Readers are invited to submit a question which we will then pose to one of our Forbes Councils members. This group is full of knowledge and experience — we’re eager to share their insights with you.
Question: How Selective Can I Afford to Be in Today’s “Talent War” Job Market?
My business is growing and I have job openings, but it’s difficult to find enough quality talent. Should I relax my standards a little to get some people in the door?
Meet our Executive: Sandy Lish, Principal and Co-Founder, The Castle Group
Forbes Boston Business Council member Sandy Lish is principal and co-founder of The Castle Group, a 22-year-old women-owned PR and event management firm. Sandy works with corporate, education, healthcare, startup, and nonprofit clients on strategic communications initiatives around visibility, launches, branding, and thought leadership. She’s also a nationally recognized expert on crisis communications.
Answer: Don’t Settle for “Good Enough;” Move Quickly; Use Connections.
The tight job market is making it difficult to recruit quality talent. Even for a company like ours — the only one in our industry named a Best Place to Work by the Boston Business Journal for the past three years — the competition is fierce.
Despite the shrinking candidate pool, it’s critical to be selective and not compromise on needs and qualifications. When business is growing and needs are increasing, it may feel like making a snap decision that’s “good enough” will fill a potential gap, but we’ve found this isn’t the case. It remains critical to adhere to your hiring standards and follow the process you created if it has worked well in the past.
However, the nature of the current job market means you need to move more quickly. If you’ve got a multi-step process and take too long getting through it, your candidate will be scooped up by a competitor before you’ve had a chance to make an offer.
While many companies turn to innovative recruiting approaches, like posting ads widely on social media, Castle has found the best way to engage viable candidates is through our connections. When searching for a new team member, we widely broadcast within our networks — through social media and direct outreach — and rely on those personal and professional relationships for recommendations.
Referrals from a diverse network of people we trust, who know our organization’s standards and culture, have historically led to the most successful Castle hires, during all kinds of job markets. We’ve found that if our connections share these qualities, their recommendations often do too. Almost every one of our employees was referred to us through an existing relationship — including clients, employees, strategic partners, and other colleagues far and wide.