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Talent Assessments   | 4 Min Read

Top 7 Reasons HR Teams Miss Out on Top Quality Talent

Written By Harsh Tripathy

In a world where technology changes in the blink of an eye and innovation lie at the core of everything, hiring has become a different ball game altogether. Finding  candidates who are hungry to innovate is tough, let alone convincing them to join and stay to propel business growth. Pass the buck to the gig economy, low unemployment rates or other factors, you can’t expect top-notch candidates to join, only through a better compensation. Unlike before, when money used to be the deal breaker to attract, hire and retain a  candidate for long, recruiters now have to be quite meticulous during the entire hiring cycle to ensure the right candidate not only joins, but also stays for long enough.

HR teams and recruiters across the world have already started struggling to attract top talent.  And, it’s not because they are not serious about hiring or unable to entice the candidates. Ask a recruiter and they would come up with a ready checklist to hire top quality talent:

Crafting personalized job descriptions- Done

ATS-Proofing JDs- Done

Timely Interviews- Done

Employee Engagement Programs- Done

Benefits Packages- Done

Even after burning midnight oil and leaving no stone unturned, top quality candidates either don’t turn up for the job or worse, slip-off after attending the entire hiring process, probably sensing the place isn’t suited to their needs. Quite Frustrating, Right?

The War for Top Talent

At Mettl, we surveyed more than 2000+ small to large businesses and even to our surprise:

67% of large sized organizations admitted that acquiring top talent is one of their biggest challenges.

And, if you factor the results drawn after including the inputs of all organizations in the survey, the results are even more shocking and suggest:

More than 74% organizations agreed that attracting quality talent remains their biggest challenge, despite their best known efforts and industry wide best practices. You must be wondering, what areas are you faltering that are probably dragging away the candidates from your organization. Let’s take a look:

1. High Employee Satisfaction Rates

Sounds crazy, Right? But, as much as you want to retain top talent; so does your competitors thriving on the handful of quality talent available. From offering the best working environment, avenues for growth via training to offering industry best benefits; they do it all. All too often, they are not “active” job seekers, unless they feel a strong enough reason to switch places.

Lois A. Krause, Practice Leader at Kardas Larson, LLC who holds 25+ experience in HR industry comments, “ Most high-quality candidates are currently working, so the number one challenge is sourcing candidates that are currently working, and possibly not looking to move.” She also suggests a failsafe way to attract such candidates without sounding pushy. She adds-on,

I usually develop marketing techniques to entice candidates that working for my clients is worthwhile and what they really need for their career. I try to demonstrate that this is their next, best, career move. I do not try to sell it, I only try to entice the ones who will actually benefit from the match. Sometimes that may be the organization’s work, their industry, or their values. If they are compatible with the candidate, it is much easier to match them.

2. Tedious Recruitment Cycles

Attracting quality talent is already a tiresome process as it involves scanning resumes, conducting interviews, assessing culture fit and all-alike. However, this is also the aspect that causes quality talent to get disinterested and withdraw from the interview process. In an era of instant gratification and multiple job offers per candidate, even top notch candidates want the interview process to get over as soon as possible. And when HR teams are unable to cut down the average time to hire; fearing of hiring incompetent people, even quality candidates shy away. That stretches the recruitment process and results in high turnover rates later. Attesting to the fact, Mettl’s internal research has also found the fact to be true:

38% of the organizations agreed that managing hiring drives is one of their biggest roadblocks in attracting top talent.

Adapting a structured interview process and using video interviews can greatly help in shortening interview cycles.

3. Location Preferences

Even when you are willing to pay handsomely and all other factors are in place; location can often play spoilsport. Candidates can turn down good offers, if their location preferences aren’t in line as the cost of relocation and the stress that comes along doesn’t look worthwhile. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t convince top-tier candidates to consider a relocation. You can assure candidates that their overall life post relocation will only change for the good, and not worse. Quoting an example, Matthew Ross, Co-owner and COO of RizKnows comments, “We stress to potential candidates that Nevada has 0% state income tax. This also helps with the pay discrepancy between us and larger
firms. We can clearly explain that living and working in Nevada actually
ends up to be about the same as working in a large city like Los Angeles
after factoring in living costs, state taxes.”

4. Over-Reliance on Traditional Avenues

If you are still looking for candidates on career sites, your recruitment strategy sure needs a makeover. Although you can still find top notch candidates, it’s not a failsafe strategy for the long term. Now, it’s time to leverage recruitment technology to source better, so that the quality talent can filter down to screening and finally, the selection. In 2019 and beyond, you must focus on investing in recruitment tools that can manage end to end recruitment for you, all under a single dashboard. Just imagine, how much time you can save if you can manage all candidates, send them interview invites, conduct interview assessments  and roll out offers; all from one single place.

Nevertheless, it’s time to look harder at talent that isn’t on career sites, and can only be found through social channels, employee referrals and even hackathons. Talking about innovative recruitment ideas, Matthew Ross, co-owner and COO at deals site RizKnows, explains an out of the box tactic to hire top talent. He comments,|
“In short, rather than relying on sites, we seek out professors at our local college (University of Nevada Reno) and let them do the recruiting for us. Basically, we form tight bonds with professors and ask them to find top-tier candidates for us. So far, this strategy has worked great. In 2018, we ended up hiring four new employees using this method. Ultimately, we feel like this is a beneficial relationship for all parties involved. We get outstanding candidates, the professors feel like they're making an impact with their students and obviously, the students get an awesome job at a growing tech company. “

5. Value & Interests Overlap

The moment a candidate walks-in for an interview, they start framing a perception about your organization. From how you walk them through the position, the people and the company culture; it’s going to decide whether they would join or not. Even if they do, you can never be sure if they are going to stick or not. Lynette Campbell, founder of Zoomers Employment Services,  “One challenge is understanding the values of the candidate in order to match them with the company culture. This is because I believe that people apply for jobs out of need but they leave due to mismatched values. Conducting a simple interest assessment or a Skills and Values assessment will help recruiters identify an applicant’s motivations.”

Even HR Expert Lois A. Krause says a little bit marketing can also fetch you quality talent in no time. She says, “I usually develop marketing techniques to entice candidates that working for my clients is worthwhile and what they really need for their career. I try to demonstrate that this is their next, best, career move. I do not try to sell it, I only try to entice the ones who will actually benefit from the match. Sometimes that may be the organization’s work, their industry, or their values. If they are compatible with the candidate, it is much easier to match them.”

6. Not Building Talent Pools

Most HR teams across the globe rely on “Just in Time” hiring and float requisitions only when it’s high time and the organization can’t do without closing that requisition. Not anticipating the type of talent that the organization requires to thrive becomes a bottleneck quite soon. All too often, a requirement pounces right after dissolving contacts with a candidate previously in touch. That’s where the entire recruitment strategy falls apart. Therefore, HR teams must get into the practice to get in touch with hiring managers to understand the requirements in advance, so that the right talent doesn’t slip off or worse, land into the competitors’ kitty. And then, no matter how many messages you drop on Linkedin or follow-up, the candidate is gone forever. Offering a solid strategy to deal with such situations, James Conway, Head of Talent Acquisition at BambooHR says, “We're in a lucky position where we have lots of quality candidates who apply, but we don't have enough jobs to hire all of the people we interview. We've started building Talent Pools with these candidates. We stay in regular contact with them, how they're liking their current job, and potential openings here. When we have a position that's going to open up and we think someone from our pool is a good fit, we won't even open the position until we've brought them in. Sometimes, this makes our time to hire just a few days.

On similar lines, he also suggests how important it is to create ideal candidate profile as a benchmark to know how the potential hires are performing and whether they are worthy enough for the organization.

“One of the best techniques that I can recommend based on running proactive recruiting programs would be to create Ideal Candidate Profiles, then evaluate companies that may have similar roles as you will be hiring for, and identify the individuals in those roles, then connect with them directly. Invite them for a phone call, coffee, lunch, etc. Explain that you are building your talent pipeline and have identified them as a strong candidate and wanted to get to know them more, as well as share about your company. Then log all of the interactions on an internal talent pipeline document, which should indicate where the individual would fit in the org chart, so you are ready to hire top talent when the need arises. “

As it’s quite evident that once you start building a talent pipeline, not only you can have a list handy to close tricky positions, but you can also reduce your time per hire to bring down recruitment costs by significant margins.

7. Inadequate Talent Benchmarking

Before you think about hiring top talent, you must know how top talent looks like and what role you want them to lead once they are a part of your organization. Until you sketch the skeletal structure of top talent in terms of what they will do, what their KRAs will be and what support would they be expecting; you will be far from appealing to top quality talent. Daniel Mori, president with Employment Solutions proposes a better alternative to counteract the problem,

One of the biggest challenges that companies face in attracting talent is that they don't know what they are looking for. They don't take the time to properly define what talent looks like for their company. Misguided, they routinely look externally to define a talented employee. Organizations rarely look at their top performing employees to benchmark potential applicants against. They should evaluate their current top performing employees to create an Ideal Candidate Profile, that will be used as the benchmark for assessing qualified candidates.”

Time to Revamp Your Talent Acquisition

Apart from the above mentioned factors, there are others that come into play such as low brand value and high early attrition that keeps HR professionals from achieving their talent acquisition targets. But, as time calls for, talent acquisition in 2019 is going to undergo landslide changes and technology is going to play a crucial role in refining talent acquisition metrics. Therefore, talent acquisition teams must realize that changing their strategies is a lofty goal and only gradual changes are going to do the job. So, they must start with the low hanging fruits that can fix the bottlenecks in the talent acquisition strategy and work their way up. Also, it’s important to examine talent acquisition from the lens of technology and data to ensure the changes are done for the greater good, and not solely on instincts.

Topics: Talent Assessments

Originally published January 08 2019,updated January 17 2019

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