As the nation continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, recruiting and hiring is a top concern over the next year, according to research from the online HR resource site XpertHR. The inability to attract highly skilled staff in key areas of IT, healthcare, national security and intelligence can cause skill gaps and greatly affect Federal agencies’ ability to meet their mission.
What do employers look for in a candidate? The answers vary. Some will say experience, skill and education. Others will look more closely at personality and interpersonal skills. What it comes down to is that employers want a complete package: a candidate who knows how to communicate effectively, is skilled, intelligent and educated and has a pleasant personality on top of it all. Sometimes, it can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Hiring someone is the most costly decision a department will make. Choosing the wrong employee can affect morale, culture and a well-established team dynamic. It can also cost tens of thousands of dollars to find and rehire a replacement. Before you start searching for highly skilled candidates for hard to fill positions, it’s important to outline the skills, attributes and experience of your ideal candidate. Creating this “candidate persona” can help tailor your recruitment strategy. Here are some areas to keep in mind when coming up with an “ideal candidate”:
- Soft Skills: What are the main personality traits needed for the position? (strong communication skills; self-motivated; ability to work in a team setting; flexibility)
- Hard Skills: What are their primary attributes? (education; professional experience; professional certifications)
- Motivation: What are their primary motivators when choosing a new position? (reputation of department; workplace culture; professional development; mission and values; career advancement)
- Job Search Channels: How do they search for jobs and where? (social media; referrals; career pages)
- Possible Objections: What would cause them not to want to work for your department? (company culture; reputation; salary/benefits; flexibility)
Are you experiencing challenges when recruiting for highly skilled positions? Many agencies are reporting that competition from the private sector makes it even more difficult to find and retain talent. Leah M Joppy and Associates can work with you to outline your hiring strategy, define your department’s culture and unique attributes and help you attract and retain the best talent to enhance your team. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.