Tuesday, Jul 08 2014

Should You Hold Out for Perfect Candidates?

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Should You Hold Out for Perfect Candidates

Many hiring managers dream of finding the perfect candidate — someone with just the right mix of skills, experience, and personality – who’s willing to work for the salary on offer and likely to stay with the company long-term. Unfortunately, those perfect candidates are few and far between, and might even be non-existent. So why are hiring managers holding out for them?

In the current job market, as the country continues to recover from the recession, some experts perceive a general glut of talent. Hiring managers believe they’ll have plenty of time, and plenty of candidates to choose from — so if a candidate is good but not perfect, they might decide to wait. Major companies like Microsoft and Google have open positions that have been available for months because the ideal candidate hasn’t walked through the interview door yet.

But is waiting for perfection really the best strategy? Here’s why holding out may be causing more harm than good for your company:

The longer the hiring process, the more money you’re losing

It is undeniably costly to hire the wrong person for the job — but the costs of waiting can add up to even more. When you’re scouting for candidates, you’re typically sinking time, money, and resources into various recruitment strategies and channels. Meanwhile, your company is short-staffed, which typically causes decreased productivity and morale while increasing the strain on your current team as they struggle to fill the gaps.

The ‘talent surplus’ is general, but your needs are specific

Overall, there are currently more job seekers than open positions. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a surplus of the type of talent you want to hire. In fact, there are talent shortages in some industries, particularly in-demand IT positions. When you factor in geographic location and active versus passive job seekers, the talent pool shrinks even further.

The perfect candidate may not be the best choice

Let’s say you’ve found the ideal hire — certified and experienced in all the skills you require, with a positive attitude and lots of motivation to do a great job, and happy with your salary offer. Now, ask yourself this: Where will they go from here?

Hiring perfect candidates can actually be risky. If you onboard someone who has everything they need to perform the job perfectly, there’s nothing to challenge them and nowhere to go but up — or over to another company. In many cases, a strong candidate who’s not perfect will prove a better fit for the long term.

Tips for hiring not-quite-perfect candidates

Saying yes to perfection is easy, but how do you choose someone who isn’t ideal? Consider these tips to help you choose a great candidate who can grow into perfection with your company:

  • Reconsider your job description and requirements, and decide which skills and characteristics are truly necessary to get the job done — and which you can live without.
  • Tweak your recruitment strategies to become more active. Many employers choose to post open positions on social networks and job boards, and then wait for the resumes to roll in. Instead, actively seek candidates who meet your minimum requirements and initiate contact — it will speed the process, and give you a more qualified list to work from.
  • If you’re not sure about a candidate from the resume alone, take the chance and schedule an interview. You may discover that someone who looks merely competent on paper is actually a great find in person.
  • Focus on training and retention to improve the quality of your current staff and new hires, and to keep more of them around so you’ll have a reduced hiring burden in the future.

There may be no such thing as perfection, but there are plenty of good candidates who can become great employees. At The Armada Group, we can tell the difference between a great candidate, and a perfect fit for your company. Contact us today for help with every step of your hiring process.

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