight what makes working at your company unique.
While I often wish that hiring was completely within my control, that is not the case. Sometimes you get lucky and have exactly the candidate with the experience you need who wants to join your company exactly when you need it. However, this doesn’t happen often, and I encourage you to create a sustainable hiring strategy. Some questions to consider:
- What are the unique needs of your company both now and 2 years from now?
- What job qualifications can you get rid of or de-prioritize?
- What are ways you can reach new and different candidates whether or not we are actively hiring?
Building Your Team Doesn’t Happen in a Day
Hiring is only one aspect of building your team, but it is an important one. It’s not something you or anyone else on your team should take lightly. What if I told you to only hire folks you think could drastically change the trajectory of your company? It is worth taking the time to think about that possibility and what that strategy might look like for you.