October 22, 2022

A Novel Approach to Filling Talent Gaps

Most new talent recruitment by organizations begins in the same way, especially if the need is merely to backfill an existing position that was vacated. A job description is dusted off and posted to various recruitment web sites; and if a C-level position is being filled, a search consultant may be hired to assist with identifying appropriate talent.

In the case of a new position that’s being created for the very first time, however, the hiring manager and human resources department may convene to design a new job description – and the focus of that activity is really just to discuss exactly which skills are needed to fill only that specific role and what level in the organization it should occupy.

But here at Shift, we like to question the traditional ways of filling necessary positions in companies – because we believe updating the approach often leads to better results.

We like to suggest approaches that open the door to both underrated and overrated talent becoming possible job candidates. We also believe the ways in which most bureaucracies hire talent are pretty inefficient.

We recommend a “whole business” approach to recruiting and hiring talent; an approach that looks at the entire business as a whole and analyzes which skill sets and competencies are needed for the business to both grow and thrive. Distilling exactly which skills are needed is the primary goal; the level at which the candidate who possesses these skills is placed can come later.

If a job description is primarily composed of the objective competencies required to help the business be successful, the recruitment process itself becomes more objective and isn’t likely just a retread of the previous search (a search that probably utilized an outdated job description, in any event).

As the organization’s products or services evolve, so do the objective skills needed to create the products or services, deliver them, and sell them to consumers. In fact, even management and leadership competencies usually evolve with the product or service – as products, services, and teams evolve and develop, so do the kinds of management they require and the kinds of leadership the overall business needs at the helm.

Designing job descriptions by assessing company needs as a whole and only then conducting talent recruitment results in job candidates’ skills being mapped to the skills objectively needed by the business; no matter what the background of the candidate or the level of the job ultimately decided by the company.

For companies with a large number of job applicants, using this methodology can save time by preventing interviews of candidates who aren’t a good fit for the role. If you’re actively sourcing candidates by looking at skill set, you have a much better idea of what you’re looking for and can spend your time and resources connecting with the right people. The most explicit one-to-one matches are the ones that become the focus and are prioritized.

The goal would be to most efficiently align candidates’ skills to company objectives, but not in a piecemeal manner – rather by looking at the organization as a whole and identifying its gaps.

The recruitment activity becomes one in which organizational skill deficits are the focal point of seeking talent, and not specific roles and titles. One benefit of this alternative talent search process is it avoids the incongruities caused by the differences that roles with the same titles can have across companies.

A candidate can feature a previous position on their resume that echoes the exact title of the role now being sought; but it can turn out their actual skill set is only a 50% match for the current role. Different organizations title their positions differently and two distinct jobs with the same title but in two distinct companies can require different skills and accomplishments. If the job and resume experience being sought by the hiring company is broken down into skills and competencies, though – and not into job titles – this kind of mismatch is less likely to occur.

Because we at Shift have such extensive experience working with people with military backgrounds, and we’re so focused on how to demonstrate and communicate their skills and competencies, we have the expertise to work with this novel approach to recruitment and hiring. We operate in a skills-based manner on a daily basis, in all aspects of our business.

And we can attest that it works. Our Talent Tool provides information about the unique skill sets that all our candidates have acquired through their military training, work, and special opportunities and that set them apart from most other job candidates. Our partners seek matches for real job competencies and mastery of real-world situations, and our candidates can align their specific backgrounds and competencies to these real-world needs.

It’s time to start thinking twice about the cycle of posting jobs, seeking resumes, using ATS systems to filter them, and then still ending up with a glut of resumes that all look the same. It’s time to update our traditional approaches to how we think about recruitment – so we can all grow our businesses; and as a critical benefit, improve overall workplace productivity.

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