As I travel around the country working with top organizations, this is what they are saying:
We can’t find talent.
Yet, here’s what I’m hearing from those in the market looking for new job opportunities:
We can’t find jobs.
Seems to me that people may be looking for Mr. or Ms. Right in all the wrong places. The following are my recommendations to help organizations dramatically accelerate their ability to hire top talent as well as some ideas on how top talent can finally find their match.
Flaunt What You’ve Got
Employers: You may be one of the hottest employers in an industry that few have ever heard of. Time to get out there and flaunt what you’ve got. Today’s job seekers are looking for an experience. Not just a job. You’ve got to use whatever you’ve got to get their attention. This means describing how great it is to work in your company (it is great, right?) and creating job postings that have people saying, “Wow! I can see myself working here.”
Job Seekers: Now is the time to spruce up your looks and your attitude. Sure it’s been a few tough years for job seekers. But things have changed. You need to readjust your attitude and start anew. Update your wardrobe and prepare for success. Approaching interviews with a new look and attitude can go a long way towards landing your dream job.
Ask for Referrals
Employers: Ask your employees, customers, suppliers and friends who they know that may be seeking a new job opportunity. Of course it can’t hurt to offer your employees a bonus for their referrals. Do this on a quarterly basis so you can keep your pump primed.
Job Seekers: Ask your former co-workers, employer (if you left on good terms), neighbors, friends and professional service providers (e.g., your attorney, accountant, etc.) who they might know that is need of a stellar worker like you. Make the job easier for them by checking out their Linkedin profiles and coming up with three connections that you’d like an introduction to. Take this one step further by offering to provide them with a brief introduction.
Step Away From Your Computer
Employers: Posting a job and waiting for people to come in when the job market is flush with opportunities is like putting up a website and hoping customers will flock to your door. Neither approach works particularly well. I hear lots of employers complaining about their inability to fill jobs while at the same time, companies in the same industry have a line of people outside their door waiting to work for them. Every manager on your team needs to be a talent magnet. This means that at a minimum, they should be attending industry events, speaking at conferences and accepting requests for informational interviews.
Job Seekers: Applying for jobs online all day does not make a job search. You know this or you wouldn’t be reading this post because you’d be employed. Step away from your computer and re-enter the real world. Attend at least one networking event every week where recommenders or hiring managers may be in attendance. And when I say hiring managers, I don’t mean HR people. I mean the people who are the final decision makers when it comes to deciding who will be offered the job and who won’t.
Expand Your Reach
Employers: When you first started searching for people to fill your job openings you may have made the decision to consider only local applicants. Now that you are six months into your search, you may want to extend your search and consider relocating the perfect candidate, who happens to live somewhere else.
Job Seekers: In a perfect world, you might have landed a job that’s within driving distance to your home. However, life isn’t perfect and you are still looking for work. Take a look at those places where hiring seems to be plentiful and concentrate your search where there are significantly more opportunities than where you are currently living.
Companies are hiring and workers are looking for work. Imagine all the possibilities if both parties were willing to meet in the middle. Here’s to finding Mr. or Mrs. Right!