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Foundations 1 – Attracting the Right Person to Your Team

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Have you noticed that finding great talent now feels like a marathon?

Recruiting talent is challenging enough for large employers with tons of resources. For small business leaders, the tight labor market is creating a great obstacle to business growth and success.

If you’ve done any hiring lately, I’ll venture that you might say it’s gotten extremely difficult to find that perfect candidate. Perhaps you’ve encountered one of these scenarios: A candidate schedules an interview with you and then he doesn’t show up? Or, you’re preparing to make that offer and your candidate calls to let you know she took a job with a competitor. Rats!

Where have all the prospective employees gone? The employment market pendulum has shifted and hiring managers are scrambling. Since the recession, the steady supply of highly qualified candidates available to employers made it easy to be complacent. With today’s reality – status quo doesn’t work anymore. Now, is the time for leaders to sharpen their brand and be an employer of choice. Doing so will draw those exceptional players to your team. Ignore it and face long waits to fill open positions with third and fourth string candidates.

Recruit and build a winning team:

Before anything, examine your organization’s culture. Are you creating an environment where people want to work? Do team members feel respected? Is their input valued? Is their compensation package competitive in the marketplace? (Examining corporate culture requires deep and critical introspection. For leaders brave enough to go here, the rewards are great.)

Scrutinize the job description and announcement – are you asking for the knowledge, skills, and abilities you truly need. Sometimes old descriptions get recycled with little thought about the current business needs. What competencies do you really need? What skills will complement the existing strengths on your team? Many job announcements list unbelievably long lists of qualifications looking for that mythical candidate who doesn’t exist in the real world. Ask yourself what skills are critical and what can be trained. (Or, the market may force the question for you.)

When sourcing candidates, think creatively and broadly. Be willing to consider candidates with non-traditional backgrounds or who may not fit your original template for the job. You might be amazed at what treasures can be found by keeping an open mind. Look beyond the job ad and LinkedIn. Local colleges, professional groups, networking, employee referral programs (with incentives), all are rich sources of fantastic people who might be the perfect fit.

Consider hiring for fit over specific skills. While defined skills are critical to many jobs, it’s useful to consider which skills you can let go and which can be trained. The more difficult aspect to discern is attitude, goals and objectives. Yet, these may be the best components of a successful hire. In the interview, seek to uncover what the person wants out of the job. Where are they looking to go in their career? Are they committed to the short or long term? How will their work style complement and enhance your existing team? Do they bring the needed work ethic?

By being creatively open-minded, the small business leader can compete and build that championship team.
If you wish discuss a specific hiring challenge, you are invited to schedule a no-cost consultation here. []

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