When is it Time to Start Looking for Candidates?

September 21st, 2012

When managers calculate the best time to hire new employees, their decisions will depend on range of factors including available budget resources and the nature of the company’s business model. Here are three popular approaches to timed hiring and the kinds of companies that tend to embrace each one.

Just-In-Time Hiring

The leanest, meanest and most efficient way to time hiring decisions is typically known as just-in-time or last minute hiring. This model is based on the idea that companies rarely make money when there are too many people walking around in the office. To avoid even the slightest chance of a budget-busting overstaffing scenario, companies often wait until their current staff are overworked, over-burdened and teetering on the brink of total burnout before bringing on new employees. Only when current personnel resources are pushed to the limit and literally bursting at the seams will last-minute hiring managers publish a posting for a new position and begin screening applicants.

The economic advantages of this model are clear, but the risks may outweigh the benefits and can undercut the amount of money saved. If your business can’t afford a single extra dollar lost on staffing and your managers are great at navigating and calculating risk, this strategy offers a promising option.  

Long Range Planning Based on Sales and Other Data

Cyclical businesses and companies that can draw a clear line between sales data and staff size may benefit from long range planning based on careful predictions of company growth and future needs. To make this model work for your firm, you’ll have to find a way to gather data that’s accurate, clear, and directly tied to personnel requirements. Growing sales that are likely to keep rising at a steady rate may warrant the acquisition of two, six, or ten new employees during the coming year. But only adopt this model if past performance can be expected to align with future results.

High Potential Hiring

“High potential” hiring is a strategy often embraced by companies with flexible hiring budgets and those that need to compete aggressively for top talent. With this model in place, extremely skilled applicants who respond to a posting are contacted whether their skills match the posting or not. These candidates are then brought on board and positions are designed to match their talents, rather than vice versa.

The risk of overstaffing can be significant for companies that use this approach. But these tend to be organizations that embrace innovation and flexibility and they also tend to be firms that can afford higher risk as long as that risk comes with the potential for high reward. 

Are you interested in hiring new staff but uncertain about the timing of your decision? Temporary staffing can provide qualified help with minimal hiring risk. Contact the NC temporary staffing experts at PSU and find out what we can do to move your company forward.


Hiring To Fill a Position, or Looking For High-Potential Candidates?

September 7th, 2012

When candidates apply for an open position, there are some things about the outcome that they can easily understand and predict. If they have experience in the industry, they’ve read the posting carefully, and they’ve done some research on the company, then they have some idea of what they’re stepping into. But no matter how qualified they may be, applicants aren’t mind readers. And some truly excellent candidates apply for positions that aren’t likely to make the best use of their talents and skills.

What should you do when you encounter a highly qualified candidate for a mismatched, unavailable, or already staffed position?

Taking On High-Potential Candidates

A growing number of recruiters and hiring managers are adopting a strategy known as high-potential hiring. With a high-potential staffing plan in place, excellent candidates are recognized in the pool and contacted, whether they meet the needs of a specific position or not. After further screening and a broader review of open positions within the company, these candidates are 1.) placed in a unit, division or department other than the one for which they applied, 2.) hired for positions that are then adapted to make use of the candidates unique skills, 3.) hired for positions which are created on the spot and tailored to the candidate’s talents.  There are advantages and disadvantages to this kind of staffing model.

High-Potential Hiring: Advantages

Right at this moment, a slow economy has flooded the job market with a glut of available candidates, and hiring balances are tipped in favor of employers. But many experts predict a rapid reversal in the near future as the economy recovers and a wave of baby boomers reach retirement age. When this happens, hiring managers may regret their recent cavalier dismissal of highly educated, highly motived performers simply because their skills didn’t match the needs of the moment.

In addition, in this fast-moving, technology-driven age, demand for specific skills can rise and fall quickly. A candidate who spends a year honing his knowledge of certain software program may find that program hopelessly out of date within a few months. But while specific competencies may fluctuate in value, a strong work ethic, polished social skills, and gritty resilience are always in style.

High Potential Hiring: Warnings

While high potential hiring can keep top candidates on your team and out of the hands of your competition, don’t ignore the expensive realities that come with an overstaffed office. If you adopt this model, do so strategically and maintain a calculated focus on the long term. Don’t take on candidates recklessly, and don’t put yourself in the position of having to dismiss or downsize new recruits simply because of your own poor planning.

Are you searching for ways to tighten, refine, and redesign your staffing and hiring strategies? The NC employment experts at Personnel Services Unlimited can help. Contact our office and arrange a consultation today.


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