By Kevin Faber
It isn’t easy to find and retain good employees and contractors. Many years ago, Intel, the high tech giant, opened up a new division in Oregon specifically because they were experiencing more than 90 percent turnover per year in their key CPU development engineering area. Moving to Oregon gave them a space in a climate where it rained 300 days per year and the market for hardware engineers was much smaller. The move paid off. They ended up retaining their engineers longer at their new location.
When you add in a market that is saturated with other employers trying to get the same level of talent recruited into their firms, it certainly adds a degree of difficulty if you are the human resources people responsible for finding the most talented employees.
Here are some steps that can help your to recruit the best potential employees in a saturated market:
Time, Place, Objective: If you are recruiting, regardless of your own background, to be successful in a saturated market, you need to be like a method actor and soak up the dynamics of the industry or job types that you find yourself surrounded by. The idea is that in a business like the home construction industry, home builders have a very different culture than people who are creating computer hardware. So learn what you need to about your industry in order to interface with those you are recruiting and marketing to. Knowing specifically what builders respond to when it comes to salary and benefits can help you tailor your approach to a set of conditions that should bring you better results.
Know How To Find Hidden Treasure
After you have been accepted into the industry that you work in, you should take a look at analyzing the people that you meet and developing a composite that represents the right characteristics for the role that you are hiring for. If you can become consciously competent about every job that you plan to hire for, it should give you some clues about finding hidden treasure that can make an immediate difference in your firm.
One example- in software, there are professional organizations that meet to discuss programming and process all over the US. If you make a point of attending those types of meetings, you should meet people that can help you find the type of hidden gold that may not come in front of other recruiters. A bonus for you in the dog-eat-dog world of recruiting is that many times in professional organizations in software, the bulk of the people are not taking advantage of referral fees for those that they refer. Instead, they often have a group or individual that has ‘conquered’ that function in their area and is making a lot of money doing referrals themselves. Because of the selfishness of the people that are taking all of the referral fees, the door is often open to a recruiter because the average engineer would be happy to talk about who might be the most talented, available recruit.
Bigger And Better
Bigger and better is a strategy that you can use with people that you would classify as being the best. When you find one, you merely talk about what could be if they joined the firm and then give them concrete areas where they can contribute in order to make a difference. In addition to salary and benefits, letting a potential employee know how they can be part of a new, larger organization with much greater responsibility is one way to create an interest that will separate you from your competitors. The key to success with this type of approach is to remember to follow through on all of your commitments.
Recruiting in a saturated market isn’t always the easiest way to staff up. At the same time, if you can innovate while going through the process, there is no reason why you should win most of the candidates that you recruit.