Avoid The “Skills Gap” During Hiring

Reclaim Control Of Your Hiring Process

How well is the hiring process at your company working?


  • Are you consistently finding the best possible candidates for your open positions?
  • Is there open communication between your HR department and hiring managers?
  • Are your cost-per-hire and time-to-hire metrics optimal?

If not, you’re not alone. It might be because you’re hiring like you watch TV. But instead, you should be hiring like you’re buying a home.

What does either one have to do with talent acquisition? Well, more than you think. Watching TV is a relaxing activity; you settle in on the couch, put your feet up and focus on your favorite show. You get engaged in the action, and the excitement builds…and then there’s a commercial break. People you don’t know or care about start to parade a whole slew of products past you, hoping you’ll buy. Problem is, they don’t know whether what you need matches what they’re selling. They’re showing you cell phones, washing machines, bank accounts, and foreign vacations when what you need is a good reliable toaster.

And all you want to do is get back to your show. Frustrating, isn’t it?

Now, let’s imagine that the TV show is your business, division or department. Again, you’re focused, engaged and envisioning a picture of organizational success. You’re excited and committed to this future scenario. And then, the show pauses. Except this time, the break is because you need to fill a key position to fuel growth.  Are you ready? Because here come the commercials.  Or, should I say, résumés.  And, just like TV commercials these résumés are trying to sell you a product without fully understanding your needs. Candidates are under- or overqualified, or they are just plain desperate for a job, any job.

Consider that a typical one-hour TV show has 18 to 20 minutes of commercials. That’s about a third of the total show. What if your HR department were spending a third of their time shuffling through irrelevant résumés?

Now, back to the home-buying metaphor. If we used the same methodology, a conversation with a realtor might go like this:

“I’d like to buy a home with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Show me what you have.

Of course, you wouldn’t do this – because you’d be inundated with homes for sale, most of which would not even come close to what you want. And, because a home is an investment that will be important to you for a long time and hopefully also appreciate, you’ll want to be very selective with the ones you view and the one you ultimately buy.

Typically, this might be your process:

  1. Understand your reason for needing to purchase.
  2. Find a professional to guide you through the process and perform the legwork.
  3. Work with this professional to finalize your buying criteria.
  4. Screen out properties that don’t meet your criteria, and visit only those that do.

You’ll get higher quality results that are closer to meeting your needs quickly and more efficiently. You may even get to see homes you didn’t know were available.

If this was how your recruiting process worked, what differences would you see? What if you only had to interview candidates who met all of your criteria? What if you got the chance to meet with highly qualified candidates before they ‘hit the market’? How would your productivity improve and your business grow?

The next time you’re hiring, think about doing it the same way you’d buy a house instead of how you’d watch TV. You’ll probably like the results a lot better.

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