How Do We Use Data to Identify Quality Candidates?

By Staff Report

Jan. 7, 2014

Dear Only Half:

Knowing which skills and competencies are required to perform a job is a good start, but the other half of the problem is finding people who possess those needed skills and competencies. To address this half of the problem, consider the following six strategies when your organization faces a talent challenge:

·       Spread a wider net

Your traditional recruiting targets may have dried up or moved. Look in places you have not considered before, widening your search to include communities and non-traditional talent pools. Brainstorm with colleagues to strengthen your recruiting process and identify talent where you have not looked before. Avoid shutting down ideas you have not tested recently.

·       Improve your offer

Take note of what your competitors do to attract talent. Sweeten the pot for your new hires so you can get them in the door. Think beyond base pay: Consider other reasons people are attracted to jobs, such as flexible hours, better benefits, career mobility, on-the-job training, and so on. Learn what your most qualified workers value the most and realign your rewards accordingly.

·       Automate

Consider how you can automate routine aspects of work in your company. By relieving workers of repetitive or routine work, they will have the time to learn new skills. 

·       Cross-train your current employees

Aggressively strengthen your existing workforce with cross-training to create a more flexible workforce. Reward your best workers with additional training and career opportunity. This not only makes your workforce more productive, but creates a positive reputation that yours is company that invests in its people.

·       Train new workers

View your pool of candidates through a new filter. Assess their motivation to do the work, as well as their ability to learn the necessary skills. Start people off at the entry level with the goal of quickly teaching them the required skills and promoting them into open positions once they are trained. Investing in skills development for under-employed workers is a way of giving back to your community while simultaneously creating a stronger workforce.

·       Refocus your expectations

By strengthening your recruiting process, improving the offer you make to qualified candidates, automating routine work, and aggressively training and cross-training workers, you should be able more effectively compete for top talent. If you are still unable to deliver on your organization’s mission, even with the additional resources you develop, you must re-align your expectations and set realistic goals for both productivity and profitability.

SOURCE: Patsy Svare, managing director, The Chatfield Group,, Northbrook, Illinois, Dec. 30, 2013.

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