How To Hire During A Talent Shortage

This quarter, SHRM announced it would be harder for companies to find heavy skilled workers. These workers are often found in industries such as manufacturing, construction, truck driving, healthcare and IT. As the economy continues to improve, we’re starting to see more mobility in the job market. But these industries continue to stagnate.

Analysts point to a variety of reasons why we’re not attracting talent in these areas. These include information on slowing birth rates, an inability to seek out older workers, and emerging markets overseas. No matter the source, the reality is that recruiters are going to have to become a lot more nimble to hire during a talent shortage.

Hire Out Or Develop Talent Internally

When there is a talent shortage, companies need to increase their flexibility in order to hire. Rather than simply seeking an outside worker, companies should start looking inward to determine which skills they can develop. There should be no shortage of talented employees who would like to develop new skills in order to move up the corporate ladder. Take for instance an entry level customer service representative. He may be in school for Computer Science and would make a great trainee for an IT position.

Employers should be aware of these developments in their workforce. These present great opportunities to develop talent from within and to increase cross- functionality.

Payroll giant ADP cites only 58% of companies have a talent development plan in place. Without a plan, how do executives develop their workforce? The truth is many companies don’t. And they don’t realize what they’re missing until they’re faced with trying to hire a critical role during a shortage of skilled workers.

Tweet this: ADP cites only 58% of companies have a talent development plan in place.

Look For Experience Previously Overlooked

Many companies focus on attracting a younger worker to grow with the company. But the reality is that by 2020, the US Census Bureau estimates 50% of workers will be over the age of 50. That means younger workers may not be as readily available. And if they are, they may not possess the skills a company is looking for. It’s time to start looking outside of this model for skilled workers.

If you’re looking for a disciplined and technically skilled worker, try attracting more veterans. Veterans receive a variety of special skills training in the military. Coupled with a wonderful work ethic, you could have a winning combination on your hand. The federal government is also currently offering incentives to companies who hire veterans. What better way to say thank you to a veteran than by giving him a great job!

As an alternative, companies might also seek out older workers. In a recent survey, the Society for Human Resource Management found that 65% of companies did not seek to hire older workers. There is a stigma that sometimes follows older workers, a misconception that they are less technically proficient. But this just isn’t true. Older workers can be a great source of in depth knowledge and technical prowess.

Expand Your Search

Heavy skilled workers may be in short supply in some areas, but perhaps it’s time to increase the search. Using video interview software, companies can expand their search across borders to find the talent that they need. With 24/7 support, GreenJobInterview’s online interviewing platform is the perfect solution. Companies can expand their search within their budget and in a faster time frame. This can help open up a world of possibilities for companies failing to find the skilled workers they need.

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Company Culture And Finding Top Talent

Company culture is fundamental in attracting great employees. Most people lose steam when creating company culture as the results take time. CEO’s can be romantic about what has worked in the past as they become distracted on what seems to be urgent business issues. It takes time to develop a great company culture and even more time to get outside candidates to discover your brand.

Get comfortable with delayed gratification, and drive your business forward. The Yankees invested 3 years before Derek Jeter had the opportunity to become great. With new tools like Periscope, it’s time to leverage your internal success to attract the type of people that will win for you. You can tell your CEO that you will attract new paying customers as new buyers get to know the people within.

Paid Advertising

Jobs need to be advertised. Time to collapse the distance between human resources and marketing. Stop thinking about what platform works and be everywhere. The Internet is the job board. Walk over to the CEO‘s office and request a larger budget on talent acquisition activities. If people are the most important asset, refer to the profit and loss statement and compare what you spend on marketing versus recruiting.

In the Automotive Industry, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen will spend 2 Billon each as the entire auto industry will invest north of $44 billion in advertising – in an effort to sell 15 million cars. CEO’s focus on revenue and growth. We all know that revenue and growth are an outcome to top talent.

Think like a championship team and spend money finding great people. Find money in the budget and make it happen. Job postings are an opportunity to tell your story. The CEO is counting on you, Go.

You Are In The Marketing Business

Your culture is what you market. Great candidates want to discover what it will be like to work at your company. Utilize the many social platforms to tell your story and connect with the right candidates. Take people behind the scenes at work with the Periscope app. Engage current employees to help tell the story better. Department leaders understand how to tell the story in a way that attracts new leaders into the company. Leverage your team and don’t be afraid of what might happen. Our brains process over 50,000 thoughts a day. Most of these thoughts are negative. It’s time to add in positive messages about your people and company. If not, people will default to negative assumptions or fill in the gap with their doubts as they lack the information.

Leverage Resources

Recruiters are busy with a stack of assignments. It’s complicated, changing fast, and highly regulated. Strong leaders leverage resources already in place. No need to spend more money on this process. Take the time to tell your key internal leaders about interesting activities with the company. Create brand ambassadors who will share these happenings with their networks. You will attract the type of people that will enjoy and respect your culture.

These are just three simple ideas that will allow you to differentiate yourself from competitors. Most people will struggle with these steps as CEO’s resist new strategies.



Preparing For A Career Pivot

In my practice as a career coach, I often work with professionals who want to pivot from one field to another because their current career one no longer provides fulfillment. I’ve read plenty of good advice about preparing for a career pivot, but perhaps in an effort to present only the positive, none of the articles I’ve read provide the unvarnished truths about what you may confront.

Let’s examine the real obstacles you may face, and then I’ll offer practical tips on how to overcome them.

You’ve done your research; you understand the field; you’ve taken the relevant courses needed to successfully transition into your chosen next career. You’re ready to begin the job search, armed with a new functional resume that discusses your competencies and skills rather than the trajectory of your prior employment. How are the recruiters and hiring managers going to respond to your candidacy?

Realistic Strategies

Spoiler alert: the answers aren’t pretty, but when you understand what you may be up against, you’ll be better prepared with realistic strategies.

I surveyed recruiters and HR managers because they are typically the first people who view your resume, asking two questions:

• A mid-career professional takes all the relevant courses in order to change fields. Will they get hired, even though their “experience” in the new field is academic, not actual?
• What is the likelihood of a mid-career professional getting hired in a more junior role in order to make a career shift?

In response to the first question, two recruiters replied with an unqualified “no,” with one saying that his employment agency would never be able to place such a candidate, and the other, a HR manager, noting that “once you are pigeon-holed in a particular field, it is nearly impossible to break out.”

Others were more optimistic, provided that the candidate met other criteria, such as having significant transferable skills. One hiring manager said she would consider career pivoters,” but that they would face serious competition from candidates with actual experience.

Another recruiter said it would be “tricky,” but the degree to which the candidate’s previous experience is relevant to the new employer would be a significant factor; she added, “I wouldn’t bank on it unless it’s a sector where the new skills are in high demand.” An IT recruiter suggested that candidates whose prior experience has afforded them knowledge within a specific domain could potentially move into that field, but said the real question is, “where is the value-add for their potential future employer?”

As for the probability of mid-career professionals being hired in more junior roles in order to gain experience in their new careers, two recruiters ranked the possibility as “very likely,” or “high,” if the abovementioned criteria were met. Others were less optimistic, pointing out that most mid-careerists would have trouble taking a compensation hit.

Overcoming Objections From Recruiters

None of this sounds encouraging, but there are strategies for overcoming objections from recruiters and employers if you want to change careers.


You’ve heard that networking is critical to a job hunt, and no more so than when you search involves a career pivot. Leverage your social network contacts to develop relationships to help you get ahead.

Stay Put

The biggest problem career pivoters face is being an unknown quantity in a new field. Changing careers if often easier if you stay within your current company where you have earned a reputation as being smart and hard-working. Transitioning to a different department allows you to gain experience, often without taking a compensation hit.

Go Solo

While some people thrive as employees, or just need the security of a steady paycheck, there are considerable benefits to marketing your talents directly to employers on a freelance or contractor basis.

Prove your Value

Want to demonstrate your skills within your next career? Create something of value – pro bono – and offer it to your target employer. If you know how to do something – just do it (sorry, Nike). Perfect example of “show, don’t tell,” and if nothing else, builds a portfolio of work that demonstrates your expertise.


Image: bigstockphoto

#TChat Recap: Maximizing Your Talent & Gifts

Maximizing Your Talent & Gifts

We all have talents. It’s true. It’s important to stay true to you first and the rest will fall into place.

Discovering those talents and where they fit have a profound impact on our personal and professional happiness. Maximizing your talent is knowing who you are and sharing your unique self with others.

This week on #TChat, Brian Carter and Garrison Wynn, co-authors of “The Cowbell Principle: Career Advice On How To Get Your Dream Job And Make More Money,” joined our fun-loving social community to share their brilliance on the cowbell principle. When we talk about ringing your cowbell on #TChat, we want you to communicate your value to others. Our guest Brian Carter knows a thing or two about cowbells!

We should never stop asking ourselves, “What am I great at?” and “What am I passionate about?” We are in control of our talent and how we utilize it. But it takes hard work and elbow grease.

We must find the courage to utilize our talents and effectively share our value. We must learn to micromanage ourselves.

Happiness and success require direction. Start simple as our guest Garrison Wynn pointed out:

Maximize your talent with a here and now attitude. Find your strengths, communicate your value, and ring those cowbells!

See What #TChat-ters Said About Talent! 

What’s Up Next? #TChat Returns Next Wednesday, Jan. 21st!

TChatRadio_logo_020813-300x300#TChat Radio Kicks Off at 7pm ET / 4pm PT — Our weekly radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on Twitter as well. The topic: How to Manage the Softer Skills of Your Personal Brand. #TChat Twitter Kicks Off at 7:30pm ET/ 4:30pm PT — Our halfway point begins with our highly engaging Twitter discussion. We take a social inside look at our weekly topic. Everyone is welcome to share their social insights #TChat.

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date! 

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away! Passive-Recruiting Photo credit: Ryan McGuire via Gratisography cc

How to Attract Top Interns

The key to any successful business is developing and retaining top talent, but do you want top interns?  For any business, bringing in fresh eyes and creative personalities can spark life into an organization. One of the easiest ways to do this is through a strong internship program, allowing employers to increase staff and ideas but at a lower price and without long term commitments.  However, it’s not as easy as it may sound, creating a mutually beneficial program and acquiring top talent will take time and effort.

The Program

To receive the greatest benefit and value it is best to create a well-structured program that has clarity and effective communication channels before you make your first hire.  The first step is assigning a direct intern manager, this provides clarity and structure for both the interns and upper level managers.  This individual is responsible for ensuring the internship is mutually beneficial. Students do not want to run coffee and file papers all day and will only decrease the value of your program and make it more difficult to attract the top talent. The greatest source of learning comes from a mentor mentee relationship and working together in real world situations, this is what top talent want to be doing. Tasking interns with real world projects or putting them on a team of employees, providing intrinsic motivation as they can see the progress and value they bring to the organization.

In addition to assignments it is very important to be flexible with time.  Top talent are likely to be devoted students who are widely involved on and off campus. This may make a typical 9-5 internship commitment unrealistic.  Situations vary case by case but an applicants inability to commit to 30 “traditional” hours should not rule them out.  Lastly, provide them with a tangible portfolio of all their work.  Internship programs vary dramatically and the word “intern” on a resume can mean many different things in terms of value.  By having a portfolio of work and accomplishments, you enable the now entry-level worker to visibly express the value he can bring to an organization.  This will not only help your prior employee but help your programs reputation.  The success and professional growth of prior interns will motivate other aspiring students to work for you.

The People

You may have created the greatest internship program imaginable, but without the right people it means nothing.  Most important is the program manager, this should not be an entry level worker or simply extra paperwork for another employee.  Students want a knowledgeable professional who can relate to their challenges, but most importantly, someone who allows the interns to learn from what the manager has done and experienced.  With a strong leader in place we must now find the talent, ideally at your local universities.  You might think that going into an entry level class will achieve the task, but it will not.  A lower level required class will only have a few highly motivated individuals.  Look more into industry relevant clubs and organizations on campus, such as the business fraternity or public speaking club.  Students with self-motivation and drive join these clubs, it is these individuals you want representing your company both in the office and on campus.  When you find an applicant pool it is important to treat their interview and hire process as you would a full time employee.  Make sure to keep in mind, however, that their resumes may not be fully developed and the greater focus should on their work ethic, motivation, and character.  After you have established the program manager and hired your first intern, or team of interns,  it is important to develop a relationship with free flowing ideas but remember, this may be a student’s first glance at the professional world and you’re setting the precedent.

The Challenges

There are many challenges associated with interns that must be overcome, such as pay.  This may be the toughest consideration when deciding to bring interns onboard and the answer may vary.  If your organization is well known and a strong industry leader with a developed internship program then top talent may be willing to work for free. Otherwise, top talent will require a competitive wage.  Another challenge when hiring students with little to no experience is that the risk can be high.  They may miss shifts regularly, quit unexpectedly, or simply not fit in to the company, culture or industry. Internships are an exploratory exercise for students and their “real-life” experience may not be what either of you hoped. Additionally, for some complex industries with a steep learning curve, the semester could be over by the time an intern becomes proficient in the business processes of the organization.

Every organization will experience different challenges and each requires a unique response. Developing a great program and finding top talent will be challenging but your organization will see great benefits over time. Hiring interns can completely change an organization or an office dynamic.  Don’t be locked in the past, lead your organization confidently into the business world of tomorrow with the students of today.

Apply Now

(About the Author: Kevin is a marketing and sales team member at DATIS, a leading provider of position control human resource (HR) and payroll software-as-a-service (SaaS) for behavioral health and human services agencies. Their best-in-class, cloud-based software is a complete solution, covering HRPosition ControlPayrollTimekeepingBenefits AdministrationRecruitingTalentCredential Management and Workforce Analytics. By leveraging a complete administrative services solution from a single service provider, their customers reduce expenses and risks, increase compliance and revenue, maximize the resources directly devoted to their missions and enjoy a superior customer service experience.)

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