Why Finding the Best Candidate Can Still Feel Like Searching For a Needle in a Haystack

Article Authored by Kira Bruno.  Source: Execleadercoach

Where are all the good people?  Despite the overwhelming number of unemployed applicants¸ finding the best candidate is still difficult for many companies.  Almost half of the managers surveyed by the 2009 Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations report revealed that a shortage in top talent is their biggest hiring challenge.

Here are a few reasons why we are seeing this phenomenon even in this incredibly over saturated marketplace of applicants.

  1. Talented people are working hard at their current roles¸ and although they may want to take a look at other opportunities¸ loyalty to current company¸ timing¸ confidentiality¸ and other factors get in the way.  Not to mention that the employed have a scarcity mentality based on current market conditions and many feel thankful just to have a job.  So how could they dare think about betraying their loyal company for another whose stability may not be as secure? Who’s to say that their current employer won’t find out and let them go before they secure a new position?
  2. Some of the unemployed apply to everything¸ leaving hiring managers with an overwhelming number of unqualified applicants and resumes vying for the position.
  3. Most top candidates do not use the traditional job seeking methods¸ such as the big search engines and job boards.  Instead they get the help of professional recruiters¸ their network¸ or use “back door” entrees into a company.
  4. Additionally¸ the big job search engine sites get thousands (if not many more) of visits a day and the websites are general and attract a broad audience. When searching for top talent¸ you won’t typically find them in the place of the masses; however¸ these are the most frequent places employers begin their search.

In a survey recently conducted by FORTIS Resource Partners¸ leaders of functional departments sighted their biggest challenge to hiring was time.  They tell us that with the many competing responsibilities of their role and with hiring for their department being more infrequent¸ building in the time to review resumes¸ interview talent and hire effectively “just doesn’t happen”.  The hiring manager asks¸ “How do I fill my open role¸ or do succession planning when my plate is full with many competing day to day responsibilities?”  What resources will help me to achieve my goals and allow me to stay focused on strategies and tasks at hand?

It is difficult for a hiring manager¸ to manage his or her day to day responsibilities and to find the time to identify qualified candidates in the stacks of twenty¸ fifty or even more applications. Employers tell us that having a partner in the hiring process and a spokesperson in the market is extremely helpful.  They require someone who has access to top talent¸ presents and facilitates hiring the best for the current role¸ therefore¸ helping them to achieve their critical hiring initiatives.

For many¸ utilizing a professional recruiter in their niche ha