Struggling to find the right data analytics professional, or the perfect cybersecurity specialist, marketing campaign manager, or that elusive DevOps engineer? With today’s skills gap, volatile market, and fierce competition for talent, it is becoming more and more difficult to source the right candidates for particular projects or positions. Hiring for niche or rare talent can be a frustrating, laborious and often costly process. Much of the time, the right talent is rarely found, especially if time constraints are involved, and businesses are forced to settle for the next-best thing, so often to its detriment.
But sourcing specialist talent does not need to be so difficult. Here are our Top Four Tips for finding that perfect candidate, to guarantee the right results without any of the hassle.
Think Objectives, not Roles.
Don’t necessarily rule out candidates who don’t appear to have the requisite experience in a particular role. That’s not to say, of course, that experience is no longer essential, but that experience need not be limited to a particular role or service. Today’s workforce has become so malleable that there is no longer such a thing as a ‘typical role profile’; the best employees are no longer limited to their function but are the ones who are able to dip in and out of different operations and contribute to the whole infrastructure. If a candidate has a skill-set relevant to a position, but works in another industry, they should never be discarded. In the modern workforce, value now lies in bringing in those critical skills that will make a difference to your business. If you start mapping your teams to your objectives, you will begin to create a dynamic ecosystem, that you can simply plug into on an as-needed basis.
Embrace the Gig Economy
The gig economy is a reality now. It’s time to move past weighing up the pros and cons of embracing the independent workforce and simply accept that businesses who tap into this resource will be the businesses who lead the trailing pack.
If you’re looking to fill highly specialist, or time sensitive, projects or positions, then there’s really no better resource than the independent workforce. Freelancers are often the most highly-skilled, experienced and respected professionals in their industry. If you are looking for elite talent to work on a short-term project, or looking to fill a critical interim or long-term position under time constraints, then tapping into a pool of external talent could be the perfect solution for your business.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Global.
It might sound obvious but casting the net wide does help when you’re searching for that proverbial needle in a haystack. Sourcing globally emphatically widens your talent pool, facilitates access to the best skills and most impressive experience in the industry, and will improve your company’s competitive advantage. Added to that, international candidates will often contribute valuable cross-cultural perspectives. A diverse and agile cultural workforce can often encourage increased creativity and mobility in the workplace.
Remember the Big Picture.
Use the contingent workforce, but don’t become one. Finding the niche talent might begin as a difficult process, but if doesn’t have to remain one. Maintain relationships with your current employees and any freelancers you may hire; when future talent is needed, these connections will help you, either by personally filling the required role, or by offering critical referrals. Developing a company alumni system is a low-effort, ideal building-block with which to lay the foundations of vital, flexible network of talent. Stop blaming a ‘skills gap’ and start retraining your current workforce, turning niche skill-sets into core competencies.
You may have to start the process of locating niche talent by dipping into a shallow pool, but your ultimate aim should be to build your own ocean.