Build that dream team (before you need them). Tool up hiring managers!

Tools in the shed. Even more tools exist out there for hiring managers to exploit.

Image: Sharpest tool in the shed by Lachlan Donald | via Flickr

Finding talent has always been challenging, often consuming more time and money than you have. Whether it’s finding someone that has the niche skills or the cultural fit required, the problems and pitfalls of filling roles are widely discussed.

Discussed less is how you go about finding people for roles you don’t have. In other words, how you find people that can help your business address the challenges and unknowns of tomorrow, not just today?

A hard question to answer but one worth tackling. According to PWC research, an ecosystem based on innovation and digital technologies has the potential to increase Australia’s productivity and raise GDP by $37 billion in 2024. That’s a huge opportunity but one that will only be fulfilled if businesses find and retain ‘future leaders’ – individuals with skills and capabilities to drive business change and innovation.

Unfortunately, the tools hiring managers use to find talent are rarely fruitful in identifying these types of people. LinkedIn, for instance, is a great resource for professional networking but less helpful for recruitment given it’s difficult to determine which individuals are open to discussing a new role. Similarly, the typical arrangement of using a dedicated recruiting firm to help with hiring is often flawed since you are restricted to the pool of candidates a recruiter has access to.

What hiring managers require is access to a bigger pool of candidates and sophisticated tools to mine that data. When this is so, hiring managers can be confident they’re exploring all possible opportunities and searching out candidates most likely to meet their current and future requirements.

It’s a commonsensical approach when you think about it – increase access to potential talent and get clever on how you review that data – but it’s surprising how many hiring managers continue to recruit the same way they always have.

It’s even more surprising when you consider how technology has changed so much of what we do in and outside of work. Whether it’s dating, shopping or ordering a cab, developments in technology mean we have more choice, freedom and control over aspects of our lives we previously accepted as ‘it’s just the way things are.’

When it comes to hiring, the line ‘it’s just the way things are’ appears less and less palatable. Research we conducted earlier this year found 56 per cent of new hires fail to meet their job specification within the first two years. That means after the average 81 days and $15,000 it takes to recruit a new hire, over half simply don’t work out.

Savvy hiring managers are challenging the status-quo by using tools that give them access to a much wider pool of talent and have leading-edge data analytics ‘baked in’ so they can quickly search out those that are the best fit. In a climate that requires rapid innovation and an eye on the future, expect this approach to become the norm for hiring managers in the months ahead.

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Ben is the Chief Executive Officer of the The Search Party, responsible for our global operations and strategy. He's a marathon swimmer who swam the English Channel solo in July 2014. He's an Ambassador for Opportunity International Australia, a supporter of The Hunger Project and is passionate about ending world poverty.

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