Ever ID-10089865complete a round of interviews and think “Man, what is wrong NONE of these are qualified!  Last time I hired I had tons of great people to choose from.  What happened?!”

The job candidate market is a fluid, ever-changing pool of candidates.  We’ve literally helped companies hire and had tons of fantastic candidates apply, then two months later work with a company in the same city, same position and get nothing – nada – zip!  All the stats, salary calculators, and stories from colleagues about what is available in the marketplace go out the window when you get in the trenches and start reviewing resumes.  It isn’t that these resources are not correct, the market just moves so quickly they may not be current information.

So what do you do if you aren’t finding great candidates in your marketplace?

First, be confident that you have a well-written ad to attract the right people and focus on quality versus quantity.  Make sure you are promptly reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates (within three days of receiving their resume).  The great candidates go fast!  If you wait a week to contact them and they’ve had 10 interviews scheduled they may decline your invitation to an interview.  Refresh and tweak your ad daily, old ads don’t a lot of responses.

But if all those things are on point, and you still aren’t getting the right candidate, consider this.

Typically there are four things you can adjust when you aren’t finding the candidate you want.

  1. Re-confirm that the standards you have around level of experience, type of experience, writing level, etc. are not flexible and know that you will stay the course until you find the right candidate.  And it might take a while (maybe not, but maybe so and you are staying the course.)
  1. Be flexible with your standards in the area of type of experience.  So if you are looking for someone with estate planning experience but not finding any candidates this would mean you are deciding that you are willing to train someone in estate planning so long as they have the writing level and experience/skills you want in other areas.  You must then know you will spend some time training them on estate planning.
  1. Be flexible with your standards around the level of experience.  So decide that you prefer someone with some experience in estate planning but not necessary at the level you were wanting.  So you will spend some time increasing their base knowledge and taking them to a higher level, but you feel they do have the fundamental skills to make this growth curve happen.
  1. Offer a higher salary.  If you are seeing amazing candidates that were just wanting a salary higher than your budget think about how much time you are losing continuing the search for the ‘right’ candidate and what it’s costing your company. So for instance, if your salary budget is $38,000 and most candidates that meat your experience and other requirements are asking for $43,000 calculate the MONTHLY increase this would cost you.  (In this example that would be $416 a month plus whatever additional for insurance, pay roll taxes, etc. – so say $500.)  It is worth $500 to you to have this person on your team NOW?  By having them on your team can you bring in an additional $500 to cover this increased cost?  Likely yes, by having the experienced person you want you can generate more business and bring in more than enough.  Or can you consider an incentive compensation system that allows them to earn more if certain goals are met, so they make more if the company is making more?  That’s a great way to expand your salary budget in a win/win way.

If your budget honestly won’t allow an increase, then revisit options 1, 2, and 3.

If you consider flexing your standards around type of experience or level of experience, commit to coming up with a training plan and resources to get your new employee to the level you need quickly.  For example, you can improve someone’s writing skills with some training classes they can take.  You don’t even have to be the one to do that training!  And through legal organizations you are members of (or can access) and other places you can get a new team member a big jump start on learning estate planning with online resources, training, etc.  While it won’t be the plug and play experience you hoped for you can definitely create a plan, including ‘how or where’ the person learns that skill and benchmarks of what they should be able to do by when, so you can measure their progress.  Don’t just have her (or him) just sitting there waiting for you to come train her!  Ensure that the team member and YOU have a path and plan to follow.

Where do you think you are with Options 1, 2, 3 and 4?  Do you rather stay the course to find the exact candidate meets all your requirements and is in your salary range?  Or are you becoming more concerned about hiring the ‘right’ person but knowing you may need to invest some training into them either in your area of business or growing their skills to the level you want?  Or can you see how increasing your salary budget can get you the team member you want and how that will increase your bottom line with the results they can produce, even if they cost you a little more?

Think about your options and decide what’s best for your company.  Continuing with out considering where you are and what approach you want to take is incredibly frustration because you are essentially just ‘hoping’ the universe aligns and sends you the right candidate, even if you have been looking for months and it hasn’t happened.  Take control of your hiring process and adjust your hiring plan with an honest look at what your options are and how flexible you are, or aren’t, in certain areas.  Consider, then choose.

If you aren’t confident in your hiring process, or well…don’t have a process, talk with us about how we can support you with The SmartHire Solution™ Process.


by Laney Lyons-Richardson

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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