3 reasons why your current talent search isn’t working

3 reasons why your current talent search isn’t working

Having trouble finding talent? You’re not alone. 

Talent acquisition teams across the US are struggling to fill open positions. Recently, job fill rates in the US have been sitting at 60%. 

As companies continue to deal with the effects of the Great Resignation, savvy business leaders are rethinking their talent acquisition strategies — leaning into new tech investments and focusing heavily on the candidate experience. Filling an open position may be challenging, but it doesn’t have to crush your business.

Is there a better way to meet your company’s demand for talent? What could be the reasons why your current talent acquisition strategies are falling short? And what can you do to flip the script on this narrative? We answer these questions and more in this blog.  

You’re Relying on Legacy Rigid Talent Acquisition Models

We are living in a new talent acquisition landscape, and leaning on tried and true approaches like using a staffing agency or recruiting firm to address capacity and capability gaps simply don’t cut it anymore. 

External talent strategies work when your organization isn’t competing with companies that can outpace you in job board advertisements, compensation, and benefits. Even more so today as talent acquisition costs continue to soar.

On top of competing with money, traditional approaches like hiring a staffing agency or recruiting firm typically rely on filling positions, not business outcomes. They lock you into costly and inflexible contracts that don’t guarantee results. 

The economic environment is evolving so rapidly that you might find yourself reprioritizing your company's needs at a moment’s notice. And this is where typical talent acquisition strategies fall short. 

They hamper your organization’s ability to shift focus when you need it. If legacy approaches don’t work, what can your business do instead?

Use internal talent

Before starting the process of looking for external candidates, look within your organization first. Many companies can leverage their internal talent pool to identify candidates that can be moved into more productive roles, which can help you restructure your organization and cut employee turnover. Some are even investing in upskilling their employees, which can reduce employee turnover and boost loyalty. 

Value candidate time

The job interview process can be exhaustive. You may need several rounds of interviews, but dedicating hours to the process isn’t a great candidate experience. If your interview process is long, why not pay candidates? This strategy will help keep more candidates engaged in the hiring process, give them a taste of the value you place on human capital, and will also nudge you to only keep the most qualified candidates in your interview pool.

Rethink the job description

If you have trouble finding the right candidates, you need to rethink how you advertise the role. There are two ways your job description can hold you back from finding the right candidate: your description is too rigid or too loose.

A rigid job description will stop you from finding qualified candidates because it prevents people from applying to your position. A loose job description, in contrast, will stop you from finding candidates because you might attract too many people. And you could waste hours of HR time and still wind up with no viable candidates. 

The best job descriptions consider the scope of work, focus on a few essential skills, and build a picture of a day in the life of the role.

Build roles for a project-based economy

Projects are increasingly driving both short-term performance and long-term value creation through more frequent organizational transformations, faster development of new products, quicker adoption of new technologies, and so on. 

The value of project-oriented economic activity worldwide is on pace to grow from $12 trillion in 2017 to $20 trillion in 2027. In the process, the shift is putting some 88 million people to work in project management-oriented roles, and those estimates were made before nations started spending trillions on pandemic-recovery projects.

Projects don’t just give work meaning. They also build adaptability and agility into the DNA of the organization. Both are extremely valuable assets in a rapidly evolving economic environment where the workforce seeks meaning in the work they are delivering. 

In this project-based world, roles would need to be aligned to outcomes and require a move away from traditional rigid job descriptions with long-term horizons.

Lean on independent experts

In the immediate term, the rapidly growing independent workforce can be your greatest asset. Even more so today if you’re looking to build workforce agility while future-proofing your business to thrive in the project-based economy. 

It explains why more organizations are relying on independent knowledge workers to make an impact on the organization quickly. They have the experience you need, and you don’t need to go through the extensive hiring process to bring on independent talent. 

On average, it takes companies 13.5 days to shortlist and onboard the right independent talent to their teams. This increased agility has driven companies to spend 90% more YoY on onboarding independent experts on Graphite.

Learn more about Graphite’s expert network to see how we can help your organization improve its talent acquisition process.

You’re Only Focusing on Geographic Area 

Pre-pandemic, remote work seemed like a far-off reality for most workers. But after March 2020, organizations went remote. At the height of the pandemic, 69% of workers in the US were working from home

Most employees who could work remotely during the pandemic want remote work to stay. Many employees would even enjoy a hybrid approach to enjoy work-from-home part-time.

Companies that look outside a specific geographic area are rewarded with an increased talent pool and decreased talent acquisition costs. 

Looking outside your geographic location can feel scary because trusting someone you’ve never met in person can make you feel queasy. Organizations of all sizes are leaning into this new way of working, and it’s made a significant impact. Here’s some ideas on how to diversify your search. 

Leverage creative talent channels

If you must look for external talent, consider using niche talent channels to find and onboard the best talent. For example, most trades or skills have associations that contain a highly engaged audience. These associations are typically a great way to find quality candidates, and they have job boards like:

You’ll also want to research where your target talent personas go to connect with like-minded peers. For example, there are several Slack, Facebook, and LinkedIn communities where skilled professionals connect to share job opportunities, best practices, and advice. Digging into these channels can provide a goldmine of top talent to fill your pipeline. 

You’re Ignoring Your Employer Brand

You're doing yourself a disservice if you ignore your employer brand.

Candidates don’t make job decisions in a bubble. There are a myriad of research tools available to candidates today. 

Potential employees can read reviews on sites like Glassdoor to reach out to past and present employees and talk with friends/family members about your workplace. Here’s what you can do instead. 

Offer great benefits

A large part of your employer brand revolves around what you offer employees. And in today’s tight labor market, most candidates expect excellent compensation and an enticing benefits package. 

Do some market research to find out what other companies in your industry are offering. If you can’t match what they offer, think about what you can do instead. For example, your work/life balance, vacation policy, or compassion may set you apart.

See what’s being said on review sites

You can’t address concerns if you don’t know what people are saying. Read your reviews on sites like Glassdoor, Fishbowl, and Indeed to see what you need to address to be a better employer.

Make changes that benefit current and future employees

Make the changes you need to improve your workplace. These updates might require surveying your current employees, investing in new benefits, or removing toxic employees. Focus on changes that will make the most significant impact on workers.

Fix Your Talent Acquisition Problem By Keeping Up With Market Trends

Talent acquisition is changing. If you want to win the war on talent today, you’ll need to rely on new talent acquisition strategies, remote work, and building an employer brand to compete. If you’ve been striking out, there’s time to fix your search practices and fill more seats in your organization this year. You don’t have to struggle to find the best talent anymore. 

Want more insights on how to build a workforce strategy aligned to today’s market needs? Download our Ultimate Workforce Optimization Guide to find out

Explore how leading companies are building an agile and flexible workforce by tapping into independent talent on demand. Get our guide — Ultimate Workforce Optimization Guide — to learn more.

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