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16 March-2020

Three Reasons You Aren’t Finding the Right Employee

Not finding the right employee for your business? Maybe it’s not them … maybe it’s you. 

At Barfield Revenue Consulting, we work with a variety of managers who have an ideal vision of who they want for their key hire. And that’s fair. After all, you’re hiring someone to help your business grow and to be more productive, right? This is a critical decision. The wrong hire can cost a ton of money, impact company culture, and waste your most precious resource – time. But more often than not, you spend several weeks looking and screening and interviewing, yet you fail to find the right fit. What’s going on? Here are three reasons why you might not be finding the right employee. 

1. You don’t have a recruiting strategy.

Large corporations that hire people constantly are likely to have a repeatable process in place. Adding someone new to the team is regular practice and thus routine. But if you are a small, growing business – like the lion’s share of our clients – you can’t look at large employer “X” and recruit the way they do. For smaller and even mid-sized companies, hiring is not a weekly activity. When it’s time to hire, managers tend to look around and say, “Well, what did we do last time?” They’re dusting off whatever process they used and giving it another go. Posting a job online, seeing who applies, hoping the answer is in that initial pool, etc. Interestingly enough, that recruiting strategy is unlikely to work a majority of the time.

If your team is hiring, think about the following:

  • Do you have a well-constructed definition of the job? If the role is new, your organization may struggle to outline exactly what this person will do along with the expectations tied to success. Now, you don’t necessarily need a templated job description, but your team needs to agree on what this person will do and how performance will be measured. 
  • How do you plan to find applicants? Consider how you’ll be reaching out to let people know that you’re seeking a new team member. Employee referrals are a perfect place to start. After that, consider whether you are using free or paid job boards. Are you posting the job on your website? Are you utilizing social media? Are you attending events and networking? Do you need to connect with an external recruiter who can be out there hunting on your behalf every day?
  • If you post the job, do you have a follow-up strategy? For example, what do you do if 500 people apply within the first few days? Can you realistically review and respond to everyone? If not, can you deal with the possible negative candidate experience that may occur because you don’t have time to follow-up? On the other side of the coin, if you post the job and you get very few applicants, what’s your strategy then? 
  • And before you post, please strategize about your needs. Are you ready and willing to wait for the ideal, unicorn candidate, or do you need someone now? If now is the key driver, but candidates aren’t matching up with the job description, are you willing to adjust expectations, or will you simply wait it out until the ideal candidate happens by? 

2. Your wants and needs don’t match the market.

a pile of brown puzzle pieces to illustrate the concept of recruiting

Position needs are another reason why companies struggle to find the right hire. There is the salary you want to pay for this new person, and then there is the salary you need to pay in order to land this new person. For example, we recently worked with a software startup that wanted to hire “Enterprise” salespeople. But as we discussed “Enterprise” folks and the salary level that title equated to, our customer realized he would need to recalibrate. He instead advertised externally for an “Account Executive.” What’s the impact? Well, there is a difference between the person our client is seeking and what his money will get him on the open market. He wants and needs a particular type of profile, but his budget is only going to align with a certain level of hire. The person he’s likely to land now will not have the ideal amount of experience closing enterprise-level deals, but this CEO realized quickly that he needed to adjust what he wanted and focus more on what he could afford to acquire. 

If you’re not finding “the right” candidate for your job, take a look at your wants and needs versus what the market is providing. Are you willing to be flexible? How long can you afford to leave that job open (cost of the posting as well as the cost of that vacancy to the business)?  Clients who are thoughtful and open-minded about the whole process have the greatest hiring success. Don’t pass on someone who checks eight of the 10 boxes on the job description while you wait for the purple-striped unicorn that checks all 10. 

3. You don’t understand the marketplace.

Before you hire, take a look around. What’s the market like right now? Are there people out of work in your niche and job searching with urgency? Or is it a candidates’ market, one with statistically-low unemployment, meaning employers are the ones feeling desperate?

Right now, it’s the latter for most industries. That means you need to consider everything you’re putting out there – your job write-up, overall compensation package, benefits offerings, remote flexibility, etc. It’s a lot harder right now to find viable folks, meaning you may have to compromise on certain experience, background, and ability expectation factors in order to get someone in the door.

Talk to your peers and other business owners in your industry. What has worked for them when recruiting? What hasn’t? Is your instinct about target salary matching up with what others are offering for like roles in the market? Does your job description match the skill sets of interested job seekers? Do free posting boards work for others in your field or are they going straight to paid resources? Doing this type of research will absolutely save you time, money, and headaches in the hiring process. Conversely, if you attack the market without working knowledge and/or an executable, proven strategy, you will get frustrated – and you will fail.

If you’re struggling to find sales and marketing employees for any reason, please contact us for help.

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