Survey Indicates That Qualified Talent Is Increasingly Difficult To Find

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Author David Towler

Finding good employees is getting harder. Testing applicants helps employers make better decisions.

A new survey by Talent Technology indicates that “recruiters can expect to face tough competition as the war for talent grows given the reduced number of qualified applicants looking for jobs.” The survey results show that most recruiters spend 15 hours a week sourcing applicants and that, on average it takes 45 days to fill an open position. The survey respondents also reported that finding good candidates and filling positions quickly are their two biggest challenges.

Finding and retaining employees with solid skills has always been problematic for employers. Recruiting is a costly and time consuming task. The difficult economic climate of the past few years has made this even more challenging.

Six years ago the Society for Human Resource Management estimated that it costs $3,500.00 to replace one $8.00 per hour employee. Other sources estimate that re-hiring costs:

• 30-50% of the annual salary of entry-level employees,
• 150% of the annual salary of mid-level employees, and
• as much as 400% of the annual salary for specialized, high level employees.

Three years later, a 2009 study indicated that the average cost to replace a worker is approximately $17,000. It’s reasonable to assume that these costs will only increase.

Obviously, hiring the right person the first time is crucial and every poor hiring decision has a negative impact on an organization’s success and its bottom line.

As economic pressures ease up in 2012, 63% of employers reported that they expect to rehire for previously closed positions and may also grow by as much as 12%

Most of the organizations that participated indicated that it is most difficult for them to find candidates for skilled jobs, mid-level managers and executive positions.

The survey provided information about where recruiters are looking for applicants and explored the rankings of such things as social networking sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and job boards. According to the survey, these sources accounted for approximately 30% of all applicants.

However, finding applicants is only half the battle. Separating the wheat from the chaff and not hiring someone else’s reject is even more difficult. Regardless of where the applicants come from, employers need ways to ensure that they’re only hiring the best candidates. Luckily, there are tools that can help recruiters to do this.

There are hundreds of employee assessment tools available that are accurate, reliable and legal. Employers like Shell, Best Western International, CN Rail and Rolls Royce use assessments to screen applicants. Smaller organizations may think that these tools are not available to them, but they would be mistaken.

Pre-screening assessments can help employers of any size determine who has the skills that they need and who simply has a good resume or presented themselves well in an interview. Assessments make it possible to compare applicants using the same measurements and rank their abilities accordingly. Best of all, there are ‘tests’ available to help measure everything from honesty and customer service skills to retail ability, managerial readiness, basic math and reading skills, and even job-specific industrial capabilities. There is, literally, a test available for almost everything!

Employers who rely only upon resumes, references and interviews are missing the opportunity to evaluate the capabilities of their candidates using validated, accurate measurements. A good assessment tool should confirm what one thinks that they already know about a candidate or identify potential problems that were overlooked or which a candidate was successful at concealing.

Tests can reduce the time required to fill positions, reduce turnover, ensure that only the best candidates are considered and add confidence to each hiring decision. Creative Organizational Design offers over 1000 different assessment titles and can help any employer improve their recruitment process and hire better employees.

David Towler is the President of Creative Organizational Design. Please send comments about this article to For more information, please contact us.

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