How to Correctly Diagnose 5 Common Talent Problems

We all want solutions, whether it’s at the doctor’s office, the IT desk or in our hiring systems. But in our zeal to find an answer, we sometimes misdiagnose the problem.

Say you have a nagging cold. One doctor may tell you to drink more fluids and rest. But maybe they dive deeper and ask a few more questions, leading them to decide to take a blood test to see if you have diabetes. Both conditions are manageable — but if you treat diabetes like a cold, it will only get worse.

The same is true in the talent space. In our desire to show our bosses that we’ve “got it covered,” we can focus on patching up microproblems instead of asking deeper questions that get to the root cause. What looks like a talent problem could be something deeper, exacerbated by treating the wrong condition.

Let’s take a look at some common misdiagnoses in the talent world — and how to treat the real problems.

We have a funnel problem

Thanks to the economy and increasing online transparency, people today are choosier about the roles they apply for. They’re spending time investigating the company and learning about its values, culture and people before hitting “Apply.”

This can mean we have fewer applications for our open reqs. But that isn’t necessarily a problem. In theory, you only need two great candidates per requisition so the hiring manager isn’t forced into their decision. If you aren’t getting two quality applicants per requisition, you don’t have a funnel problem; rather than more candidates, the problem is that you need better candidates.

This often stems from a failure to provide a clear answer to the question of why a candidate should apply with you. What makes your company a good fit? Why would your job make their life better? Answering and communicating those ideas is what employer brand is all about — which is where your real problem may lie.

We have a tool set problem

Today, there is a broad range of complex sourcing, outreach, tracking and distribution tools available for recruitment marketing teams. None of these tools are cheap, so companies must make strategic purchasing decisions.

However, many recruiters have become comfortable with 2% email response rates, 90% bounce rates and simply being ignored, so they seek tools designed to demand attention from as many job seekers as possible.

But what’s the value of communicating to more people if you don’t know what to say? Why track candidates if they don’t know why they want the job? It’s not a tool issue; it’s how you’re using it. Defining and packaging a compelling message is the heart of employer branding, increasing the power of any tool you already have.

We have a ‘closing’ problem

Your “close rate” is the number of candidates who accept your offers — and while the industry average can be as high as 91%, many businesses struggle to reach an acceptance rate anywhere near that number. That means both your company and the candidates themselves are making huge investments of time and resources with few results.

The solution? Well, you might take a leaf out of…

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