We've identified the rolling talent deficit and talked about how to measure it, but what is the real impact to your organization? In short, it hurts your employment brand and your ability to recruit in the future.
In my last post, I started by defining the time frame. This is crucial because all organizations need an efficient recruiting methodology that can continually source and make talent available for the organization. As the saying goes, you are only as good as your last hire.
I focus on a two-month time frame because we are dealing with humans in this process. Think about what you were doing two months ago. Can't remember the details? But you would remember if you waited more than a week (or three weeks, or four weeks) to hear from someone about a position you applied for.
I also use this time frame because while many positions take more than a month to fill, after two months candidates become unavailable, disenchanted, or both, and recruiters are typically refocused on other positions as their experience tells them that chances are becoming slim the position will ever get filled. Even if you were to simply close the unfilled jobs, you have essentially wasted recruiting time and costs on these positions, without any gain.
Canceling or closing jobs without filling them also has a negative effect on your employment brand with candidates and vendors. And therein lies the real potential for damage to the employment brand -- when candidates end up in long submission and interview cycles without hearing anything and without any progress. It's a bad start to an employment relationship.
In light of today's social media networks, word can quickly get out from frustrated job seekers. In addition, during screenings and interviews, the question will arise: Why has the position been open for so long?
This also makes it tough for your recruiters and recruiting partners as they struggle to support your organization. For recruiters, whether or not they are incentivized for hires, the inability to fill positions, long complex recruiting cycles, or long hours taking calls from disgruntled candidates will take its toll.
Also imagine the new recruiter who joins your organization to find they are given the bottom of the barrel to work on -- old jobs that have been open for months. (By the way, good luck finding that new recruiter, or should I say good recruiter. That's a challenge these days as recruiting becomes a more complex mix of networking, relationship management, and database management.)
For your staffing vendors or recruiting partners, the impact is more businesslike. Recruiters in these cases get compensated for hires. No hires, no commission. They will focus resources on other companies where they have success. And while this should generally not be the case, it's conceivable that they won't send you their best candidates if there's little chance they will get hired.
The result of all this? Desperation sets in, and you force a few hires, cut corners on processes, and make some bad hiring decisions. Turnover goes up and now you've further compounded the problem with even more positions to fill and increasing questions about your company (not to mention the possibility of delivery or service problems for your customers).
This is what's so problematic about the ever-growing talent deficit. It's not one single element, but a combination of factors that compound to make the situation worse, month-by-month and year-by-year.
Next, I'll finish up the series with some strategies you can put in place to stem the tide of your talent deficit, or at least keep your head above water as you formulate your strategy.