Candidates have the power - again! See Michael Mandel's BusinessWeek commentary "Now Workers Can Flex Some Muscle" March 21, 2005.
"In any economic expansion there comes a moment when the balance of power shifts to employees from employers - a moment when the question of the day switches from "Can I get a good job?" to "Can we find enough good workers?" That moment may have come for the U.S."
Michael explains that the the recent rise in unemployment was driven by 'job leavers' versus unemployed 'job losers'. In other words the churn predicted by so many for so long has begun and it is no longer a buyers market for talent.
That's right...employees leave for better opportunities. Counter offers may not be up to snuff or too late and they leave...or the competition just does a faster and better job at understanding and valuing talent in all they say and all they do. In other words...companies who are and do what they profess to be have a better shot at acquiring and retaining talent.
What...we had to figure this out on a blog? No, no, no...we know, know, know what to do and why, it just hard to get corporate backing for home page real estate, marketing support, dollars for top recruiters and great talent relationship technology - and of course hiring authorities who appreciate the difficulty and value of recruiting in a world of churn...it's hard!
And it's not going to get easier...
A recent article by Amrita Sidhu in the East Bay Times titled 'Uncle Al Wants You', is not just a good story on the beginnings of Al Gore and Joel Hyatt's attempt at creating a revolutionary cable channel but is a look at how technology can be used to build talent excitement and relationships. Hot websites, vlogs, etc...problem learned by Al and team...first, figure out who you are, why you are and then attract the talent. To their benefit the company announced last week they have changed their name from IndTV to Current TV. Still as Amitra points out they pissed off alot of talent and may have created a competitive Frankenstein from the very talent they first attracted. Read the article..
So Talent has the power...about time. The result? We in recruiting will be asked to do a better job...no sweat - we've done it before.
- Align the position with corporate and department goals
- Market the position - what is so compelling? Ask the happy gal or guy doing the job! Create a compelling story not just an internet post!
- Figure out what it will take to source...time, money, where, how...
- And make the hiring team agree. Don't throw stuff up against the wall and waste time - get agreement on parameters first.
- Plan for contingencies...keep sourcing great talent - don't stop until position is filled and candidate is on the job.
- Completely understand the deficiency of any candidate before you say no...they may be worth training and the loyalty gained may keep them from looking in the future.
- Compile and answer objections from the candidate and hiring team from the beginning...this is a bi-directional selling process. Done correctly it is not easy!
- Close. Set time lines for all involved and make them stick to them.
- And lastly, be nice...the candidates have the power so treat them well...that's all of them - those you turn down and those who turn you down.
Who's Got The Power? The Talent...
Recruiters have to get back to blocking and tackling - do the basics and do them well.
Companies must understand and invest in the resources necessary to do the job...you can't cut corners anymore.
Technology must innovate and scale...how many resume storage systems can one company buy? Get over it and and invest in leading edge technologies that enable Talent Relationships and Collaborative Hiring. Concentrate on scalable solutions that drive productivity and most importantly better talent results than your competition.
Again when the recent grad with two offers comes in asking for an offer with more money, smile...
When the engineer resigns for a better offer, smile...
Or when to Customer Support rep working your top account demands a career path to sales, smile
because chances are good you will have to find a way to make it all happen.
Good Luck and Great Recruiting!