Have you ever had to find a candidate your business desperately need that tends to be in short supply?
I have on numerous occasions. Some examples from my past include:
- A Director of a nonprofit organization with demanding hours without the salary budget to match
- A Service Technician who is required to travel 95% of the time
- A CEO who needed a clairvoyant Admin Assistant
- An IT expert for an extremely niche program
Many organizations are constantly on a never-ending quest to find the perfect candidate. So how do you find that one-in-a-million candidate that, in their own unique way, has the power to drive a business towards its full profit-earning potential?
Resourcefulness: Embrace the Hunt
Traditional job boards work sometimes, but they can’t be the only weapon arsenal. You are an expert in your industry and have spent years developing contacts in your field, so why not start by asking around for referrals? Be sure to ask people you know and respect who are outside the field of HR. And even when you don’t have a critical opening, never stop recruiting—keep a list (physical or mental) of people that you would love to work with should an opportunity arise.
Once you have exhausted your personal network, start reaching out to others via LinkedIn, Professional Organizations, and Networking Organizations. I personally love LinkedIn Recruiter – although it’s expensive, you can do searches with almost any keyword.
You need to hunt the candidate instead of searching for it. This is necessary since hiring the perfect candidate tends to be elusive: they aren’t likely to just “show up” out of the blue.
Perspective: You Do You
Perfect candidates may come in all kinds of shapes and colors, but one thing that unites them is that they can’t be easily bought especially the kind that can fly. They know that they are in demand, and aren’t going to settle for just any job. They’re not only talented but deeply confident,
A true candidate is discerning, and rightly so. They are evaluating you and your entire business just as much as you are evaluating them. You have to be extremely self-aware and transparent about your strengths and weaknesses as an organization and a leader. So don’t try to sugarcoat them, tell them the magical stuff and the dark Gargemely stuff, since they are going to find out eventually.
When you get really clear about expectations in terms of qualifications, aptitude, experience and fit, you may find that you don’t even need a perfect employee.
If you want to know if you are really looking for the perfect candidate or just have unrealistic expectations, you can start by asking your client group these questions:
- Why is this position so difficult to fill?
- Why did the previous employee leave?
- Do I pay below or above market for this position in this region?
- Is the education requirement necessary for competency in this role?
- Where am I located & do I offer relocation?
- Is it necessary that they have the exact previous experience?
Hiring for a single position shouldn’t be your full-time job. You will most definitely have plenty of other things to think about. So instead of being stuck in a cycle of high turnover, it’s time to find a fresh angle.
About the author: Colleen Drennen Pfaller is the Founder of A Slice of HR, a company that provides subscription HR services to small businesses to help them recruit best of industry, reduce turnover, ignite passion and avoid legal missteps.