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Applying the Win/Win principle to the “War” for Talent

As the business-news media competes for our attention by flashing information on the impending talent shortage, some of us listen with a keen ear while others turn to more urgent, pressing issues. After 22+ years in the human resources business, I don’t need the media to tell me there is going to be a problem; I already feel it in my bones, similar to how my grandfather used to know it was going to rain by his knees aching. When your business is the business of finding talent you are the first to feel ANY inkling of change in the marketplace. Although I may feel like I run a best-in-class business, and I may have evidence that I know how to skin the cat better than the competitor, KeenHire is all the more faced with the challenge of locating new talent for myself and my clients in a diminishing talent pool marketplace. The looming & ‘impending’ talent shortage seems to be creeping up right from under us. KeenHire has more specified search requests than we have had in 5 years. As companies proactively deal with succession planning and building bench strength, we are seeing salaries going up, qualifications becoming more stringent, and expected outcomes for the candidates showing up as more measurable as well as difference making. All this with less people to chose from makes for a very competitive market place for employers and candidates alike. So how does a company who has ambitious goals compete for talent in the midst of a WAR for it? You could outsource. You could offshore. You could take on employing the at-home passive work force, like Jet Blue and Southwest. You could take on hiring the flexible work force, students, retirees and parents. You could home grow your talent, become a farm club of sorts, which many of my clients are doing very successfully. You could pay large retainers and then wait while the search firm does the searching. You could develop your company as an employer of choice where ‘win/win’ is the norm; where people feel they are not just serving your corporation’s needs, but their needs are getting fulfilled as well.


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