Career Advice

Talent Shortage? Companies Better Suit Up and Prepare to Play

The past few years the job market has been great for hiring authorities and decision makers responsible for hiring. There’s been plenty of applicants, and the ability to choose the cream of the crop. It’s been, “We have an offer – take it or else!” Well it’s time to say that easy times are on their way out – the ability to hire the right candidate just got harder.

The reasons are straightforward – increased demand and limited supply. It doesn’t take too many companies seeking technical talent to interrupt an easy supply flow. Especially when the need is for technical talent required by today’s technology needs. Joe Light’s Wall Street Journal article said it all:

”There are nearly 14 million people looking for a job, but few have the skills to fill the four computer engineering openings at Gowalla Inc.”

Gowalla, an Austin, Texas company is looking for Android developers and with the new Droid tablets hitting the market you can bet they will be harder to find.

So what’s a company to do? Here are a few suggestions for employers and hiring professionals to keep in mind:

1. Define your culture and live by it. If you want friendly people create a friendly culture and if you want cut throats who will do whatever it take to get the job done…well you get my drift. The key is to recognize the importance of company culture. Get it right to begin with, attract the right people and be who you say you are and you will have a better chance at retaining them.

2. Decide now what you are going to pay, make it competitive and pay it. Don’t be on the backside of a compensation battle where you reactively throw dollars at the problem. Salary and compensation packages are important but truth is it ranks 3rd or 4th on the list of a job candidate’s priorities. They are concerned about who they work with, where they work, what the  commute will be like, if flex time is offered, what long-term company goals include…quality of life is huge. Did I mention start with getting the culture right? You can reward in a number of ways – spend time researching what your competition is doing and find a way to do them one better.

3. Recruitment MUST become a proactive and strategic exercise for your management team. Carve out time in an existing meeting or set one up to specifically discuss what you’re doing to recruit and retain top talent. And if you think for one second there isn’t much to it, call me. First, I’ll take you through a longer list of things you must do, a few war stories and by the time we finish you will be ready to play.

Recruitment is a contact sport. It is bi-directional. It can be hard especially when you don’t have a plan and are just reacting to the winds of the moment. Yes, finding work is still a struggle for many, but for the companies in a position to scale, securing the right talent is everything…and the game just got a little tougher.