How to Find the Best Employees In Today’s Market – It’s Not as Easy as it Seems

Let’s say you are in the fortunate position to be able to hire a new employee or two in today’s difficult economic times. The perception is that all you would have to do is open your lobby door and a stream of qualified candidates will waltz right through. Unfortunately, that really isn’t the case.

Yes, the news is littered with story after story about companies downsizing and sending workers out their doors, and yes, there are some very qualified, competent workers who have been let go. But good, qualified candidates are still tough to get – many of the potential employees on the market today are near retirement age and/or do not have a desire to re-enter the marketplace. Others are specifically trained for a discipline other than yours. Still others were not making the grade at their current organization and have been downsized to eliminate a performance issue.

So what happens when employers decide to post an ad for a new opportunity? There is a surplus of responses – perhaps just not the right responses. It’s a tough time and those that are looking are looking for anything that might have a chance to be a fit, even if it’s not. Responses have become diluted and the time to review and sort resumes is more intense and overwhelming then ever before.

Where are the qualified candidates? Many are still employed. People are less likely to leave their current employment than ever before. If they have a job that pays well, is stable, and they are content (perhaps not even happy), they are sticking to it. In order to make a change, an offer needs to exceed expectations, because for the most part, the mood has shifted and people really are just happy to be employed.

So, how do you screen and select the best people for your current opening?
* Now, more than ever, this could be the right time to invest in a recruitment firm to assist you in your search. Yes, this is an additional financial investment, but it is also a useful time to free up your time and allow a professional to screen potential candidates, look to the currently employed that wouldn’t consider putting their resume on a job board in a volatile market (no one wants to risk their current employment). Narrowing down the overwhelming list to a few prime choices is well worth the investment.

* Look to promote from within. If there are qualified candidates within your organization already that might be up to a new challenge, promote them. The goodwill you will gain internally will be overwhelming, and it’s always easier to find a lesser qualified candidate (and potentially lure them away from a current position) for an opening than a more senior person.

* Remember the intangibles: it’s not just the salary and benefits that will make your opportunity desirable today. The cultural environment of your office and the overall stability of your company are going to be more important than ever. Be sure to identify ways that you can demonstrate both to potential employees.

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