The contemporary business landscape contains multitudes of challenges for owners, recruiters, and job seekers. What may feel sound and stable to one may appear laden with risk to another. Whether it’s the COVID-19 pandemic’s lingering effects on work, an apparent looming recession (depending on who you ask), and the strained balance between the ‘work from home’ and ‘work at the office’ crowds, it seems like there are no end to the pitfalls that are complicating the desired, smooth work experience. How can owners, recruiters, and employees work together to combat this environment? A deeper dive into the underlying issues of balancing risk and qualifications is necessary.
Talent Search = Risk
There is an inherent element of risk whenever a company is on the lookout for adding talent to their employee pool. The very idea of feeling out an applicant to determine whether they’re the right fit for you is risky by definition. You don’t know them and they don’t really know you, even if they’ve researched your company. Every business has unwritten rules and unspoken habits or patterns that one can only become familiarized with by being with the company. Every new potential employee is an unknown, an X-factor. They might be perfect for you on paper, but are they really?
This uncertainty is so ingrained in work culture that a recent survey noted talent acquisition and retention is a worry of 38% of business leaders. This was the second highest risk concern in the entire survey. Only cyber-attacks (40%) ranked as a higher worry. Rising production costs, supply chain disruptions, and COVID-19 all charted lower on the list of regular concerns among business owners.
A Disconnect in Expectations
Obviously, a large driving force behind this universal concern is how the 1-2 punch of a worldwide pandemic coupled with a recession may radically shift the work landscape, perhaps permanently. Ironically, only 30% of business owners in the above survey admitted to worrying about a possible recession, compared to 69% of the overall public. While they may not be overtly troubled by talk of a recession, many businesses are already balancing risk against shifting priorities and pivoting their talent strategies to meet what they perceive will be the ‘new normal’ a few years down the road.
Therein lies a growing disconnect between what employers are looking for in their applicants and what applicants – who have seen major changes in their work life since 2020 – are looking for in a career. According to a recruiting report just released by iHire, 68% of employers are dissatisfied with the number of applications they receive for new job postings. Nearly 65% of employers say the applicants they do attract are unqualified for the job. However, the same survey showed that nearly 39% of applicants believe employers have unrealistic requirements for the posted jobs and 45% said they are routinely “ghosted” or ignored by employers after applying for their openings.
Terraforming Today’s Work Landscape
So are companies too busy complaining about their sparse talent pool to notice potential diamonds among the lumps of coal? It’s complicated. With today’s current uncertainty has come a push to better automate and improve technology in some areas to lessen the need for as many employees. Companies with many low-level and lesser-paid employees are testing a transition to a smaller crew of highly-skilled and higher-paid staff. A widespread implementation of this scenario would mean fewer job postings and a heavier reliance on top talent.
However, converting such a major shift into practical use would create unavoidable (you guessed it) risk. Candidates quickly become leery of companies that perform or announce layoffs and often consider them an unstable work environment and not a company they can count on over the long term. Ridding your roster of underachievers and/or lesser-skilled workers in order to make room for blue chip prospects may paradoxically scare off the very talent that your business was hoping to attract.
Solid Recruiting May Be the Solution
The communication that a good recruiter can bring to the table can potentially alleviate many of these concerns between employer and employee/applicant. Many job postings still follow rigid qualifications that may no longer be in vogue or even necessary when it comes to job duties. For example, the necessity of college degrees is slowly giving way to the importance of real world experience. Capable recruiters can evaluate an applicant’s knowledge, acumen, and ability to discover whether that salesperson’s 12 years of previous high-quality experience outweighs the fact that they never quite earned their degree.
Helping companies and potential employees see eye-to-eye and temper expectations is one of a recruiter’s most important roles when helping a business acquire blue chip talent. A seasoned and skillful recruiter can help a company think outside the box and consider updating possibly out-of-date qualifications and can also escort a good candidate through the applicant process and set their mind at ease concerning company updates that might appear risky on the surface.
The team at GRN Mid-Cities has decades of experience gathering and nurturing top talent across many fields and industries. Our time-tested recruiting techniques can pinpoint the perfect candidate for your open role and ensure their placement is a smooth and successful one. Contact us today to find out how we can help match you with world class workers!