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empty seats: what are you missing when trying to fill an open position?


Emotional intelligence.

Problem-solving skills.

Resilience.

Adaptability.

Coachability.

There are just a few common skills that are sought after in many professional positions today. As of the Job Report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in Feb. 2024, there are still 8.8 million job openings in across the U.S.


As a recruiter and former HR person, I have to ask why we are making processes drag on, or be overly difficult and/or ignoring those looking to shift gears and change careers? Why do we continue to recruit in ways we sourced 20 years ago when in fact there is a shortage of good talent today? This is frustrating to both recruiters and job candidates alike.


When was the last time you took a step back and evaluated the way in which your organization hires and/or sources candidates? If you are only using job boards, you are missing @ 80% of potential candidates. Likewise, if candidates are only applying to job postings, they too are missing out.


There has got to be a better way! Ask yourself as a hiring manager or someone providing input to a hiring process if the following are taking place:


  1. Assumptions are getting in the way. We've got to think differently. Just because a candidate hasn't worked in your industry previously barring any required certifications or licensures, or minimal time to obtain a necessary certification, why are we not considering folks who've worked in different industries?

  2. Military personnel are ignored. Many are team focused; leaders; resilient and mission focused. I don't know any job more vital than making decisions to keep a team of people alive and with seconds to make a decision that can impact thousands of lives. If a military leader or individual contributor can learn split second decision-making and handle immense tactical deployment of resources, for instance, couldn't they serve as a first line manager in a warehouse; in a logistics company or so much more?

  3. Generalizations are killing your options. Though you cannot discriminate based upon a protected class such as age or marital status, inherent biases exists. Not all parents are uncommitted in a remote situation; in fact many are even more productive working remotely vs. if they had to figure out logistics of a long commute each day. There are unproductive workers in almost every classification, so avoid generalizing in favor of or against any one group. You just might be surprised!

  4. We don't know how to look at transferable skills. Just because a candidate has only been a project manager in the banking industry, does not mean they cannot learn telecommunications or manufacturing or healthcare. It is often the behavioral competencies that facilitate a sink or swim result with a new hire; not the technical skills.


We've got to challenge assumptions and think differently and ask ourselves- Why not?


We also have to integrate a 'human touch' component for more conversations. ATS systems help streamline many steps in the recruiting process; however, many great, amazing candidates have been missed because they were not selected by key words and/or their introverted personalities didn't think they could or should reach out to follow up after an on-line application was submitted.


Did you know that @ 88% of candidates are being screened out through ATS? Read more here now.


If you are struggling to identify what type of team members or hires to make next, perhaps it would be helpful to gain clarity on the type of team you have first.

Take this quick team survey HERE now.



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