In today’s competitive job market, finding the perfect candidate can be a daunting task. In fact, it is almost impossible to find candidates that meet all of your requirements. That is why some businesses are now settling for candidates who are only 70-80% skill ready and then adjusting their onboarding programmes to fill in the gaps. In this blog post, we’ll be looking at why the perfect candidate is now out of reach and how you can transform “ok” candidates into the ideal employees.
The unavailability of the ‘perfect candidate’
The job market has evolved, and as such, the requirements for certain job roles have changed. Nowadays, employers are requiring candidates to possess more skills than ever before, and this can make finding the right candidate more challenging.
The digital age has made business complex. There are a lot of software and systems that require knowledge in specialised skills like programming, data analysis, graphic design, and more. And, given that the modern work environment is constantly evolving, it’s not uncommon for job requirements to evolve accordingly.
There are also soft skills like communication, team player attitude, problem-solving ability, and emotional intelligence that have become essential skills that employees should possess. Reports show that these types of skills are becoming scarce among job seekers, and the reason for this may be attributed to the increase in remote working limiting face-to-face interaction.
And it’s not just about skills. In today’s world, employers are looking for a cultural fit just as much as the necessary technical abilities. They are looking at who the individual is as a whole which means their interests, values and work ethic all play a part in the hiring decision. This is because a person who fits well with the culture of the company will be more engaged, productive and happier in their job. And that’s a win-win for both the employee and the employer.
The final main factor behind the unavailability of a perfect candidate is the high demand for top talent. With more and more companies competing for a limited pool of candidates, it can be quite a struggle to find someone who ticks all the boxes.
So what’s the solution?
The need for 70-80% skill ready
It’s important to understand that candidates who score 100% on the job requirement do not necessarily equal a perfect fit. With constant change in technology, work processes, environment, etc, you need your employees to be mentally agile and adaptable in order to keep up with the constantly changing work environment. Having someone who can adapt to new processes, learn new skills, and can be productive quickly, can mean that other skill gaps are not such a problem.
Therefore, by seeking out adaptable candidates, reducing the qualification and skill requirements to 70-80%, and adjusting your onboarding programme to fill any gaps, you’ve solved your problem.
How to fill the gaps
Once you’ve found the right candidate who meets most of your requirements, it’s time to focus on filling the gaps in their knowledge/skillset. It is possible to structure your onboarding and training programmes to be personalised, relevant and focused on developing the skills that are lacking in your new hire.
The first step is to conduct an initial assessment of the new hire’s skillset. Assessing skills will help you identify the knowledge gaps and prioritise the areas that need development. Then look at where online training, mentoring, and peer coaching can be the best solution.
During onboarding, the new employee should have regular feedback sessions with their manager to discuss their progress. These sessions may not only highlight areas that need improvement but also encourage and motivate the employee.
Another critical aspect of an effective onboarding programme is communication. The new hire should understand the company’s vision and expectations aligned with their role. With better communication, the employee feels included in the company and it reduces the time taken to meet their expected performance.
While onboarding and training programs may increase your budget and workload initially, these should be viewed as investments that pay off in the long run. Hiring someone who is not fully equipped for a job may be frustrating, but with proper training and development, they may become valuable resources and assets, bringing a whole new perspective on the job.
Let’s face it: finding the perfect candidate in today’s job market is almost impossible. But here’s a secret to success: instead of searching for someone who ticks every skill box, focus on hiring candidates who are 70%-80% ready. Then, give them the training and support they need to reach their full potential. It’s like an investment in your future, because you’ll be able to prioritise attitude and personality over skills. And in the end, that’s what will really fuel the growth of your company.
For more HR support and advice, get in touch with Lodge Court here.