It’s a Competitive Market for Top Talent


Top Talent is Difficult to Find

Every organization wants top talent.  We all want employees who are technically outstanding, great communicators, team players, have positive attitudes, a willingness to do what it takes to get the job done, accept responsibility and accountability, someone you can count on…all those qualities that make for the perfect employee.

The challenge of course is finding them.  You run ads, talk to colleagues to get referrals, reward employees who refer someone you hire, use recruiting firms and everything else you can think of to uncover these rock stars.  Sometimes you’re successful in finding them, sometimes not.  You may find the technical skills you need but the interpersonal skills are lacking.  Or you find the whole package but they want more money than you are willing to pay.  Or, well there are so many “ors” where the end result is you don’t get the talent you need.

Worse Yet, It’s Competitive for Top Talent

Finding the talent you need is difficult for sure.  I wish I could tell you that the talent you want is out there and you just have to keep turning over more rocks.  It is true that you have to get creative in finding top talent.  The sad reality is that there just aren’t as many top notch employees as there is need.  Why this is will be a topic of another article but for now I want you to accept this as the reality.

Couple this with the fact that everyone else wants the same top talent you do and the outcome is a very competitive market.  Not only are there hundreds of other companies looking for the same people you are, they may have deeper pockets than you.  They may be willing to offer benefits you can’t.  Your competitors may have exciting projects or a corporate culture or a location or something else you just can’t compete with.

Here’s what we know thus far:

  1. Supply and demand for top notch talent isn’t in sync.  The demand is greater than the supply.
  2. Identifying these super stars isn’t easy, they are difficult to locate.
  3. Competition is high for these folks.
  4. Your competitors may be able to offer opportunities you can’t.

Wait!  You Don’t Have to Give Up

I know I have painted a bleak picture.  You don’t have to give up and settle for mediocre employees or pay way more than you’re prepared to.  Here are some suggestions on how to handle this challenge.

  1. Constantly be watching for top talent.  Top talent doesn’t always show up in the marketplace when you need it.  Be willing to interview even if you don’t see an immediate need.
  2. Be creative in ways to find talent.  One of my clients was at Best Buy and was so impressed with the sales person who waited on him that he invited him for an interview.
  3. Be clear about what your company has to offer and share it in the interview.  Sometimes we spend so much time interviewing we forget we need to put our sales hat on and tell the applicant why they should want to join your company.
  4. Don’t try to compete on compensation.   Make the best offer you can.  If money is the deciding factor for the applicant they likely wouldn’t stay long term anyhow.  Be thankful you found that out.
  5. Finally be realistic about your company and the position.  You may never attract the Harvard MBA but that doesn’t mean you can’t attract someone else.  But if you only want the Harvard MBA you may be constantly disappointed.

The reality is that there is a huge need in the marketplace for really top talent.  And the supply is less than the demand.  It doesn’t mean that you just give up or settle.  However you will have to think about talent acquisition differently than you have in the past.

© 2015 Incedo Group, LLC

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