How CEOs Can Win The War on Talent

Brian-Braudis-By Brian Braudis, President, The Braudis Group Consultants

Finding and hiring the right talent is a top concern for CEOs. It becomes even more challenging in times of change when small puddles of talent dry up quickly.

The problem is exacerbated in the engineering, high tech and IT domain. David Seitz, general manager, Midwest Region of CDI Corporation—a talent management firm said that the unemployment rate for this segment is near zero. “We send four people out to interview for every one hire.”

Many CEOs lose out on top talent because of a lengthy, fossilized hiring process that remains in place.

“Some of our clients operate as though it’s 2008 or 2009, relying on an outdated lengthy hiring process. Engineers and IT professionals usually have two or three competing job offers and 29 days to get a job offer is too long. The “shelf-life” for top-notch candidates is short.” David Seitz.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported it takes 25 days on average to fill vacant positions and if the organization has 5000 or more employees the time to hire is 58.1 days. Even Google with its attractive brand struggled with a stiff and lengthy hiring process. After seeing top candidates accept offers elsewhere they changed.

Samuel Tafoya, Recruiter for CDI Corporation said Google has reduced their time-intensive hiring process that caused them to lose out on top talent. The requirement for more than 10 interviews was reduced to 5. Also, the final interview stage where candidates met with “bar raisers” who had the specific role to screen out and veto selections was eliminated. In addition,

Google now:

  • Prioritizes their contingent labor needs as they see fit
  • Empowers hiring managers and decision makers to do what is best for their respective functions
  • Continues to adapt and refine their hiring practices

David Seitz recommends that CEOs make it a corporate priority to hire quickly. Specifically he suggests:

  • Examine the hiring procedure for bottlenecks and lengthy, time-intensive processes
  • Set up an evening hiring fare, have candidates meet everyone necessary in one visit
  • Reduce offer time to one week. Make a contingent offer; give top candidates a “bird in the hand”

This is a direct application of the often cited, aligning leadership strategy with business strategy. A flatter, more nimble leadership strategy would certainly reflect business strategy by creating an instant win in the talent war. In this case, business strategy is leadership strategy because without talented people to lead the organization, there is no business.

About the Author:  Brian Braudis is a leadership expert. He helps organizations and executives who want to increase clarity, confidence and control and deliver greater performance, commitment and execution.