In Global Labor Shortage, Be Willing to Train

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You want a candidate with hard skills who checks all the boxes. You need them hired yesterday.  You don’t have time to train someone. Many companies are starting to realize that in a global labor shortage, they need to be willing to train.

At Artemis Consultants, we get it.  But in today’s global labor shortage, we also know that you may be waiting quite a while to fulfill your job description.  In the length of time it takes find that ideal candidate, you may want to consider if you could have trained someone just the way you want.

Overworked employees are more likely to flee for greener pastures. Losing a top performing employee can cause major disruption to a business’s bottom line.  For the employer, it’s common to take an employee’s decision to leave personally.

In today’s job-saturated market, many companies find that it is more time and cost effective to consider a broader pool of highly trainable candidates.

If Willing to Train, You Will Hire Faster

The companies that are willing to make some sacrifices to their preferred profile are the ones that are getting positions filled faster.  Companies willing to look at candidates with strong soft skills and transferable skills are finding candidates to interview and hire while other companies wait weeks or even months.

Within our own company, Artemis Consultants, we have hired several new people this past year and NONE of them had any executive recruiting experience. We hired from industries that require multitasking, attention to detail, and promptness. We discovered that servers managers from high-end restaurants and hotels do extremely well.  Being willing to look at resumes without recruiting experience gave us a pool of candidates to train and get up and running.

Hiring managers should also consider skill sets to identify more common jobs that require adjacent skills.  Also, beware of quickly eliminating candidates based on hiring software that detects key words, as you may be eliminating highly trainable candidates.

The Value of Soft Skills

Depending on the position, it may take only a few weeks to train someone in the hard skills required in a position whereas soft skills cannot be easily taught.  For example, can you teach someone to have integrity, be dependable, think creatively, or communicate effectively?  “Some employers may prefer to select candidates who have a stronger set of soft skills over hard skills, as soft skills are at times more difficult to develop” (Indeed Editorial Team).

Research conducted by writer Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence at Work reveals that when IQ and technical skills are similar, emotional intelligence accounts for 90% of what makes people move up a success ladder.  A survey referred to by Goleman of over 500 executives found that emotional intelligence was a better predictor of success than either relevant previous experience or IQ (Harvard Business Review).

Instead of focusing on candidates who already possess some technical skills, companies may want to assess whether candidates are easily trainable for more complex skills.  Some companies use aptitude tests or give candidates scenarios to work through.  Asking potential candidates to answer short-answer questions can also give hiring managers a feel for writing and communication skill levels.

Candidates with different backgrounds offer fresh perspectives: “New employees bring a very important asset that seasoned team members can’t contribute: a fresh pair of eyes,” says Ashley Fidel, The Muse. “Knowing this, why not take advantage of your new hire’s “outsider” status on your projects?”

Advantages of Training

Every new hire will need training to get acclimated to a company’s culture and norms. Even candidates who fit that preferred profile will need to train or retrain to unlearn past ways of doing things.

Training may not take as long as you think. Companies can develop onboarding courses to reuse repeatedly.  Training can be spread out among several employees, so it does not take up the time of only one person. There are also many online resources available.

Having positions go unfilled for long periods of time can be avoided in some cases. It pays off to take a more serious look at candidates who CAN do the job. Artemis helps companies identify a broad spectrum of highly qualified candidates based on experiences and capabilities.

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