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Continued Challenges to Hiring in 2014

Gardner Resources Group’s Q2 Newsletter: Continued Challenges to Hiring in 2014

Having recently emerged from one of our longest, most arduous winters, we are all more than happy to welcome spring this year. With the winter thaw we hoped that things on the hiring front would thaw a bit as well, but it is clear that hiring, especially at the non-managerial levels, is still a challenging situation for many managers. The most recent employment report shows that employment in MA is at an all time high which officially puts us in a ‘Candidate Driven’ marketplace, posing many unique challenges to hiring managers.

In a client driven market, where there are a plethora of candidates out of work, clients are in the driver’s seat and can, for all intents and purposes, interview endlessly, until they find the ‘perfect’ candidate. A client driven market is seen when economic conditions are drab, as in a recession. Today’s market, while not robust, has clearly rebounded out of the depths of the recession and the tables have turned from a hiring standpoint, creating a candidate driven marketplace.

Hiring managers who have been seeking to hire staff level candidates, particularly Accountants and Senior Accountants or Financial Analysts/Senior Financial Analysts, know all too well the challenges of finding talent in this market place. This newsletter is devoted to giving you tips for hiring when the candidate pool is shallow as it is today.

Tip #1: Hire for cultural fit

In our experience, hiring people who fit and thrive in your company’s corporate culture is the first step to ensuring a good, solid fit. We have all hired a ‘bad apple’ who poisons the department or company’s environment. Most know all too well how damaging that can be. You often learn the extent of the damage once that person is no longer employed with your organization. Sadly, that damage can have long lasting effects in your department or organization so avoiding the damage in the first place is critical. Happy employees are long term employees. While there are many different factors that contribute to happiness, most people tell us that finding a cultural fit that aligns with their core values is one of the main criteria for accepting a job in the first place and for staying with an organization long term.

Tip #2: Hiring Managers need to be on the front lines of the hiring process

In this market, when the supply of candidates is slim and the competition for this pool is at an all-time high, hiring managers do themselves a huge favor by getting involved at the very beginning of the hiring process. This means that hiring managers should be the ones reviewing resumes and determining which candidates they want to meet. In this market, you can’t afford to have the ‘right’ candidate get screened out. Nobody knows a job better than the hiring manager so reviewing credentials of potential candidates from the get-go is essential. Time is not on your side in a candidate driven market place and as a hiring manager, you don’t have the luxury of potentially losing the right candidate. Unlike other job markets, there aren’t other candidates to play ‘back up’ to those you don’t get on your team due to the slim pool of available talent. Those clients who put themselves on the front lines, beginning with the initial review of resumes, are giving themselves an advantage over those clients who shift this responsibility elsewhere in their organizations.

Tip #3: Be willing to train the right candidate

At one point in our careers, we were all blank slates. We entered the work force and had to learn the nuances of a business, industry and organization. At the very beginning of our careers, we actually had to learn how to do a job for the first time! Most of us have changed jobs several times within our careers or changed roles within our organizations and have learned new technical skills to add to our tool kit. It’s safe to say that even our strongest hires have needed training at some point in their tenure. In today’s market, being willing to train the right person will assist you in hiring a candidate who has a strong, long-term potential of success at your organization.

Tip #4: Be realistic with your ‘Must Have’ wish list

We had a client whose open job just celebrated a birthday. The job description we received a year ago had two ‘wish lists:’ a ‘must have’ set of criteria and a ‘nice to have’ list of criteria. The ‘must have’ list was filled with unrealistic expectations while the ‘nice to have list’ was simply that, nice to have but not mandatory criteria. Had this list been flip flopped, this job would have been filled long ago. Instead, this role remains open a full year later and the hiring manager is not only doing her job but also the job she is unable to fill. In this candidate driven market, being flexible with what you can and cannot live with is critical. An unrealistic ‘must have’ wish list will ensure your job stays open much longer than you anticipated.

Tip #5: Move to offer stage as quickly as possible

In this highly competitive job market, the longer you take to get to offer stage, the more likely one of two situations will occur and scenarios both work against you as you try to build your team:

1. By the time you identify your candidate of choice, he or she has already been swooped up by your competition.

2. If your interview process is drawn out (i. e. phone screen, first round, second, third and possibly a fourth round or more) and you are lucky enough to find a candidate that is still available for hire, the chances are high that this individual will have seen numerous other opportunities while you’ve been getting this person through your belabored interview process. By the time you finally get to offer stage, it’s highly probable that he or she has seen other positions/companies that are potentially more compelling and exciting. With a long interview cycle, you increase the chances of having serious competition when and if you get to the offer stage and you greatly increase the likelihood of losing your number one choice to a competitor, only to have to start the interview process all over again.

We hope these tips are helpful to you as you look to build your team in 2014. As always, we appreciate your business and look forward to helping you and your colleagues staff your departments in this challenging marketplace.

Dina Gardner and the Gardner Resources Group Team

Dina Gardner, President
[email protected]
508-485-3120 or 508-626-1399
Fax: 781-444-4405
View my LinkedIn Profile
Connect via Skype at Dina.Gardner1661
*Recruiting Accounting & Finance Professionals *

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